Weekend Reading: 4-5 April 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing:






Leith van Onselen
Latest posts by Leith van Onselen (see all)


        • Timmeh – up late doing FX? What did you decide to do? (If you don’t mind me prying) 😁

          • Finally gave up when I couldn’t focus on the screen due to too much wine and the poo was in a very tight holding pattern at .60 I think i’ll just cut and run at the weekend close. You chunts can thank me Monday when it goes into freefall 😉

        • Lol.

          Will be fine either way.

          If you’d told me on Jan 1 (0.70) that it would be at 0.6 by now, I would have been ecstatic!

          • Yep, I think it was still around 67 just a short month ago when I made the offer so I can’t complain. The drop to 55 and subsequent climb back up is a big fat tease though.

          • Remember co traded at 65 cents or so. I was happy with that. Anything under 60 would have been rad.

          • I’ve never been king of the WE links. Now I’ve achieved it, I don’t need to do it again haha.

          • boomengineeringMEMBER

            Held that title a few times but now put away those childish toys. Well not completely out of reach away. I haven’t been called a perennial grommet for nothing.

    • at 12:10 am !

      LVO better realise that this means War, in unintended consequences.

      I mean PEAK macrobusiness allowing Gavin to get first.
      18 mths being here and all.

    • But how would we pay for an increase in nurses salary? Govts can just pick a number and give money to people. What do you think this is, 2020?

      • Yep, how much do they want? Write them a cheque. What’s money really worth now that trillions is being created out of thin air every week. May as well go the whole hog at this point.

      • But how would you import foreign nurses to support the property bubble if these kinds of vital jobs were considered well paid? More Australians would want to do them and then where would you be?

        Next you’ll be suggesting that mid tier executives who profit from unconstrained outsourcing have their short term bonus’ clawed back when the gains aren’t realised over the longer term and in fact turn out to be more costly for the company?!

        Worse still you might end up suggesting that these manager’s own, relatively simple job, of just promoting constant outsourcing could themselves be replaced by foreign workers being paid a fraction of their wage?! You are sick man, see a doctor!

        • That is the danger facing upper management in Australia today; A monkey could be trained to immediately grab the bigger of any sack of money shown to it.

    • these anti-viral anti-parasitic drugs are so poisonous but good enough to treat elderly, side effects will not have time to leave long term effects

      • HIV and malaria drugs are often taken for years. While a prophylactic would be ideal, even an early treatment option would be great compared to nothing.
        Note this study was done by Aussie scientists using the 1st strain imported here.

    • PalimpsestMEMBER

      The big issue with these drugs – Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, is that they work most effectively when given at the very early stages. The very first sore throat or sniffle. Our current system won’t let most people be tested until they have advanced symptoms. One trial of hydroxychloroquine as “rescue therapy” showed no measurable benefit. Given our shockingly low reserves, one method of allocation is to use CRP as an effective indicator of patients that might progress to need Oxygen or a ventilator, thereby limiting demand for critical facilities.

      both these candidates seem to need fairly high dosages against N-Cov-2, so full awareness of the risks, and short dosage durations are required. Nevertheless the resistance to allowing front line medical staff, receptionists, and others in high risk roles to consider sustainable prophylactic doses is concerning given the severe lack of PPE. GP’s and their staff seem to be particularly short changed. Lower dose sustainable prophylactic regimes offer less than 100% protection, but may reduce mortality.

  1. Coronavirus: Science vs. politics
    It does make an example of Trump making an example of himself. The dude is just the most obvious example to use. As Mr. Potholer pinned in the comments.
    “It’s very disheartening to see how quickly this forum has degenerated into an “I hate Trump” and “I love Trump” tribal battle, completely ignoring the point of the video. This isn’t about Democrat vs. Republican, it’s about science vs. politics.
    Could we please, for the sake of argument, agree that Trump is the greatest President since Lincoln, and either suck that up if you’re a Democrat and move past that if you’re a Republican. Once that issue is out of the way, maybe you will all find it easier to address the point — the danger of governments misrepresenting and misunderstanding the science. That’s not just what this video is about, it encompasses what channel is about. Covid-19 shows more starkly and more frighteningly what can happen when governments ignore scientific advice.
    Here’s an example from a recent post: “Yeah, trump did bad. But so did most western countries.”
    It’s not a question of whether Trump did well or badly in responding to the crisis. As I said in the video, there was incompetence in other countries too. That’s politics, which I don’t cover on this channel. What does concern me is when governments don’t understand or disregard scientific advice, because that has consequences.”

  2. So apparently there’s been a sharp upturn in divorce applications.

    There does happen to be an ASX listed means if one was so inclined to go long rona quarantine induced divorces and family breakdown.

    $0.12 at present.

    • I would have thought African non-payment is a given.

      “But we thought all these dollars were ‘aid’”.

      • It is now!
        Though normally they are pretty good at paying, as far as I know, as they have no choice being at the bottom of the world pile, if they didn’t they’d be shut out of major credit markets for good.

      • They normally offer to take possession of the productive asset or strategic infrastructure on a 100yr lease

  3. Re the potential Chinese food shortage link polished above & rumours of panic burying,

    Are we now going to have to stop Chinese SOE & large Chinese companies and all planes & ships from making off with lots of Aussie food like they did with masks etc?


    March jobs report: U.S. economy loses 701,000 payrolls, unemployment rate jumps to 4.4% … Yahoo Finance


    … watch it go stratospheric going forward, when the past 2 weeks of jobless claims hit near 10 million … 6.6 million in the past week alone …

    Jobless claims (in the past week alone) soar to record-breaking 6.648 million … Yahoo Finance


    • haroldusMEMBER


      Shuvra Saha
      3 days ago
      My parents are landlords with a large mortgage to pay. We cannot do this without rental income. We have no Airbnb guests at all.

      • “Some kindly tenants were giving us money to keep our risky investment afloat. Now they have stopped because they are running out of money. How is this fair?”

      • Goodness me, they flew all this way to join the parasitical classes – and now ‘risk’ has descended like a ton of bricks.

        Sure they deserve a taxpayer funded bailout.

    • haroldusMEMBER

      Lazy tenants!

      Li Zhang
      4 days ago
      We, as landlords, still need to work hard to pay for interest to keep our properties. We are affected by the COVID 19 as everyone. Many tenants might take the advantage of the new policies and stay home and be lazy.

        • Work hard to pay interest lol

          Shoulda paid some of the principal, might have some equity to work with in the hard times.

        • Yes, as is Landlords: “as landlords, still need to work hard to pay for interest to keep our properties”

    • haroldusMEMBER

      Bad tenants take advantage of landlord!

      Michelle Gao
      4 days ago
      I’m a landlord. I lost my job and the rent would be my main income to pay my loan and bills. This law will encourage some bad tenants not to pay the rent even though they are able to pay, use it as an excuse to stop pay rent and take advantage of landlord.

    • AbagnaleMEMBER

      ‘Mike Antony’ has perfect Chinglish grammar, seen a few like that. On US property forums the discussion between landlords and renters are quite balanced, nearly everyone thinking of the best way to get through things, Aussies now suck.

      • Arthur Schopenhauer

        37 years spent breaking of social bonds by putting the interests of political donors ahead of citizens. Landlords who aren’t citizens have no ‘skin in the game’.

        • Very true. But it extends beyond that. Owning property (or any asset) with high leverage is fcking risky — this what people don’t get. Blue chip hedge funds can access 4 or 5 times leverage while some sh*t-for-brains can get up 20 times leverage to buy a property. They don’t care about the risk and they don’t even understand what it is — if the bank is lending the money then it must all be legit.

          As an idea, in the ’50s if people bought homes that cost 1.5x their annual salary that was considered stretching yourself. Undoubtedly, lenders (via a corrupt monetary system and Gubmint backstop) are to blame as well, but honestly, these borrowers have got cop it.

          “Ah-so, THIS is what risk looks like!” Ding ding ding. Perhaps this crisis will bring home to people just how much risk they can afford to take in future and lead to a significant decline in leverage multiples.

      • WhatcouldgowrongMEMBER

        This is what I don’t get about property speculation – home loans used this way have a distinct similarity to margin loans and yet you’re constantly told that margin loans are evil. Maybe that’s because property always goes up?

        • darklydrawlMEMBER

          “Maybe that’s because property always goes up?” <– heh, until it doesn't. And then you are lumped with a slow to sell, expensive to transact, declining binary asset (you're either 100% in or out) which everyone else is trying to offload at the same time. What could go wrong? Idiots! (haha – I only just noticed your very apt user name "Whatcouldgowrong" indeed)

          • WhatcouldgowrongMEMBER

            I hope they’re going to get a nasty lesson in financial literacy – the sort of thing you get from oversizing your trades.
            I expect this won’t be the case and there’ll be a bail-out, after all they’re having a go to get a go.
            I thought my name was quite Macro-appropriate given the tone of the content here and now it’s becoming timely 🙂

          • IPs are the Achilles Heel of the property market here in straya – non essential assets that can be turned into cash in times of need.

            Or losses and debts if forced …

          • WhatcouldgowrongMEMBER

            +1 I can barely hide my excitement at the thought of these rentier parasites going bust.

      • Indeed! If landlords get it, can I go for broke and take out squillions for punting on the stock market? Why not? 😉

        I should get bailed out, too…..


        • We can all laugh at this but I fear the Property PM may just ride to the rescue with taxpayer dollars to bail these farckers out.

          I would prefer zero assistance to specufestors but, at the very least, all non-citizens should be excluded. The issue there though is that there is enough fuel in the non-citizen segment to burn the entire edifice to the ground so they will no doubt receive assistance, when all is said and done. Be curious to know how they’ll slip that one by the voters though.

          • That is my fear. And I could see it happening. Unsure of the mechanics but the will for it will be there. Because of course it was the virus that done it all. From a purely psychological perspective it will be fascinating to see how, if and when the ingrained property obsession in this country shifts. #fascinating. Also, if the government did try to bail out property what that would mean for the AUD and in turn property investors based outside australia….

          • DominicMEMBER

            Agreed Pedros – I really don’t see things going back to ‘the way they were’. I actually think a generational shift was beginning ahead of this crisis anyway but this will speed the process right up – by several years. The debt-fuelled consumption model, linked to rising house prices is dead. The whole world will be changed by this — for generations, at least.

    • I bet a bunch of the complaints are from people running cash in hand rooming house arrangements, stuffing 10 students/temp workers in a small house.

      If a landlord bailout/subsidy gets run through the ATO like JobKeeper they will still probably miss out.

      • Yep, All the grubby landlords renting to students cash in hard will be farked hard since not income declared to ATO

      • Where is Mike? Mike, if you’re there, we need your intel here. What’s happening on the ground with the illegal rooming house trade?

        • The problem is he has no real intel, and his story is clearly no longer holding, given current circumstance.
          In broad strokes it is probably true but figures are presumably pulled from varying orifices given lack of references.

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            Yes. The simple fact that if it was all carefully researched there’d be a list of direct references as long as your arm. But what was given was usually about one step away from “I found it on the internet”. You would expect more academic rigour in a middle school assignment.

            Every time I bothered to verify his numbers, they were overstated (Or understated, depending on what helped his “argument”) by anywhere from 20-50%.

            So I don’t bother anymore.

      • This.

        Int’l students renting of Chinese landlords are generally paying cash (the ones I know). No RE agent and no tax declared. Also no leverage. Once the supply of students is gone, and locals would mainly only rent through an agent, their ‘investment’ is not looking so much, especially after the reaming they copped with a falling AUD.

    • If these parasitic chunts can partition the Gubment to bail out their poor investment choices then I’m going to start a partition for the Gubment to top up my super because I was too fvcken slow and disinterested to move to cash.

    • This is my favourite. Managed to squeeze in “hard working Australians” and “mum and dad investors”.. Pulling at Smoco’s heartstrings that one.
      “Hard working Australians who work 7 days a week and saves all their disposable income to create a better future life shouldn’t be punished. When everyone else is getting support, where’s the support for mum and dad investors who depend on this income especially when there’s so much fixed costs that won’t go away as a result of this pandemic??”

  5. 20 hours ago

    Most coronavirus patients who end up on ventilators go on to die

    among 98 ventilated patients in the U.K., just 33 were discharged alive.

    Ventilators have been seen as critical to treating coronavirus patients because the devices are very successful when used to treat common forms of pneumonia

    coronavirus often does a lot more damage to a person’s lungs than pneumonia


    • I’ve been telling this since the first chinese papers came out
      ventilators are good in supporting breathing while person is recovering from something else that prevents them from breading or from bacterial pneumonia while antibiotics are doing the thing
      most of coronavirus patients that get so bad to need a ventilator have lungs turned into a liquid so ventilators barely delay the death. Doctors put them on ventilation because there is nothing else they can do, not because they’ll get better because of it. It’s a desperate measure, even if we have one ventilator per person fatality rate would barely change. Even those 30% that survive in these studies is not a real number because no control group has been identified. Some argue that most of these 30% would survive even if not ventilated.

      but on a bright side only a small fraction of people who get covid19 need ventilation. Some doctors argue, that doctors are very aggressive with ventilation treatments without any good reason, and explain that by lack of any other treatment being available

      • Ronin8317MEMBER

        If you go by the Chinese data, we will be using traditional Chinese medicine to treat coronavirus next.

      • This video is a critique of that article. The real stats can be seen at 3:45 (overall) and 5:10 (breakdown): https://youtu.be/uaIzj3s3p4A

        Overall stats are 52% survival.
        0-50yo = 75.7%
        50-69yo = 59.7%
        70 = 26.8%

        Obese ~40%, non-obese ~58%.

        If you are relatively healthy, under the age of 50, and in need of a ventilator, your chances of survival with a ventilator are probably around 80%. Cut the crap about ventilators being a waste of time.

          • if your choice was certain death from respiratory failure or a 1% chance of survival what would you choose? Actually you don’t get to choose as the ventilators will be rationed.

    • Maybe 33 out of 98 surviving on ventilators is better than 0/98 surviving if they didn’t ventilate.

      Hard to know because it’s not a controlled experiment. Can’t bring back the dead and try the other treatment on them.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Give it a couple of more months… It’ll be part of the end of May Stimulus Package that the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, announces (number 45).

        The idea being they’ll need the reanimated corpses’ borrowing capacity to prop up the housing market.

      • We will never know how many would survive without a ventilator. Smaller number definately but none will be able to do a proper study like that

    • One of them would be my brothers friends mum in UK, she lasted less than 24hrs on a ventilator, in her 70’s apparently no known health issues.

  6. US Sailors cheering their Captain as he’s stood down for speaking out on COVID-19

    Fun times ahead

  7. Stephen Morris

    For the record, it occurred to me that there’s a cogent rebuttal to the argument presented yesterday concerning life-months lost and gained by Covid-19 intervention or non-intervention. (https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2020/04/alarmed-latham-and-kennett-destroy-slomo/#comment-3776061)

    To recap, it was argued that intervention merely delayed deaths which for the most part would have occurred shortly in any case. Moreover, the University of Bristol modelling suggested that such limited savings might be more than offset by life-months lost due to the consequent economic downturn.

    However . . . if one believes that such a downturn was inevitable in any case – due to growing imbalances in the economy (especially in Australia) – then any such lost life-months are themselves merely a timing difference and largely fall out of the equation.

    One might even extend this argument and say that the economic downturn consequent on Covid-19 intervention is anticipated and that (economic) counter-measures have been put in place sooner than would have been the case for an unanticipated recession . . . thus minimising the life-months lost due to recession.

    So, everybody’s happy!

    The debate reduces to a question of religious dogma: belief in the net benefit of Covid-19 intervention rests upon belief in an unprovable entity, the inevitability or non-inevitability of a major recession in the near future.

    This probably won’t stop younger people seeing themselves as having been thrown under the bus.

    • one more thing is being ignored here: panic induced mental health issues
      while economic downturn may have been inevitable (it’s hard to argue how fast and deep otherwise), overblown fear of death and panic created by MSM and politicians is doing additional damage beside virus itself and the economic suffering
      I personally know few young people who had minor mental health issues who are now in states that makes me afraid for their wellbeing. When I talk to them, they are just repeating these phrases heard from polies and MSM how young are not safe, how large number of younger people will also die, how there are cases of kids dying, … despite the fact that corona is less dangerous and less likely to kill someone of their age than beer or gambling.
      I understand why government went with the scare campaign about young being in danger (to get better behaviour from them) but by doing this created a huge problem. They should be held responsible for all mental illnesses and deaths among people that come out of this.

      in italy, out of 13k deaths
      0.05% were under age of 30 – all with significant comorbidities
      0.2% were 30-40 years old – all with significant comorbidities (some unknown but present)
      0.8% were 40-50 years old – all with significant comorbidities (some unknown but present)
      4% were 50-60 years old – all with significant comorbidities (some unknown but present)

      for comparison, among all “normal” deaths in a year 2.8% are those under 30 years of age for corona only deaths that number is 0.2%

      99% of all people who died in Italy were previously sick and more than 50% had at least three other health conditions (most often hearth issues and diabetes)

      • And the 61 Italian medics that died last month.
        And all the other patients that die because hospitals are overwhelmed.
        And we still don’t serology to actually know how dangerous this is.
        How many of the 20% serious cases end up with long term damage.
        Trying to limit infection is the smart option.
        Precautionary principle and all that.

        • Dr X thinks Sweden will be all sorted by the 21st. That’s in 2 weeks, 3 days, because they are not social distancing.
          I expect they’ll have hundreds dying per day at that point.
          Who’ll be right?

          • You will be right.
            It isn’t necessarily all about 80 year olds with comorbidities dying.
            As place after place shows (China, Spain, Italy, New York, France, UK), the numbers of people falling ill overwhelms the medical services. They can’t cope. Who knows who has had a stroke or heart attack untreated or had their cancer screening test delayed due to the volume of Coronavirus cases.
            All the talk of sickly geriatrics dying a few months early entirely misses the point that the system cannot sustain normal operations while it is overwhelmed with COVID cases.

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            All the talk of sickly geriatrics dying a few months early entirely misses the point that the system cannot sustain normal operations while it is overwhelmed with COVID cases.

            I think the underlying argument they’re making but don’t want to explicitly state, is that if you just write off everyone over 65 and let them die without any treatment once diagnosed, then the hospitals won’t be overwhelmed.

          • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

            Well that would be the appropriate treatment – elderly Swedes shouldn’t have any more right to ventilators than some newly arrived migrant from Somalia, they are both just as Swedish as each other and both as entitled to Sweden’s social capital.

      • MSM creates panic about very low probability dangers on a daily basis, covid or not.
        We have a culture of fear of strangers, because these days no one can be trusted, yet no real changes in actual attack and abduction rates.

        • okradovicMEMBER

          “We have a culture of fear of strangers, because these days no one can be trusted, yet no real changes in actual attack and abduction rates.”
          Maybe the rates have not changed precisely because of the fear and greater caution. We cannot know what would be the outcome if we were more trusting (Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle and all that).

          • Maybe, but given the rates are so small anyway, it would only require a very small minority of people to not change behaviour for enough “targets of opportunity” to still exist for predators. The fear is not that pervasive yet.

      • Some good points raised.

        Have seen a lot of MH cases in the last month. Majority of the younger ones aren’t concerned about getting Covid19 themselves, and more worried about parents/grandparents/older friends getting it. They seem to be doing the right thing by self-isolating and WFH where possible. Overall, I think there is a general trend of frustration and confusion towards the government’s actions.

        A new trend I am seeing are people in relationships which are coming under increased strain due to being forced to spent all the time with their partners and having their regular outlets for stress relief removed due to social isolation rules. It’s only early days, but I expect this to continue.

        If there is a mental health outbreak, the government is not doing enough. It’s been widely advertised that there are new telehealth item numbers so more people can get medical help without leaving home. All face-to-face item numbers have equivalent telehealth codes, there is currently no telehealth equivalent for new psychiatrist appointments. You could see any other specialist though, which only supports the notion that the government doesn’t value mental health as a priority.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        one more thing is being ignored here: panic induced mental health issues


        Because the alternative of sh!tloads of people getting sick, clogging up hospitals and dying, people in power doing little while telling them it’s necessary for the greater good, people like you telling them they would have died in a few years anyway, and people like Coming telling them they should die because they’re too old to be useful anymore, wouldn’t have any negative mental health consequences at all.

        99% of all people who died in Italy were previously sick and more than 50% had at least three other health conditions (most often hearth issues and diabetes)

        Fortunately the sorts of relevant co-morbidities are nearly unheard of in places like Australia, right ?

        • Well put

          Even an abjectly stupid person should be able to understand this

          (Alas, they’ll find a way to not understand it)

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      However . . . if one believes that such a downturn was inevitable in any case – due to growing imbalances in the economy (especially in Australia) – then any such lost life-months are themselves merely a timing difference and largely fall out of the equation.

      Or simply that when most of the world starts looking like Italy or New York anyway, the economic impact would likely be nearly as significant as people took measures into their own hands.

      The alternative was never business-as-usual. The basis of the comparison is a false dilemma.

      • Stephen Morris

        But that doesn’t mean it’s invalid to discuss the issue of Salience Bias on a forum like Macrobusiness.

        It doesn’t mean it’s invalid to note the studies which suggest that non-salient loss of life-months due to economic downturn may exceed the salient gain in life-months from intervention (and that’s before any notional adjustments for quality-of-life-months).

        It doesn’t mean it’s invalid to draw attention to the distributional aspects of intervention with the costs falling more more heavily on the young for the benefit of the old (again).

        In short, it’s no rebuttal to say, “These poor decisions were inevitable because of salience bias. Therefore these decisions were not poor (according to the life-month criterion cited earlier).”

        If I wanted to listen to people simply parroting platitudes and never challenging conventional wisdom, I’d read The Australian or The Age.

        • Stephen Morris

          Please ignore the last sentence of that comment. It was unnecessarily rude.

          Another consequence of lockdown!!

        • drsmithyMEMBER

          It doesn’t mean it’s invalid to note the studies which suggest that non-salient loss of life-months due to economic downturn may exceed the salient gain in life-months from intervention (and that’s before any notional adjustments for quality-of-life-months).

          The other reason it’s an invalid comparison is because it’s possible (albeit unlikely) to address economic and health issues in the future with proper policy and care.

          You can’t mitigate dead.

          • Stephen Morris

            This is analogous to the “inevitable recession” counter-argument presented earlier.

            It reduces the debate to a question of religious dogma. Belief in the net benefit of Covid-19 intervention rests upon belief in an unprovable entity: the imminent appearance of a Miraculous Saviour in the form effective economic intervention.

            It’s not impossible that economic intervention will reduce the (non-salient) loss of life-months below that of the life-months saved by Covid-19 intervention. If the UofB modelling is believed, it would need to reduce the economic impact below that of the 2008 GFC.

            As with so many things in life, it is a matter of belief.

            The irony is that the more things are a matter of controvertible belief, the more human beings behave as if they were matters of incontrovertible truth.

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            This is analogous to the “inevitable recession” counter-argument presented earlier.

            It’s not really, because you suggest that is nothing more than a “religious” view, when it is arguably a quite reasonable conclusion based on the disruption caused by a “let it rip” or even “lock up the oldies” approach.

            The alternative is not “busines as usual”. Some level of social and economic disruption – I would argue quite significant, based on places like Italy and the USA – was inevitable.

            Belief in the net benefit of Covid-19 intervention rests upon belief in an unprovable entity: the imminent appearance of a Miraculous Saviour in the form effective economic intervention.

            No, that is not what I am saying at all.

            I am saying that the negative economic consequences can mostly be mitigated if we choose to (we probably won’t).

            But you can’t fix dead, no matter how good your future policy is.

          • Stephen Morris

            ” . . the negative economic consequences can mostly be mitigated if we choose.”

            That is precisely the “religious” belief.

            As with so many such beliefs, those who hold them cannot conceive that they are “religious” in character.

            There are three reasons this belief may be unsound:

            a) such economic intervention as is being proposed is completely unprecedented. Any claim of incontrovertible certainly that it will be successful is nothing more than a statement of belief;

            b) even if economic intervention on the proposed scale were possible in principle, the claim that “we” can “choose” to implement it overlooks the collective action problems (Prisoners’ Dilemma) associated with any such choice. This is a topic which we have discussed many, many times. When it comes to the crunch, those delegated to make that “choice” on “our” behalf may prefer not to do so, either because it is contrary to their own beliefs concerning good government and/or because it wouldn’t be in their own interests or the interests of their favoured pressure groups. To be clear, that impediment is not a cognitive bias (such as the salience bias noted earlier) which could be overcome merely by being more rational. It is a consequence of the Rules of the Game as they currently stand. Individual rational players can rationally end up pursuing strategies which are collectively sub-optimal;

            c) on the other side of the equation, the salient loss of life-months from unmitigated Covid-19 is equally uncertain. One of the issues which has come to light in the past 24 hours is the degree to which deaths rates in Italy and Spain are related to the living conditions which have susceptible old people living in the same households are younger people. In contrast, it is reported (by the BBC) that more than 50% of Stockholm households are single-person. (Wow!!) Likewise, Holland has adopted low-key intervention largely because of the separation of old and young households. Any estimate of Australian death rates is a matter of judgement made in an environment of limited evidence (as much as people – on both sides – might like to claim incontrovertible certainty).

            It may well be that the negative economic consequences could be mitigated and that delegated decision-makers would act to do so. It may well be that such mitigation would result in lower loss of life-months than unmitigated Covid-19.

            But that is not an incontrovertible truth.

            It is a belief which one brings to bear when making one’s own personal decision on which course of action is best.

            Other people might reasonably believe otherwise. If they do, they are not evil or stupid (despite the insults which have been hurled from both sides in this debate).

            They simply disagree.

    • Stephen, you are a rational person who tries to take into account all sides of the argument. Like you I am unsure if the current restrictions are a catastrophic overreaction We predominantly rely on verbal reasoning to understand complex systems, Unfortunately mathematical modelling is victim to unknown confounding variables which is the current situation given a novel pandemic virus. I think as a policy maker it is prudent to exercise caution for a few weeks intially until more empirical data is available. In this respect I think governments across the board are acting rationally, By the way as a medic I think it is too early too conclude that only old people with comorbidities die. The young ones have a lot of reserve and will survive on a ventilator for months before the 3 or 4th secondary pneumonia finally takes them out, Therefore we need to wait until all cases have recovered before determining the actually mortality rate. Also there will be a lot of collateral casualties from other conditions if ICU beds are taken by COVID patients – as far as I am aware this has not been quantified. Ultimately it is only with the retrospectoscope that we will know if the correct decisions were made by our government. Although political factors often colour their judgement, I think that the severe economy destroyijng restrictions that they have introduced globally are the result of much better information and modelling than available to armchair experts like ourselves. At this time I think we need to accept that our leaders are much better informed than we are, and give them the benefit of the doubt ie that they are acting in our best interests as we theoretically live in a democracy. Obviously we need to be vigilant and democracy will allow us to hold them to account.

  8. Arthur Schopenhauer

    “The pattern of illness that we’ve seen in Gwent, and I can’t speak for anywhere else, is much younger patients than we were expecting. When the reports started coming out of Wuhan, we were led to believe that this was something that was particularly dangerous for the more elderly patients but I would say all the patients we’ve got an intensive care are in their 50s or younger at the moment.

    Our youngest patient is in her early 20s. And there are, you know, there are patients who are very well, you know, a chap who’s a fitness professional but you know there are a lot of patients who are not, do not have any pre-existing medical conditions. They’re not diabetic or anything like that.

    We’ve got 16 ventilated patients in the intensive care unit at the minute, which has led us to completely run out of space. So we’ve taken over theatre recovery, and we’ve got a further eight there. I think by the end of today, we will fill recovery. So that’ll bring us up to 25 patients.

    And then we have another area prepared, which is the old high dependency unit and coronary care that we’ve taken over as well. We can fit a further 22 patients in that area. The way things are going at the minute, the rate of growth and the amount of admissions that we’re seeing, I would say we will fill that by the end of the week, probably.”

    Dr David Hepburn, ICU consultant at Newport’s Royal Gwent hospital in south Wales. From The Guardian.

    Anyone else think the original WuFlu data was BS?

      • Arthur Schopenhauer

        The number of cases clearly were.

        Have you got parents, or grand parents, or a child under 1?

        No government in the world can let it rip without dire political consequences, even the authoritarian states,

        • My parents are still alive (in the most critical group over 80) and they are completely aware of the fact that if they don’t die from corona they will die from something else a year or few years
          In fact, they are so thrilled by the fact that virus doesn’t kill younger (someone of their kids or grandkids age). They don’t look forward spending most of their remaining life isolated and unable to see their grandkids, spend time with family and few remaining friends ?

          What kind of a 80 year old mother or father would want to put their kids and grandkids into a year long detention, make them skip school and uni for a year, make them suffer a long poverty and leave them huge public debts to maybe extend their life already in disability and suffering by a year or few?

          Did anyone who makes these decisions asked them, or us, or our kids, … did anyone asked anyone what we would like to be done? Who made decision to protect few years of remaining life of elderly in their most mechanical sense while locking them up and denying them few remaining moments of joy?

          do you have parents? what they say?

          • Arthur Schopenhauer

            Yes, I have parents & in-laws in their 70s and an Aunt in-law in Modena, Italy.

            The calls from Italy are bleak. My Aunt in law is a tough old bird. Walked 10km a day, before the shutin. She says the most disturbing thing is the number of young and middle aged people in her apartment block who are severely ill or have been hospitalized.

            My parents are prepared to shutin in for 6-12 months for another 10 to 20 years of life. My father in-law is worried, and my mother in law is having a hard time processing what is going on. She’s lived a charmed Aussie BB life. (None of them own an IP!)

            My kid loves home schooling. And I have friends and siblings who are about to have children. Newborns are a high risk. Especially, if delivered in a hospital.

            A blood test for Wuflu antibodies will change the response. Knowing who has some immunity will alter the restriction regime ( and have unintended consequences.)

            In the meantime, the precautionary principle applies. The disease is 5 months old. There are almost 1000 strains. The possible consequences of opening everything up are greater than shutting things down until a blood test is available. Hopefully a vaccine will follow, but that’s not a certainty.

            Over the past week I have been figuring out how to pay salaries & keep my business a float for the next 6 months. It’s going to be tough. If I don’t take a salary for a year, I can keep paying staff with the help of the Gov programs, and none of them will lose their homes. Fortunately, I’m in a position to be able to do that.

          • I’m not saying we should open up and pretend nothing is going on. Some of the countries that best deal with this don’t have these depsration complete lockdowns. Some have schools running, restaurants open …
            The incremental benefits of such extra measures are questionable while costs are disproportionately larger (few times greater than other measures). Also other costs like mental health etc.

            And yes, those willing to be isolated for a year to save 10 years of life should be not only allowed but helped to do so by government, but that doesn’t mean everyone should be detained to achieve that. Self isolation of those at risk is very effective to prevent their infection locking down everyone doent improve that much.

            Btw newborns and infants are not in great danger. Virus doesn’t cross placental barrier and kids rarely have significant symptoms.

          • Literally can’t imagine a single person giving up any part of their life to keep the public debts low. You’re reaching for some incredibly tenuous arguments in the course of this campaign of yours.

            The 80 year olds I know do not seem as miserable and as resentful of life as to give it away in the way you describe.

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            They don’t look forward spending most of their remaining life isolated and unable to see their grandkids, spend time with family and few remaining friends ?

            Yet your alternative solution is to lock up the oldies and do exactly that ?

            What kind of a 80 year old mother or father would want to put their kids and grandkids into a year long detention, make them skip school and uni for a year, make them suffer a long poverty and leave them huge public debts to maybe extend their life already in disability and suffering by a year or few?

            Year long detention ? And you’re accusing other people of hysteria ?

          • “They don’t look forward spending most of their remaining life isolated and unable to see their grandkids, spend time with family and few remaining friends ?”

            Don’t they? Don’t be surprised that when the end is actually near, that they have a bloody big change of heart.

            My mother would say quite often that she’d be happy to “move on” and when that got close her attitude changed quickly.

        • Good series of posts Arthur.

          I’m not sure why we keep responding to the “let it rip, oldies will die but I won’t” crowd. No government in the world is going to agree so it’s irrelevant.

          I suppose it’s this though … https://xkcd.com/386/ ! 😉

          • Stephen Morris

            It’s relevant in that it helps to highlight issue of salience bias (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salience_(neuroscience)#Salience_bias), something that needs to be kept in mind by all who aspire to thinking critically.

            It is no rebuttal to argue that, “The poor decisions were made because of salience bias. Therefore the decisions weren’t poor.”

            One can get around the problem quite easily in others ways by declaring a belief in the inevitability of an imminent recession (even in the absence of Covid-19 intervention).

          • Stephen – indeed. My point was more that when an individual has limited time and mental energy, there is not much utility continuing to discuss a moot point… 😁

          • Stephen Morris

            When an individual has limited time and mental energy . . . they don’t spend their Saturday mornings in abstract debates on Macrobusiness!

            Speaking of which, I can hear my wife putting the washing on, so I’d better go.

          • Stephen Morris

            Back again. Couldn’t resist.

            I though I might quote Thaler in full as it is especially pertinent to this debate:

            Accessibility and salience are closely related to availability, and they are important as well. If you have personally experienced a serious earthquake, you’re more likely to believe that an earthquake is likely than if you read about it in a weekly magazine. Thus, vivid and easily imagined causes of death (for example, tornadoes) often receive inflated estimates of probability, and less-vivid causes (for example, asthma attacks) receive low estimates, even if they occur with a far greater frequency (here, by a factor of twenty). Timing counts too: more recent events have a greater impact on our behavior, and on our fears, than earlier ones.

            — Richard H. Thaler, Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (2008-04-08)

      • That’s beside the point. How many ICU beds were taken up by age? Who survived ICU by age? If you let it rip, what if younger patients who survive ICU would not have had the opportunity for an ICU bed?

        • And those young patients who aren’t respirated. What is the long term respiratory health consequences

    • I am GrootMEMBER

      From Dr Michael J Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies programme:

      Ryan said WHO has repeatedly warned that young people are also at risk from this virus.

      He said even in South Korea, which has managed to control the disease, one in six deaths have been of people under 60. In Italy, over the last six weeks, at least 10-15% of people in intensive care have been under 50, Ryan explained.

      Ryan said:

      It’s not that anything has changed. It’s that we collectively have been living in a world where we’ve tried to convince ourselves that this disease is mild in the young people and it’s more severe in older people and that’s where the problem is.

      I think the evidence has been there all along that there is a spectrum of severity and its definitely more severe in older age groups, but there is a spectrum of severity in younger people as well.

      • that is true, but life itself is a risk, you know young people get sick or hurt and die every day
        thousands of younger people try to commit suicide in Italy every months, hundreds die every month … do we spend 0.01% of what we spend on corona, trying to prevent those deaths? do we ever hear on news anything about that?
        250 younger people die in car accidents in Italy every month and thousands end up in ICUs – so far corona killed 150 under 50 years of age.
        Clearly coronavirus is not a significant risk for younger people yet everyone is willing to scare people to death and lockthem down because of it, potentially causing more deaths via suicide and drug addiction than from corona directly?

        for young people, corona is not much or significantly higher risk than other things young people do all the time

        Normally ICUs are full of younger people (normally 30% of all ICU patients are under 55%)

        • I am GrootMEMBER

          That is a false parallel. There will always be tragedies at an individual level. Any given suicide attempt or car accident is relatively unpredictable. The virus is a mass event about which we are forewarned and have some chance of mitigating against.

          Rest assured the considerable number of intelligent young people I am in contact with have no interest in subjecting themselves to wuflu and rolling the dice on how much they will suffer or be left with deleterious impacts on their long term health.

          • boomengineeringMEMBER

            Glad yo associate with your significant group as there is also a significant group who expose themselves to predictable ill health and death via drugs, alcohol, motor vehicles, risk taking, violence, etc, etc ,etc.

    • Deaths were at least triple what was reported as you were not counted if you were not tested, and you couldn’t get tested you couldn’t get admitted and were sent home to die.

      • all dead in Italy and Spain in last month were tested for coronavirus, and all positive results deaths were declared to die from it even in cases where people were on death bed before being infected
        so number of deaths is actually overstated

        • I was talking about wuhan. There may be some undercounting of deaths in Europe in nursing homes, but obviously there is a lot more mild cases not being tested, so current death rate is 2-3% max. (We hope)

          • 2-3% mortality? Are these the stats that’s everyone worried about?!

            That’s at least FIVE times safer than playing Russian Roulette!

  9. As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a High Consequence Infectious Disease (HCID) in the UK.

    Status of COVID-19
    As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious diseases (HCID) in the UK.

    The 4 nations public health HCID group made an interim recommendation in January 2020 to classify COVID-19 as an HCID. This was based on consideration of the UK HCID criteria about the virus and the disease with information available during the early stages of the outbreak. Now that more is known about COVID-19, the public health bodies in the UK have reviewed the most up to date information about COVID-19 against the UK HCID criteria. They have determined that several features have now changed; in particular, more information is available about mortality rates (low overall), and there is now greater clinical awareness and a specific and sensitive laboratory test, the availability of which continues to increase.

    why would UK remove COVID19 from list of High Consequence Infectious Disease? because it has very low mortality rate

    here is the full list

    Argentine haemorrhagic fever (Junin virus); Andes virus infection (hantavirus)
    Bolivian haemorrhagic fever (Machupo virus); Avian influenza A H7N9 and H5N1
    Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF); Avian influenza A H5N6 and H7N7
    Ebola virus disease (EVD); Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)
    Lassa fever; Monkeypox
    Lujo virus disease; Nipah virus infection
    Marburg virus disease (MVD); Pneumonic plague (Yersinia pestis)
    Severe fever with thrombocytopaenia syndrome (SFTS); Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)*

  10. seanraceMEMBER

    anyone have a link for todays “online” auctions? Would be fun to watch 1-2

  11. i think the saddest thing about this entire coronavirus scandal is the fact that nobody – because they’re too fkn stoopid — is going to draw the obvious conclusion that the entire idea of the mass movement of capital, labor and visitors across the world is half-baked and dangerous, and was BEFORE this even happened. corona was just the icing on the cake. but it doesn’t matter. the cult of immigration, subscribed to even by most of the posters and commentators here (they just want to reduce the numbers a bit, not stop it entirely) has been imprinted within the minds of us all as an unquestionable and umimpeachable human right, and necessary obligation of all countries, but mainly western ones (we all know what that’s really about).

    there won’t be any reflection on the utilitarian value and obvious risks of this meme come six months following the end of the corona, just as there wasn’t after 9/11 or any of the other myriad disasters that have resulted from the great mass global movement of the masses project ™. it’ll be business as usual. it’d make me wanna deep throat a glock 9mm, if i was allowed to own one.

    • coronavirus is almost like a gift from gods for those advocating “mass movement of capital, labor and visitors across the world”
      now they can say that all catastrophic results of such policies (including transfer of wealth going on as we speak) are in fact results of coronavirus so once over we can just continue doing the same

      • I am GrootMEMBER

        Possibly so, but would the outcome be noticeably better if the world adopted your utilitarian stance on the virus and let ‘er rip?

        • This what you call utilitarian stance is something we and governments do all the time. Do we spend 20% of GDP trying to prevent deaths from car accidents, cancer or heart diseases?
          Do we put everyone under house arrest to prevent violent crime?
          I could list for days utilitarian stances we do eveyday …

          I’m not saying we should not do anything but at some point what we do provides diminishing returns at huge costs

          • I am GrootMEMBER

            Not arguing that we never apply utilitarian thinking in our decision making. Yet again, all the things you list are experienced individually and scattered throughout society.

            The virus is a clearly identified threat which is coming for every one of us. Of course the effect it has on us will be individual, but also somewhat unpredictable, unfortunately. Perhaps you should reacquaint yourself with the boots on the ground experience of Arthur’s aunt related above:

            “The calls from Italy are bleak. My Aunt in law is a tough old bird. Walked 10km a day, before the shutin. She says the most disturbing thing is the number of young and middle aged people in her apartment block who are severely ill or have been hospitalized.”

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Total people who have died since 1900 = 8 billion
        Total pandemic deaths since 1900 = less than 700m.
        Maths without hysteria. Of course every one should try to avoid them when they come but keep a level head.

        • Boom it’s a feature of human nature that most people fear new, unpredictable and random risks far more than “known” and “controllable” risks – even when the second type of risk is much more likely to kill you.

          It’s a feature of evolution which sensibly stops us from going to places where a bear only occasionally kills people but lets us walk along a steep and slippery cliff path every day on the way to our cave.

          For this reason people lose their sh!t over the threat of a terr0rist attack but are happy to climb into their cars each day when obviously far more people die from car crashes than terr0rists.

          It’s because people react more strongly to a risk that they feel they can’t personally control or influence.

          And for this reason a threat like coronavirus is going to get effort and attention. Lots of it. The fact that it’s cutting down thousands in Italy and Spain and the US confirms that we are right to fear it. But its new and random nature is the reason it gets huge effort and attention when those other causes of death (comparatively) don’t.

          This won’t change no matter what the maths say – until we feel like we control it and have it more or less beaten.

        • If total pandemic deaths are something approaching 10% of all deaths than that is an enormous concern. Probably more of one than most people knew given how little we do to prevent pandemics in the good times (see Trump sacking the pandemic response team).

          • boomengineeringMEMBER

            That did include smallpox starting from 1877 at 500M so not precise with the date on that one.

        • Smallpox killed 500million in the 20th century. Once vaccine alone may have prevented 1 billion deaths since it was iradicated in the 70s.

        • drsmithyMEMBER

          Maths without hysteria.

          Everyone dies eventually. Therefore no treatment should be offered that might save someone as it’s simply a wasted expense.

          Humans are a renewable resource, after all.

          “Maths without hysteria.”

          • boomengineeringMEMBER

            ”No treatment should be offered”
            That would save the world. Humans are cockroaches .

    • Ok, pity even before the industrial revolution, disease was being spread across the globe, just at a slower rate. The black plague managed to get mostly across the globe, smallpox wiped out huge numbers of people. Or is you intention to literally completely close borders. Nothing in or out.
      I expect that will severely reduce standard of living in australia, so good luck with that.

      • Yep the Black Death was spread to Britain by rats aboard merchant ships, so it basically was globalisation doing it, just a lot slower than today…!

        • It spread to Norway without rats, never understood that. In fact I believe it spread much faster than could be explained by rat movement. Lots of things not understood about the black death.

          • I expect it could spread other ways, not just rats, ie it was actually spread by fleas, the rats were just one of the vehicles. Perhaps sometimes fleas jumped directly from one person to the next, or via bedding etc.

            Perhaps other animals also played a role, eg the horses or dogs of travellers. They could carry it further and faster and directly into areas of human habitation without delay. Nasty.

          • yeah but the fleas are wedded to the rats, as it were, like cops in cop cars.
            Other possibilities – was spread by sneezing (not likely because it was bubonic plague).
            it was not plague atall but anthrax.

          • “The pneumonic form may occur following an initial bubonic or septicemic plague infection.[3] It may also result from breathing in airborne droplets from another person or cat infected with pneumonic plague.[1] The difference between the forms of plague is the location of infection; in pneumonic plague the infection is in the lungs, in bubonic plague the lymph nodes, and in septicemic plague within the blood.[3] Diagnosis is by testing the blood, sputum, or fluid from a lymph node.[”

            When the flea bit you the bacteria would go either into the blood or lymphatic systems, but human to human transmission would likely to be similar to how coronavirus is transmitted – from coughing – so would be pneumonic. You’d expect that pneumonic plague would spread much faster than if it were only the other two types that relied on rats and fleas.

          • haroldusMEMBER

            “I never thought I’d be writing a letter to National Geographic. Last week I was was reading an article on the terrible Botswanian bushmeat trade when I felt a soft hand brush mine.”

          • Before my time but apparently the difference between National Geographic and Playboy was plausible deniability.

    • If you missed the new argument from the immigration crowd, it’s the best equipped places to deal with the virus are those with the biggest populations because they have the most resources. So more people need to be crowded into cities.

      • DominicMEMBER

        I’m beginning to see now why gun sales to civilians are so tightly controlled.

        • boomengineeringMEMBER

          Haven’t you bought those spearguns yet.
          btw slingshots loaded with large ball bearings may be illegal.

          • DominicMEMBER

            True. But if the world goes to pot I don’t think that will really matter at that point — almost everything that is currently written into law will – practically speaking – become irrelevant. Hate crimes, the terms of your employment contract, discrimination laws — all of it, irrelevant. Only acts of genocide might elicit some interest from law enforcement officers.

            It’s every man for him/herself. And yes, am still contemplating a spear gun. How much are they? Roughly

    • I was just thinking yesterday, I can’t tell which handle is Staggsy these days, then you appear! 😊

      I have to say Covid19 spread is just the same as it’s always been only much faster, so not worth worrying about, however globalism that is another story, we should be liking for solution that offers more balanced economy, more local, balanced development, complex economies, jobs at ail levels, cost social impacts, environmental damage, complete energy impact, recycling etc etc just using price as a marker for a product is as bad as using just GDP for the economy

    • bolstroodMEMBER

      Your first paragraph +100000
      Your second para – yeah/ nah/ maybe
      I am old enough to remember a time when when air travel was not affordable to most people, when people lived worked and played where they were. When the footy players were local young blokes who had jobs.

      • DominicMEMBER

        There are a number of people on these boards who favour a heavier hand from the State and think that ‘freedom’ is over-rated. All those who read and never understood Orwell, I would suggest.

        We are well on the road to tyranny now — and Covid 19 will provide another big opportunity for the state to carve a chunk out of our few remaining freedoms.

        I’m a glass half empty person, normally, but my avowed hope is that this crisis will precipitate an end to the monetary system which enslaves us — and brings down Govts the world over, leaving younger generations to enjoy a clean / cleaner slate.

      • Stephen Morris

        AOC: Communal Narcissist?

        The authors were not suggesting that some narcissists are highly cooperative and trustworthy. No, communal narcissists have grandiose self-related needs too. However, the authors proposed that communal narcissists differ from agentic ones in that they use communal means to meet those same grandiose needs.

        Don’t we all know one of those.

        There’s a certain building in Canberra used to house them.

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      The majority of international travel is for leisure. This is a product of increasing wealth and living standards.

      Is your solution is to simply make most of the world too poor to travel (or have leisure time) ?

  12. Here it is, straight from the horse’s mouth and confirmed by one of his seniors to me a few weeks back;

    ‘ANZ Bank chief executive Shayne Elliott has warned the coronavirus crisis will have a “material” impact on Australian house prices and affect the national psyche for an entire generation.’

    ‘”I’m not going to give you a price prediction, but you’d have to think it was material,” he said. “It’s not going to be 2 or 3 per cent, it’s got to be a material [effect].”

    Mr Elliott, who is from New Zealand, cited the example of his grandparents, who lost their home in the 1930s Great Depression. He said his father remembered the stories growing up, and it “scarred him for life in terms of his approach to borrowing.”

    Australia might be a great place again once that overhang of property investment and BBQ one upmanship disappears. Reading between the lines I reckon they’re expecting >40% and once that’s sustained we’ll find better ways to turn a buck. Being scarred for life in terms of an approach to borrowing will be good for most people.

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      Did that nice Me Elliott learn absolutely f#cking nothing from his dad or is he just willing to throw all morals and ethics out the window to turn a buck and piss on the memories of his grandparents?

      That is some outstanding sh!tf#ckery Shayne. You’re on the list.

        • from memory peachy thinks he is nice person from once dealing with him
          however from memory he did did try to get that stockbroker sacked for having a negative view of new cfo so on that basis I cannot agree

      • You know I’ve never liked Shayne much, his PR efforts previously have looked about as authentic as SloMo’s. Cheesy and smug seemed to be his stock in trade. A view that it didn’t take much to pull the wool over the eyes of the MAFs crowd and keep the sweet life going for overly-entitled banker execs.

        But credit where it’s due, I thought that was a good interview. Sure, there was a bit of self serving rubbish about the wonderful role banks will play in this crisis, no doubt to build public support for the inevitable bail-outs, but also a very candid assessment (for a bank CEO) of where this thing is going to take us. Worth reading in full.

      • He once stood on the street selling the Big Issue. Maybe he will have to do it again. 😃

        • DominicMEMBER

          It’s a nice thought but I think it highly unlikely. I imagine Shayne is doing just fine — and by the tone of his gloomy statements, he’s fully expecting an outright failure of the banking system and the end of his job. He’ll retire to some bolthole somewhere and enjoy his accumulated wealth.

        • happy valleyMEMBER

          And next year, he will have to be out there selling the Big Issue for days and days (not just one day like last year?), having regard to the number of people who will be unemployed by next February or whenever the Big Issue CEO (conscience sanitising) annual selling day would normally be?

    • Wow…

      That will get Deflationary Mindset going in people…I think the Great Bubble might be finally over…

      Peachy: “Fool! Have you learnt nothing!”

      • Yes, this has to change things … I’m leaning to lost decades at present (subject to sudden change)

      • DominicMEMBER

        There weren’t because they were under a gold standard back then and you can’t print gold — therefore major deflation.

        However, we can print all the money we like today so, have a guess what happens next …

    • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

      If we don’t get angry, and make quantum changes to how Australia is run, our kids futures are doomed.

      • but we can’t mass riot or we’ll give each other the coronavirus, so what are we going to do? make angry comments on a blog that only 20 other people read? no one is listening.

        • I am GrootMEMBER

          I count at least 26 this morning alone. But you are right that no one outside of here is listening….

        • Was actually thinking that this actually would be the best time to riot and march on the parliaments. Sure, you can’t congregate in groups due to the risks, but at some point there may be enough disenfranchised who no longer care anymore.

          If it happens, I think police/security etc will have trouble if people cough and spit at them. Over time this will put them out of commission as they get tested/isolated, making any subsequent protest activity harder to contain.

      • DominicMEMBER

        But is it enough to get angry on a blog?

        Pre-internet, people had to put their boots on and march down to the local town hall and make their feelings known.

  13. GunnamattaMEMBER

    For those into some ballet and opera…..

    Bolshoi “golden collection” of ballet and opera will be broadcast online free

    The Bolshoi Theater, like every other theater in Moscow, has had to close its doors until mid-April (if not longer). But to keep up the spirits of all ballet and opera lovers, they are putting up six of their best performances on YouTube for free, starting with “Swan Lake” this Friday (tonight) 

    All the performances from the “golden collection” are the best of the best, impeccably performed and beautifully filmed. You can enjoy “The Nutcracker,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Boris Godunov” and three other productions from now until April 4.

    Each broadcast will take place on the theater’s YouTube channel at 7 p.m. Moscow time (noon in New York, 4 p.m. in London). If you miss it, it will be available free of charge for 24 hours after the broadcast. https://www.youtube.com/user/bolshoi

  14. okradovicMEMBER

    What I find disturbing is the comments section on any article about Scomo over at The Australian, gushing with praise for Scomo and and leadership in time of crisis – he has apparently proven that he is a “true leader for all australians”. I hope that doesn’t represent the wider community sentiment, but a realist in me suspects that it does. I don’t have hope that things will be any different forbthe sheeple after this virus situation is over…

    • GunnamattaMEMBER


      The comments section of the Rupertarian has a health warning. You really shouldnt.

      • okradovicMEMBER

        Lol, true but I just can’t help myself. At peace time it is a lot of fun arguing with them. Now that things are f’ing serious, some people’s lack of logic, rationality and insight is downright disturbing.

        • I am GrootMEMBER

          Throughout all the insanity that’s gone on in this country in recent decades, in the back of my mind I’ve harboured the tiniest sliver of curiosity as to whether people will come to their senses when sh!t got real.


        • I used to be insecure as a kid, but it was quite the revelation when I realised 95% of people are dumber than me. And in terms of IQ, half of the population are basically horny potatoes. As a teacher, I see it every day, among students and staff.
          Don’t hate the stupid, accept it exists, and that their betters will try to manipulate and control them. Use this assessment of the public when making decisions helps prevent cognitive bias…

          • I am GrootMEMBER

            Hmmm. That “half of the population..” thingy might explain Peter Dutton.

          • Think how dumb the average person is. Well, half the world’s population is dumber than that. George Carlin, I believe.

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      I can tell you that besides the yella-bellied freaks on here and on Twitter everyone else thinks our Prime Minister Scott Morrison has done an ace job on this. He has redeemed himself in normal people’s eyes. I tend to agree.

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      What Strayans are willing to believe is truly unbelievable – take happy clappies, for example.

    • Because they think he can support their asset prices. That is the relationship, pure self interest.

    • I think it does. Morrison gets a free pass from the media and Australians don’t really pay much attention to politics.

      It will take mass deaths, a serious unemployment spike and financial collapse to make people wake up but even then some will prefer to blame others rather than the guy they voted for.

    • Look I can’t stand him either. But I will say in the last week he’s been much better. I think something about a crisis and the fact that both sides of politics have stopped the shyte slinging match and have tried to work together for Australia and Australian’s has been welcome.

      He’s implemented things that would never have been allowed before this crisis. Like higher dole, free child care, subsidies and what not.. whilst I disagree with the approach of welfare and complexity of it. Mainly because it ain’t gonna help me. It shows that it’s the political system which is broken as much as the actors.

      Like with climate change, like Malcolm he may actually think we should do more than pure spin but the machine won’t allow it. That’s the problem.

      Maybe there is redemption after this? Maybe a crisis will allow for more extreme revolution and changes that would otherwise not be possible. I think the world will be different after this, let’s hope ScoMo does what’s best for Australian’s for a change.

      • bolstroodMEMBER

        Scotty the Red will go down in History as our greatest Socialist Prime Minister.
        Eat your heart out Gough.

        • DominicMEMBER

          Lol, yes. He’s been focussed on that budget for so long but now realises it’s a lost cause so may as well spray the lot around with gay abandon. See Scotty, it’s more fun than you thought possible 😉

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Look I can’t stand him either. But I will say in the last week he’s been much better.

        After exhausting all other options he’s finally starting to do things that resemble the right things.

        Maybe there is redemption after this? Maybe a crisis will allow for more extreme revolution and changes that would otherwise not be possible. I think the world will be different after this, let’s hope ScoMo does what’s best for Australian’s for a change.

        They won’t. Look at the changes being made and _how_ they work. They’re all about shoring up business interests and not supporting the people (with either direct payments or nationalised/public services).

        The payments might continue, but in doing so with their current structures they are simply direct subsidies to business.

        I have said before that the problem with a UBI is it’s a subsidy to business by proxy. These changes seem to be about implementing something sort of like a UBI to support business, but without even the facade of a proxy by giving the money to the people first.

      • My woman wouldn’t piss in Scomo’s ear if his brain was on fire. Last night she said, grudgingly, that he’s done ok in the last week. Lost the c0ck sucking smirk and told the temp visa holders to fcuk off.

    • DominicMEMBER

      Firstly the main patrons of the Australian are naturally biased towards the LNP, the paper and its views but here’s another insight:

      I used to have an eCommerce business which had an App which managed product reviews. The reviews didn’t post automatically — you had to go into the App, study the reviews and manually select the ones you wanted to publish. So, they were all ‘real’, but highly selective. Just something to think about.

      • okradovicMEMBER

        Interesting insight re e-commerce related reviews manipulation. I always suspected it but good to hear from first hand experience. And yes, they are very biased with respect to moderation of reader comments on The Oz – my comments experienced their “invisible” hand many times.

  15. As someone raised yesterday, when I was discussing Force Majeure (thanks for your input!):

    The Doctrine of Frustration really does seems like a more generally valid concept to invoke for many contracts these days, even residential and property leases.

    Here is an article discussing Force Majeure and the Doctrine of Frustration.

    It seems to indicate that many contracts could be fundamentally invalidated, and should be renegotiated, with losses left ‘as they were’ – no deferrals, etc, unless agreed upon – including residential and commercial leases:


    This makes good common sense and common decency, sits philosophically and economically well with me (it assists to preserve capitalistic venture and the nature of risk), and I’m glad it’s part of our law system.

    • That has to happen otherwise we’ll overwhelm our legal system more than our health care one

      • My Dad and brother run a small law firm. I raised this with them this morning, and they are onto it – say it’s very valid, and already being talked about, which is good.

        The joke, though, was ‘will people be able to pay us?’ … fair point! ::

        • DominicMEMBER

          My dad was a lawyer during the ’90s economic slump and spent more time chasing non-payers than actually doing productive work. Non-payers cost him tens of thousands of dollars and eventually he just gave up and went into early retirement. Basically, forced retirement.

          • Not exactly the same but I got out of professional services for the same reason. Arsehole partners wanted to bill to much, ungrateful clients didn’t want to pay and I was stuck in the middle.

      • Negotiations can still be had; you’re assuming that eviction is necessary. The vast majority of renters will be perfectly fine to negotiate without even considering squatting.

        Please stop attacking straw men, or you will burn all your social capital. Maybe get to the negotiation table like a good market participant? Isn’t that more reasonable?

        • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

          It’s a concern I have. Not a fking straw man.

          Why do you think the government haven’t ratified it yet? It’s not a fair negotiations without eviction.

          • A concern, yes, but many are throwing it around as a reason to resist negotiations altogether – but it doesn’t represent the situation, therefore it’s a straw man.

            I accept your concerns in principle.

            What about blacklisting? That’s still a legitimate avenue, and would hurt the true delinquent appropriately – that’s still a tool available. And then landlord insurance? That’s also a legitimate avenue (unless your insurer has ironically declared a Force Majeure?!, which is actually possible…). There are other avenues available.

            I just don’t see why residential landlords should be just about the only class of market entity in the country that is able to resist the paradigmatic and catastrophic market shifts? Everyone else is taking it on the chin, as they should. Why shouldn’t residential landlords, too? Because of old agreements forged in another paradigm? They don’t really count anymore.

          • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

            There’s subsidies everywhere I look. There’s $700 a week for those who have lost their jobs, working from home, doubled the dole.

            What criteria will need to be satisfied to be able to negotiate down rent? Why no evictions? It’s insane.

            I can only get what the NEW MARKET offers, but that is incredibly unfairly skewed without evictions.

            LNP won’t do it. I’d bet on it.

            Like I’ve said. I’m a renter and owner, but am impartial enough to see this is really bad policy.

            Forget blacklisting. Forget tenancy tribunal. All easily gotten around. All a toothless tiger.

  16. BradleyMEMBER

    Was just listening to the ABC radio program AM with a panel including the Grattan Institute. There was total agreement that we have been “less unlucky” than most other nations, that we are closing in on flattening the curve even in community transmission and that we face 12- 24 months of passenger border closures to maintain this. After the current lock down increases soon to a higher level for a period and once mass testing is available, some social relaxations might be able to be implemented meaning that a changed but tolerable middle ground ( without mass gatherings still) may be able to evolve. Our island advantage and our reasonable health system would be able to cope then ONLY with a ban on international people movements. ALL agreed. Maybe, just maybe, this will be the outcome many on MB ( including me) have wished for. Shame people had to get sick and/or die but this is how the cookie crumbles in 2020.

    • a ban on international people movements. may not be required.
      If international visitors are required to undergo scientifically proven quarantine period at their own expense, for which we could provide between 1 and 5 star options available

    • DominicMEMBER

      My view is that we will need to get economically active again sooner rather than later to avoid a societal and social catastrophe — as well, increased mobility and social contact so we don’t all go fcking mad. Get on top of this quickly and then get back to work (with restrictions). Borders remaining closed is key, only citizens allowed to return, let foreigners leave if they wish.

  17. yo fam whats sydney and melbs like during this crap

    feels like during most of the day nothing is different in dubbo, ppl are still packing into supermarkets and the main street is packed, most stores are still open

    later on during the day/in the evening tho its D E A D, feels like christmas every day past about 5pm

    sundays are so dead you can hear a 5c coin drop (which id pick up and put in my wallet)

      • DominicMEMBER

        Lol. I spent a long weekend in Adelaide many moons ago – wedding followed by tour of wineries etc. Flight back to Brissy wasn’t till late so killed some time in the CBD, mid Sunday arvo — there was tumbleweed rolling down the streets, barely a vehicle or person around. Went into this basement bar with a mate to grab a beer and there were 4 or 5 patrons perched on bar stools staring into space — it was dead silent in the joint, so my mate and I were whispering to each other so as not to disturb the peace. No joke.

        Suddenly there was this almighty crash and one of the patrons literally fell straight off his bar stool (totally wasted). Got up gingerly and sat himself back down on the stool and continued to drink his beer. It’s my abiding memory of Adelaide!

      • Paula Bradford

        I actually love visiting Adelaide. I spent 2 weeks there early in the year and the food, wineries and beaches were fantastic. You could actually drive to these places in less than 45 mins from CBD without having to pay tolls. Coming back to Sydney has made me look at how far we have gone down the Gary Glitter…

    • A couple of the main Asian suburbs in Melbourne have been pretty much deserted since late January/early February.

      Driving to work is great, hardly any traffic at all.

      Shopping a bit variable still – I think the initial rush of grocery/toilet panic buying has subsided, and moved to chickens, seeds etc as people try to be more self sufficient. Apparently the asking price for home gym equipment has spiked too.

      Big queues outside Centrelink offices from about 2 weeks back as the online services can’t cope with demand. Retail hit especially hard from lack of foot traffic. Big downturn in consulting/finance roles also expected. A lot of supposedly stable industries also in trouble. Dentists being sacked and working in Maccas, Doctors down 50-90% in revenue.

      I expect REA to take the next hit as the lack of turnover in sales hits their bottom line. Two places near me up for sale – I think one only sold a couple of years ago to an Indian family.

      A lot of places only taking card payments now due to concerns about infection transmission from handling cash. I do wonder if this will prevent a run on the banks, and thus reduce any risk for savers.

      • With Aus closing the borders on Chinese fairly early (1. Feb), local Chinese areas are probably the safest.
        Imagine going to Lygon str…bustling with Italians that came from Italy as late as 2 weeks ago.
        Don’t forget SKoreans, Spaniards or Yanks…

      • The rigidness of long term plans made under a dictator rarely hold. Especially if they are unable to get the population to willingly act as they would wish them to.

        And plus many on other people being more articulate. I often think I’ve got something sorted out and then I find I’ve been more like a drunk trying to declare undying love than the Shakespeare I deludedly hoped I could be.

        • Yes, dictatorships are inherently brittle … though both stronger with online surveillance & yet more brittle, likely nobody will see it coming.

        • Any kind of democracy, be it pseudo-elective, despotic or authoritarian, has issues with rigid long term plans
          It is absurd to think that in democracies where a person ruthlessly rules can disregard public opinion. This because a popular uprising in such environments picks up momentum much faster. Albanian and Romanian rigid dictators have made such errors.
          Sure, strong grip on military and police power can make the rigid long plans that are not palatable for plebs last longer but eventually they also give way.. The difference is trivial.
          But then… in non-pseudo-elective democracies, rulers and governess can achieve better results on long term plans that would never pass the populism barrier.,
          Also, what is the meaning of the term: a public opinion. A pint of water tossed out of a bucket holds shape longer than a/the public opinion. This is particularly true in “democracies” with heavy and functional brainwashing systems in place, you know, like N. Korea, China, or US, eUnion….
          This article in The Atlantic is generally a feel-good prepaid oped…

  18. Phwoarrrrrrr new week of SQM Free Data out today.

    Asking rent in inner east city Sydney is in free-fall. Houses (terraces) down 20%, units down 7% month on month. Will support my request for a rent reduction. Thanks Airbnb!!

    Asking sale prices up a tiny bit. Vendors trying it on…

      • DominicMEMBER

        Certainly. But only in the short term. Eventually even the panic buyers need to throw the towel in and actually start to consume the shyte they’ve bought. And very few people’s budgets actually allow them to buy that relentlessly

    • Coles/Woolworths anti Social-Distancing guide to help spread the virus.

      Rule 1: very tight limits on categories of food (e.g. one tinned canned of food). This forces customers to come into the supermarket several times per week for their weekly groceries.

      Rule 2: limit number of shoppers in the store. Force them to queue up in close proximity to each other for extended periods of time.

      • Rule 3: Reduce opening hours to pack ’em in even tighter (like has happened in the last week to all the Colesworths near me)

        • happy valleyMEMBER

          Rules 2 and 3 are music to Scotty from Marketing’s ears, for his dog’s cleanout.

        • Rule #5 make sure everyone on new improved dole is paid at the same date and time each month. That way they all go shopping right after.

      • DingwallMEMBER

        Force them to queue up in close proximity to each other for extended periods of time.

        Are they forcing this?

        • darklydrawlMEMBER

          Not directly, they encourage you to keep apart with floor markings and the like, but it doesn’t seem to be enforced with much vigour. The bigger issue is in our local Woolworths the already inadequate checkouts are now halfed (they close every 2nd one). This means a maximum of 3 checkout open and about 4 of the self serve ones. The usually results in a queue of people waiting.

          • DingwallMEMBER

            Might want to ask but I also think they do this to clean down the alternate registers regularly and allow for distancing too.

          • darklydrawlMEMBER

            Yep, pretty much Dingwall. The ‘shut every 2nd checkout’ is a way to enforce distancing between both the customers and checkout ops themselves. To be fair, the staff at our local Woolies have been very good with cleaning everything constantly – they now have staff whose only job is to wipe down the freeze door handles for example, or the tolley / basket handles etc. Can’t criticise them for those efforts. It is more the effect increasing wait / exposure time as they never put enough checkouts when they first built the place, thus having to close half of them really causes a bottleneck in the system. (it’s always been a problem, but now it is worse).

          • DominicMEMBER

            That’s because you are in much greater danger of becoming infected while going through the self-checkout process than you are when standing a congested line: your heart-rate and breathing intensifies when you see the ‘Please Wait for Assistance’ message for the 5th time in 2 minutes 😉

            To be fair, this is more a Coles problem than Woolies – the latter’s self checkout system is vastly superior.

          • darklydrawlMEMBER

            Hahaha. Dominic – that’s Gold! Yep – those self serve checkout can be right PITA to use. I agree the Coles ones are particularly annoying. “Place your item in bagging area!”

        • I’m assuming the queuing to enter will occur outside of the Colesworths and therefore is not their problem

          • It might have started already at Hurstville Coles, not sure if it’s the normal dauguo lot, a Chinese government campaign (panic buying started in some areas of China due to rumours their farming sector is in trouble as no migrant labour & fertiliser shortage), or caronavirus related. Either way local Chinese are very pissed off about this judging from my social media
            (same link I posted above, as too far for youse to scroll on a covid19 lock in)

      • Yep, these rules ping me right off. I used to do one weekly shop. Now because of limits on milk, eggs, tinned vegetables etc and the lack of TP I have to go shopping a few times a week.

        • Similarly, I now have to visit several local shops to get what I need instead of just 1.

    • Difference between the last time there were no limits and now is that many have lost their jobs. How many have the spare cash now to stock up even if they wanted to? Be interesting to see if this problem solves itself with unemployment

      • DominicMEMBER

        That makes sense – unemployment and larder saturation. My local Coles is looking pretty well stocked right now – the only ongoing shortages are TP, kitchen towel, pasta and tomato-based sauces (plus diced tomatoes). I doubt we’re more than a handful of days away from supermarket saturation – once people see there are no shortages they’ll be buying fresh food, milk and bread only. The consumer goods manufacturers have had their fun – now for a bit of a drought.

    • I recon at least 49% of blame for panic buy is within colesworhless… for days they had 50% specials to push as much product as possible, feeding the monster with “look its 120% cheaper than last month!” tickets

    • Pfffft…preppers don’t panic buy..preppers have built up their working pantries over many years.The unprepared are panic buying…

    • Get a TikTok…
      it will give you daily serve of fun (and sheer idiocy too) but careful, hours may seem as minutes

  19. I wasn’t witty enough to come up with this myself…

    Just be careful because people are going crazy from being in isolation!
    Actually, I’ve just been talking about this with the microwave and toaster while drinking coffee and all of us agreed that things are getting bad.
    I didn’t mention anything to the washing machine as she puts a different spin on everything.
    Certainly not to the fridge as he is acting cold and distant.
    In the end the iron calmed me down as she said everything will be fine, no situation is too pressing.
    The vacuum was very unsympathetic… told me to just suck it up, but the fan was more optimistic and hoped it would all soon blow over!
    The toilet looked a bit flushed when I asked its opinion and didn’t say anything, but the door knob told me to get a grip.😬
    The front door said I was unhinged and so the curtains told me to ……..yes, you guessed it……pull myself together.

    • I’m getting a bit that way myself – luckily I don’t get on the turps anymore (blowing an absolute gale here in Canberra at the moment … geez I hate the wind).

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        I’m sitting on my front porch having a coffee with my wife and 94 year old neighbour who is sitting in his sit-down walker parked on his driveway which is next to our porch keeping a safe 3 meters of social distancing.
        As I walked out to join them I said what a lovely crisp autumn breeze that is on this sunny morning.
        More like a Corona virus breeze my wife says.
        Sigh,…these bat sniffles are a real downer.

      • Just got back from Kmart Gungahlin and reckon Canberra’s gave a week of self isolation and said ‘fvck it, let’s go out’. 30 people deep at the Kmart checkouts, same at Woollies with the ‘one out one in’ policy. Went across the road to Big W, hardly anyone there. Great we thought and wondered around very safely. Too windy to go walking.

      • Cheers. Twilight Struggle (A Cold War game) and Innovation (building up civilizations) are both great games. Twilight Struggle takes time, yet once you are drawn in you get lost. Innovation is frantic and fun. If you can find folk with the patience then knuckle down and buckle up for some fun.

        • Diogenes the CynicMEMBER

          +1! Twilight Struggle is one of my favourite board games, very thematic and tense, note it’s also on Steam. Innovation can be pretty crazy in the end game.

  20. I wonder how old the majority of users here are?

    The Gen X and above will remember 9/11

    A whole host of freedoms were stripped without any discussion, or democratic process.

    Fear was used to push these things through.

    At the time, some of the justifications were: “people are dying!”, “have you seen the footage from new york?”, “we have to prepare for the worst case scenario, if we have over-reacted then that’s better than allowing more people to die”

    In retrospect, of course, it was illogical and unnecessary

    For instance, we couldn’t just intensively screen arabs at airports, everyone had to go through the same rigmarole
    Or, you couldn’t bring knitting needles or nail scissors on a plane, but somehow it was ok to metal cutlery to eat your meal

    Of course, the biggest intrusion was in privacy laws and new government powers

    The whole thing feels very similar

    • Yeah nah…somehow Saudi never ended up with the blame for the former, but Xina is taking a pounding for the latter.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      A whole host of freedoms were stripped without any discussion, or democratic process.

      They certainly were, they certainly are being right now, and they have been over the course of a generation.

      But the reason they can be stripped, and the underlying problem for our way of life, or societal expectations, an awful lot of the links within our society, and each and every individual’s expectations within our world, and each and every individual’s expectations of government in those societies, is that ‘belief’ has been undermined over the course of 30-40 years.

      Put simply –

      Far too many of us have ceased to ‘believe’ our world is ‘better’ – in it’s regulation and governance, in the balance achieved between economic endeavor, economic reward, and the economic return of the ‘investment’ of their lives within the economic and governance model, of our society.

      Far too many of us believe that the decisions of powerful organisations within our society, including government, have come to a balance implying a subordination of the overall life interests of the many to the demonstrable and forecastable pecuniary interests of far fewer, with information dissemination processes within our world now increasingly managed to provide an exhortation of this same interest, rather than an exploration of the economic dynamics of our world.

      As the belief in our socio-economic model has receded, belief in the conceptual integrity of the legislative, legal, public administration, data collection, public investigation and educational institutions has receded along with it – both for their underlying public perception as contributing to a ‘public good’ and their roles in the public management or address of numerous specific instances.

      …that is what ‘feels familiar’ – it has been happening since the mid to late 70s or so.

      There is a big load of Adam Curtis docos on youtube which really bring the familiarity to life. The juxtaposition of the execution of Nicolae & Elena Ceaușescu with Jane Fonda exercising in HyperNormalisation would have to rank as one of the all time definitive ‘familiar surreal’ depictions of the way many have come to see their world (for both the legislative process and any form of regulation, and the priority of the life investment in terms of the self).

      Try this…

      HyperNormalisation (2016) Adam Curtis

      ……I have a late picked 2020 Corrangamite ‘Smokorama series’ post-luncheon truncheon to reconnoitre . I’ll be back with more thoughts at some point

    • Venetian Mask

      Don’t really see why the increased airport security is bad, sorry. It’s not like 9/11 was either the first or last terrorist attack on planes, it was just the first to really change things. Only screening Arabs would be dumb because then they’d just use Bosnian, Chechen or converted white terrorists. Patriot Act was bad, sure.

      • The problem is it was restrictions that didn’t actually achieve anything, ie can’t take nail scissors through security to then be given full size steel knife to eat your meal inside security check point.
        Air port workers such as baggage handlers not subject to security checkpoints.
        It is ll to give the public the appearance of security while not actually achieving it?

        • Venetian Mask

          I think terrorists will just take advantage of your obvious racial and class profiling. They may not be able to find many wealthy (looking) white couples but they’ll find some wealthy subcontinental couples or something. I don’t see any advantage to racial profiling here and I’m not some latte-sipping type, it’s just creating an unnecessary blind spot. And obviously it’s not politically feasible to racially profile outside of the developing world and Israel anyway.

    • Yes

      I was listening to Propagandhi’s Supporting Caste and Failed States (@boom before I found a clean shear through my rear stay the BIKE SHOP CAUSED !!! After a ride whilst listening to same) and they are prescient

  21. In the process of trying to figure out some of the more medium/long term financial and economic implications of all the changes going on in the world I came across this (you only need to listen to it, not watch)
    Recorded on late Feb so before all the printing that has occurred recently but an interesting look at the deflationary effects of technology. We’re obviously going to now have debt deflation on top of the existing tech deflationary forces which was causing so much pain combined with our population ponzi and housing bubble and de-industrialisation. Then there are the inflationary forces of the food supply chain quite likely going to [email protected] for a while as well as all the printing being deflationary for currencies. It’s going to be interesting to see how it all plays out but I can’t help but conclude atm that debt (esp large debt) is the absolute worst thing to have atm and getting into debt now is suicide. I also listened to this cos I like McCullogh, and Rickards was surprisingly not annoying
    So we have two extremely deflationary forces going up against the inflationary forces of money printing. I am kind of leaning towards the conclusion that at the end of this corona tunnel we are in there will be huge numbers of people worldwide who not regain employment of a meaningful sort, the majority of the fat (discretionary spending/stuff that doesn’t provide a hard practical benefit) is going to be cut from economies and it is not going to come back because of tech deflation, I think barter will return to a limited extent (already doing this with the neighbours), currencies will be devalued against precious metals, and that there will be a major repricing of everything in real terms (some things will go up e.g. food, but most things will go down). Any thoughts? I’m still trying to figure this all out.

    • Why will currency devalue against precious metals?
      In genuinely Deflationary times the only thing to gain value is – cash – prices fall, dollar/pounds/euros etc buy more goods than they did. Metals have to be exchanged for it to ‘do anything’ with the purchasing power ‘locked up’ in them, and if cash is in the ascendancy, why would you give it away for, say, gold? As you say, food is likely to become more expensive ( and choices will have to be made re the family dinner table etc) and metals don’t buy food , cash does.

      • roylefamilyMEMBER

        I agree. Most goldbug stories of how good gold can be involve swapping small bits of it for food in concentration camps.

      • My scenario below can (perhaps I should say will play out) play out if no one around the world does not come up with a cure or vaccine inside 6-12 months.

        price of food will go up because of supply constraints but also because everyone is printing and devaluing their currency. When everyone (including US) is printing and devaluing, some countries will stop accepting paper. In this scenario countries will be exchanging goods for goods or gold – in some cases combination of both. Why gold? – because there is limit of how much can be mined and how much is already mined. No one can print gold to infinity.
        Let’s just hope someone finds cure or develops vaccine soon. If that does not happen soon anyone holding lot of cash will not have to worry about running out of toilet paper.
        How many fiats have failed.. if we look back in time – that should be a good guidance on stability of fiats when countries are dealing with extraordinary challenges – wars or in our case pandemic. I am not saying it will happen this time as I am not sure how far the cure is. But, if this virus is not put under control inside six months and countries around the world have to stay shut the way they are today then we will see major currencies collapsing.
        Imagine US being forced to launch ~ $10trln of stimulus by Christmas. Imagine if we have to launch another 3 stimulus packages of similar size to the ones launched because it’s Jan 2021 and we are still locked up.

        By the way as some countries run out of USDs and FED refuses to open swap lines with them, these countries will have to switch to gold and barter. They will simply have no choice as no one will take their paper.

        I would have agreed with your view if our economy is functioning and AUD is safe from devaluation but looking at where we are today I think our CB and Gov will join the race to the bottom to keep AUD competitive. ANd they are as we already had 3 stimulus packages – technically one that was being revised few times due to our Gov not being able to comprehend the enormity of the problem.
        On short timeline I think USD will keep going up along with gold but as US is forced to unleash stimulus package after stimulus package USD will start to lose its shine. But for now as every country in the world tries to get access to USD I can see USD going higher.

        Edit – The US stimulus package I am talking about is to be on top of the one they already unleashed.

    • didn’t watch any of the links but from what you described I think I am on same page with them. I’d rather listen or read a contrarian view so I can explore different scenario..

    • The underlying [flawed] arrangement is that the elite claim an outsized portion of natural resources for selves and then allow the plebs to work jobs and use the income to buy back a small amount of the natural resources from the elite via rent. The plebs are effectively slaves to the elite. The monetary system and artificial property such as zoning/spectrum rights and patents are supplementary rorts for the elite.

      This arrangement is workable as long as the market value of basic labour is higher than the market value of a basic portion of land. Otherwise your wage can’t pay your rent.

      Population growth combined with improving machines and computers lower wages in respect to land rents. How long can it go on? As I see it, the end will be either the elite dispense with most of the plebs, or the plebs demand and receive a fair share of natural resources via some means. UBI derived from land rent is my preference.

      Gold? I don’t know. There are a lot of religious dunces commenting on gold. Jim Rickards is no dunce.

    • Here are my thoughts:
      – technology has had some deflationary impact (essentially productivity advances – so ‘good’ deflation). But technological advances of the variety that have delivered productivity dividends are drying up — Twitter, Faceplant etc don’t enhance productivity, they destroy it by distracting people from doing productive things and there are no major technological advances that I can think of right now that are likely to engender a quantum economic leap.

      Debt deflation is deflationary (mainly for asset prices) as it involves the destruction of money but this is being counter-balanced by massive money-printing, which has the effect of replacing ‘destroyed money’ as well as a lack of demand for loans (which is going to be massive these next 12 months as consumer sentiment craters and unemployment sky-rockets). The Fed is now buying corporate bonds (for the first time ever) and lending banks money at zero cost to buy equities, which tells you that everything and the kitchen sink is going to be thrown at this issue ie. asset deflation will not be tolerated and there will be no limit to the money printing. If this is the Greater Depression (which I think is reasonable to assume) it won’t be characterised by deflation it will be characterised by the opposite – high (and maybe extreme) inflation. Certainly, asset prices will be highly volatile but you can bet your bottom dollar that your cost of living will not decline in aggregate — brief periods of cheap petrol and council Rates holidays notwithstanding. You don’t need petrol anyway if you’re not driving anywhere so it won’t impact your budget in the way it would have done. Once everyone is back in their vehicles petrol will march higher again.

      Huge money printing doesn’t improve the economy – it does the opposite (despite what monetarists believe – zealots, one and all), which means that this will inevitably lead to one outcome: stagflation. If you could only get $1.20 at the bookies for that outcome it would still be worth putting most of your life savings on it.

      As for Rickards, I’d give him a miss – he’s way too inconsistent for my liking. He has various interests which lead him to contradict himself regularly. He’s a lawyer by trade. Someone like Rick Rule is far superior – smart, erudite, and humble. Plenty of material on YouTube to get into during this extended vacation.

    • ApproachingZero

      Could it be due to deaths from other causes exacerbated by a breakdown of the healthcare system? I’m guessing a lot of people with previously manageable issues are dying. Strokes, aneurysms, heart problems, and even high trauma injuries.

  22. Anyone heard anything about how banks are treating property speculators with multiple investment properties asking for repayments to be deferred?

    Surely it’s in the banks interests to reduce risk to these investors before the poo really hits the fan. Looking at you Westpac.

    • Banks should be treating property speculators like the rest rest us with sheer and utter contempt.

      • darklydrawlMEMBER

        At the very least they should tell them to start offloading assets if they are having cashflow issues rather than bailing the big crybabies out.

      • ….with sheer and utter contempt.?

        I see it other way… as long as the seep gives milk, it will not be marked for visit to abbatoir for rendering

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      Nah – property specufestors will be fine – banks will have “guidance” as to who is to be “sacrificed”?

    • The banks are giving blanket 6 month repayment deferrals (unpaid interest gets capitalised and added to the loan) They have also agreed with APRA that this is not considered a default, hence they don’t need to get the properties revalued and as a result won’t need more tier 1 capital.

  23. The self-isolation blues.
    I was sitting drinking coffee in my slippers this morning, when I thought to myself… I really need to wash some mugs.

  24. Mining BoganMEMBER

    So, the old ipod classic is getting a caning because shut-ins. Only one song has made the boy leave his dungeon and ask who is that.


    Now he’s taken the old ipod classic to his room to listen to their albums. I’m going to claim that as a good deed.

  25. NSW Health is still vigorously defending itself about the Royal Princess despite the available evidence suggesting they stuffed up massively.

    Makes me wonder that the rumours around the Fed’s invovlement don’t have some substance.

      • TailorTrashMEMBER

        Thank you ….yes of course 100% taxpayer money ………no loss to the entrepreneurial business folk who set these businesses up …..Straya …winning ….

    • Those pilots are like modern day sailors… going from port to port… spreading the legs love… enriching the local gene pool.
      It was a matter of time.

      (how’s that for a half hearted attempt to imitate Reus?)

    • Im honestly surprised there hasn’t been massive cases of aircrew being infected from being inside the flying petri dishes.

      There’s been no confirmed cases of transmission of the coronavirus to employees or customers on board our aircraft, or any aircraft globally for that matter. Whilst this transmission is possible, current evidence suggests it’s unlikely.

      This stinks as bad as Brendon Murphy’s “Community spread is not occurring in this country because we have kangaroos” Therefore it can’t spread on Qantas aircraft because they are flying kangaroos!

  26. https://www.betfair.com.au/hub/betfair-to-offer-markets-on-rppi

    We’re continuing to expand our market offering based on customer demands and we’re pleased to announce that going forward, we will offer markets on the Residential Property Price Indexes (RPPI) on the Exchange.

    Customers will have five betting options for each market, reflecting the change in the quarter:

    Worse than -2.01%
    0.00% to -2.0%
    No change
    0.01% to +2.0%
    Greater than +2.01%

    We will have 9 markets in total.
    All capital cities will be offered, which include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Darwin and Canberra.

    We also offer a weighted average market of the eight capital cities.

      • darklydrawlMEMBER

        It’s by the qtr – there are some caveats, but in principle I agree with you. >2% down seems like a ‘gimme’.

        • thought it was too easy! The bookies are always the smartest people despite what the “masters of the universe” believe.

          • Betfair aren’t bookies, they are a betting exchange. They wont set any prices. It will depend what others are willing to bet on.

  27. And it begins…


    The Australian Federation of International Students says the Australian government’s plan to allow temporary visa holders to draw on their superannuation funds fails to provide international students the support they need.

    What are the odds that they either have no super through being paid in cash, or are working for dodgy 7-11 style operators who haven’t been paying their super obligations. It’s the ultimate LNP policy to look like they’re doing something, but are effectively doing nothing!

    • International students should make arrangement with the universities. Maybe the VC can give up their multi-million packages to help out their customers. It’s none of the government’s business to interfere in a supplier/customer relationship.

    • Of course it fails to deliver the support they need – using your own money to support yourself is just not fair – they need to live on someone else money i.e Australian government money.




    Coronavirus: Lockdown is essential to avoid economic pain, say ministers. Some disagree … Thomas Coughlan … Stuff New Zealand


    … extract …

    … ANZ chief economist Sharon Zollner added some support to the Government’s strategy of short-term pain and long-term gain, saying long periods of on-and-off lockdowns would create lasting uncertainty for business.

    “Allowing more activity before the outbreak is contained might reduce the GDP impact right here and now, but could see us oscillating between alert levels for much longer – creating enormous uncertainty, more persistent impacts on businesses, and more job losses. And of course, more lives would be lost,” she said.

    “The longer-term economic benefits of getting on top of this sooner rather than later are real.”

    But the economic consequences of the lockdown will be painful.

    The bank estimated total GDP is 30 to 40 per cent lower when the country is in a state of lockdown. It’s picking that this quarter GDP will take a 17 per cent hit quarter on quarter, based on an assumption of four weeks spent in level four and three weeks at level three, when restrictions are somewhat lifted.

    The good news is there will be a “sizeable, but far from complete, rebound” in the third quarter of this year, “once activity can get underway again”, that means the annual hit to GDP will be somewhat reduced from the pain seen in the second quarter.

    “This assumes the disease is successfully suppressed – ideally eradicated – and we are able to exit level three, but that our borders remain effectively shut,” Zollner said.

    She said debate would continue to rage about whether or not the lockdown was the right idea, but now the decision had been made, the country needed to stick to its guns, rather than taking a lukewarm approach.

    “The worst of all worlds would be a halfhearted lockdown where you get all of the costs and none of the benefits. We need to get the maximum possible benefits and we get the payback later,” she said. … read more via hyperlink above …
    … Meantime … likely many Aussies wish their lukewarm political leadership is as good as the Kiwi political leadership … watch what (remarkably … both in agreement !) Jeff Kennett and Mark Latham have to say …

    Alarmed Latham and Kennett destroy SloMo … David Llewellyn – Smith … MacroBusiness Australia


    … No wonder Maggie Thatcher had a retail store called ‘Rent – A – Spine’ for her fellow Tory politicians !

    • ” our borders remain effectively shut.”
      Yep. But not just until we exit Level 3, but until the last case in the last country to get this eradicates the virus (+ 14 days!). Given probable secondary and tertiary waves of infection, that could be years away.

      • There is a need for COVID-19 serology testing to complement the current PCR testing with swabs. The current deficiency threatens good decision-making around the lockdown … Prof Keith Woodford … Interest Co NZ


        The fundamental problem facing COVID decision-makers is that they are flying blind owing to lack of testing data. This will become even more crucial as we head towards the end of the four-week lockdown and have to decide when and how restrictions can be gently lifted. … read more via hyperlink above …

        • Keith Woodford was Professor of Farm Management and Agribusiness at Lincoln University for 15 years through to 2015. He is now Principal Consultant at AgriFood Systems Ltd. . He can be contacted at [email protected]. Keith’s previous COVID-19 articles are available here.

    • tripsterMEMBER

      It’ll take years for the numbers to come back in the same way as before. Housing is going to get smashed. Mass immigration is dead for the short term (I suspect 2 years).

    • The entitlement on that thread makes me sick. It’s like Australia is nothing without the presence of all these visa holders, like somehow they we owe a debt of gratitude that they would grace us with their presence.

    • “They are an important part of our economy and society. For example, there are over 8,000 skilled medical professionals on temporary visas supporting our health system right now.”

      8,000 of 2,170,000 temporaries are skilled medical. Blows the whole “OMg u dO kNoW aLL these teMps ArE CRiiTIcAL SKiLLz Like DocTOrs AnD tHEy wILL hAvE to LeaVe” argument out the water…

      • david collyerMEMBER

        That represents hundreds of charter flights for Qantas – beats grounding the planes and bailing-out the airline.

        The deported will owe Australia for the plane ticket, which means most will never come back. Will they be missed?

        • david collyerMEMBER

          There is also a significant risk of increased criminal activity by those who don’t want to go, lack the means to support themselves and fail to meet reusa’s standards.

    • Sounds like what many in the comments section suggested and what I suggested via email to Tudge and my MP.

      It’s not what MB writers suggested though.

      • Indeed, where do I go to claim my copyright royalty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Temporary visa holders who are unable to support themselves under these arrangements over the next six months are strongly encouraged to return home. For these individuals it’s time to go home, and they should make arrangements as quickly as possible.

        Temporary visa holders are extremely valuable to the Australian economy and way of life, but the reality is that many Australians will find themselves out of work due to the dual health and economic crisis we’re currently facing, and these Australians and permanent residents must be the Government’s number one focus.

        I am sure I have written that over every non censored forum (all 3 of them) on the internet (well except the bit about the visa holders being valuable…

        TLDR = GTFO!!!!!!!!!!1

  29. The Grey Rider

    Anecdata…the Real Estate liftout in today’s Courier Mail is about 1/4 to 1/3 the usual number of pages.

    • Am noticing a lot more listings in premium burbs eg bardon last 2 weeks . Some with fantasy prices still

      • I thoroughly enjoyed living in Bardon. Friend and I shared a really crappy old house (worst on the street, possibly worst in the whoke area) in a very expensive street. Neighbours were horrified by our boganity lol. I had an EB Falcon, maroon with authentic peeling clear coat. Friend had a clapped out white Magna and we drank tallies while watching footy on the front deck. Good times

      • I thoroughly enjoyed living in Bardon. Friend and I shared a really crappy old house (worst on the street, possibly worst in the whole area) in a very expensive street. Neighbours were horrified by our boganity lol. I had an EB Falcon, maroon with authentic peeling clear coat. Friend had a clapped out white Magna and we drank tallies while watching footy on the front deck. Good times

    • Enjoyed watching an online auction today, a crack house in Stones Corner. Low ball opening bid, quick VB, then another bid $1 higher followed by one more VB and crickets. Passed in around $450K. These auctions are going to quickly replace all the renovation shows. High amusement value!

  30. https://it.finance.yahoo.com/amphtml/notizie/coronavirus-castiglione-d-adda-il-065252105.html

    Castiglione D’Adda becomes a case study: 40 out of 60 blood donors (or 70%), in fact, tested positive for coronavirus tests. A fact that, according to experts, must be attributed to the so-called asymptomatic patients. The data emerged following a screening carried out by the Codogno hospital on donors of the Avis of Castiglione. 

    Tgoogle translate link

    • Wow

      So the real infection rate in that area (assuming it is representative of Lombardy) could be 70%

      Currently there are 35,000 known cases in Lombardy, total population 10,000,000 = 0.35%

      Although the first assumption is very tenuous, this implies a real infection rate of 200x what is reported
      Which in turn implies a mortality 200x lower than reported – 0.06% vs 12%

      Very, very rough and large degree of assumption, but really goes a long way to explain why italian mortality is 10-30x the rest of the world (along with the higher average age, and increased smoking incidence)

      Of course, other nations will be underestimating their number of cases by at least a factor of 10 (as confirmed by our chief medical officer), so their real mortality rate will be reduced by a factor of at least 10 also

      As I’ve said many times the real mortality will end up being much lower than 1%, and perhaps only a couple multiples worse than the flu

      • the real number of COVID-19 cases in the country could be 5,000,0000 (compared to the 119,827 confirmed ones) according to a study which polled people with symptoms who have not been tested, and up to 10,000,000 or even 20,0000,000 after taking into account asymptomatic cases, according to Carlo La Vecchia, a Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology at the Statale di Milano University.

        This number would still be insufficient to reach herd immunity, which would require 2/3 of the population (about 40,000,000 people in Italy) having contracted the virus [source].

        The number of deaths could also be underestimated by 3/4 (in Italy as well as in other countries) [source], meaning that the real number of deaths in Italy could be around 60,000.

        If these estimates were true, the mortality rate from COVID-19 would be much lower (around 25 times less) than the case fatality rate based solely on laboratory-confirmed cases and deaths, since it would be underestimating cases (the denominator) by a factor of about 1/100 and deaths by a factor of 1/4.

        Can’t access the whole article, but its one of Italy’s major newspapers


        • Maybe herd immunity has not been reached but maybe up to 20 million can freely go to work without a danger of being infected or infecting others.
          It’s really strange that months after first cases we still don’t have antibodies test readily available while millions of much more complicated dna tests are being done.
          A blind random test of 1000s of peiple in each city would be enough to make current models so much more accurate. Yet none is doing that for some reason

          • Yes I don’t understand it

            I’m not a pathologist, but I believe that ELISA is much more straightforward and cheaper than PCR

            The unanswered questions and inconsistencies grow and grow every day

            Anyway, it seems that it is imminent, according to online reporting

            And once it is deployed, the lockdown will rapidly unwind as I have said on here previously

          • PCR is at lewst two orders of magnitude harder and more complicated test to do.
            Antibody tests can be made cheaply and on large scale in very short time.

        • Also, this info would make coronavirus not worse than a bad flu.
          Even the worst case numbers of 60k dead in Italy (10% higher general mortality rate) to reach herd immunity would be impossible to use to justify destruction of the economy, social life, … and possibly creating an epidemic of mental health issues.

          If this gets confirmed in future someone (most notably “government scientists” behind the hype) will have to held responsible. Would be interesting to see them testify against politicians if they were not doing this willingly.
          Conformity is the real plague of our age where independent thinkers and autonomous moral agents among people in power (and general population) became as rear as Tassie tiger

          • Let’s make this REALLY SIMPLE for you [email protected] X.
            Normal flu doesn’t overflow ICU hospitals, and lead to emergency field hospitals being built across the world.
            WuFlu is either much more lethal than typical flu, much more contagious than normal flu or both.

          • reusachtigeMEMBER

            That blow job guy above typifies the S.J.Ws on this blog that have to resort to name calling because their homo ways are weak compared to the strength of the alternative argument!

          • that’s because flu is seasonal and doesn’t kill as many people in a single year but it comes every year and combined kills as many or more

            and because of that reason we should have taken more care with wuhanflu than we do with flu – mandatory masks, ban mass gatherings, travel restrictions, … but not put everyone into an arbitrary detention without a trial to prevent “crime”

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Actually Coming, it could and theoretically should be even higher than that, because, assuming all the donors were reasonably geographically distributed (i.e.didn’t all come from the same housing estate), then as they are donating blood they all had to be in the self-declared ‘not feeling unwell’ category for that purpose. I would assume the percentage infection rate would go up enormously if you started sampling people who were feeling unwell also.

        PS @dX, 40 out of 60 is how many percent now? Hint, it’s not 70.

        • 70% is from the article (translated quote) not me
          40 out of 60 is materially not any different for a sample of that size

          Yes, one would assume that only people who felt really good came to give blood.

        • TTW, just let these two talk among themselves backing up their own ideas with any spurious information they can find. I can’t imagine any other reason for their continued quest to kill old people than because their IP portfolio is in danger of wiping them out, therefore the old people of the country should die to save them.

          • Why don’t you try to rebut some of the points that are being made?

            I guess the most disappointing thing about this whole episode is that it has showed me that 99% of my co-citizens are dangerous cretins

            Even here on MB which is supposed to be a refuge for the intellectually curious and contrarian, the overwhelming majority blindly and aggressively pushed the deceit

          • Because we are in the middle of a fvcking pandemic you fvcking retard and people are busy trying not to die and also save others more than compiling useless fvcking statistics that back up you two retards assertions. Go eat a d!ck.

          • Wonderful contribution, thank you

            EDIT: I wonder now if you are actually so stupid that you dont realize that the traveling wilbur is agreeing with our ideas?

          • My dog you are an idiot. Do you realise that governments, agencies, doctors and scientists are making policy on the run in front of a disease we haven’t seen the likes of for a hundred years and you two fvcktards take any information you find that suits your narrative and present it as fact to try and sway people to your conclusion that we should open up the economy to save your sorry arse financial decisions.
            The fact of the matter is that we just don’t know enough about this thing to make ANY firm conclusions and quarantine seems to be the best idea to prevent the hospital system becoming overwhelmed and the resultant high death rates. You two keep coming up with bullsh!t tropes about how the economy is more important than suppressing the disease because having to stay at home for weeks is going to kill more people. The more likely explanation is that you are more than happy to kill OTHERS to keep YOUR financial position in place.

          • Killing off old people at the fake rates we are being scared by would crash housing even more. Imagine a million deceased estate sales hitting the market at the same time.
            What we are trying to save is future of our kids and freedoms and right hundreds of thousands our countrymen died for in last 100 years
            what you are supporting ia mass panic designed to transfer wealth to the rich in the name of saving a few more people (btw there is no proof lockdowns are saving any more lives that other cheaper measures like mandatory masks if governments are so desperate and dealing with unknowns why would they order a lockdown costing 20 or 40 % of gdp but not masks costing 0.01% )

          • The Traveling Wilbur

            Ah, no. I was agreeing that a comment about one piece of research work involving a whole 60 people seemed reasonable and thought it worth noting a useful caveat for that study and that the comment could be even more correct than the commenter realised given the self-selecting nature of the 60 people sampled.

            I do agree, also, generally that COVID testing is massively underreporting how many people have ‘caught it’.

            In no way do I think that means ‘let them all die moar’ is the best possible response. I do acknowledge that’s a valid economic question. I have no plans on debating what the answer to that specific question is, or the veracity of any proponent proofs for answers for said question.


          • Actually, two pieces of research

            And the natural conclusion that one would draw from them (IF the data is representative, which I stipulated) is that the mortality rate is overestimated by 1-2 orders of magnitude

            Which would surely (IF accurate) change even the most timid person’s opinion on the validity of lockdowns

            Timmeh, I think you are projecting here – it is YOU that desperately hopes to improve your financial position.
            A deflationary collapse would suit you down to the ground, and you and most other members of this site have desperately been waiting for this to elevate you from your current positions.

            Unfortunately for you (and for me), this is not going to be it.

            My own view (see below) is that this coronavirus “hysteria” was used as a fig leaf to hide what was effectively a debt jubilee by stealth.
            Allowing the reserve banks and governments to bail out asset holders and banks (and mortgagees) by increasing central bank liabilities, and allowing banks/governments to coordinate debt forgiveness and mark to fantasy
            All without any culpability or debate

            The saddest part is that it seems to have worked, as even people here are too blind to appreciate it

          • reusachtigeMEMBER

            You a commie bro? You can’t handle alternate views to your orthodoxy bro? You gotta resort to name calling bro? You LGBTQI bro and have to go all S.J.W and shut down the views you don’t like bro?

          • Coming, nobody is rebutting you because life is too short.

            You’ve already been rebutted from here to Wuhan and back but you keep coming back with the same sh!t arguments day in day out – despite your [email protected] getting debunked every time harder than one of Reusa’a fun time girls once she gets the clap.

        • Yes, lots of assumptions so impossible to be accurate, but it is at least 1-2 orders of magnitude less deadly than expected

          This is probably the most massive hysteria and sham in modern history. Probably the biggest since religion

          And look how happy everyone was to give away all their freedoms? And indeed help to dob in their neighbours

          The people do, indeed, love Big Brother

          I’m not sure how they possibly sell AGW to the public after this absolute disgrace

          I was previously willing to accept the conclusions of scientists (because I don’t have enough background knowledge or time to check their work), but this episode has demonstrated that faith is misplaced and they are either compromised, or there is some fundamental dislocation between their actual thoughts and those that are reported to us

          • The worst is that official big government scienece is going to be so discredited that a real threat of AGW is going to be ignored

          • Venetian Mask

            The fact that governments have zero interest in “selling” or doing anything about AGW at all, but are locking down the economy over coronavirus, is indicative that governments do see this as a real concern, unlike AGW which they don’t care about.

          • Venetian Mask

            If coronavirus ends up being even one jot better than the current best case scenarios, people like you and DoctorX will declare it the hoax to end all hoaxes and make it impossible to respond to anything in the future based on scientific advice. So yes that’ll be destructive to action against AGW. But that doesn’t matter because humanity will never take action against AGW, because unlike in the case of COVID-19, no government has ever cared about AGW.

            All I can say is that all the “just the flu” bros have been wrong since Wuhan and are still wrong to date, notwithstanding the odd tiny piece of data that confirms that virtually everyone has already got coronavirus. So any scientist who was concerned during Wuhan has done well as far as I’m concerned, even if they’re not Nostradamus.

            Sorry to keep double posting. This site lags a heck of a lot and makes me unsure if comments have gone through or not.

    • I’ve read a similar article from Italy. I am sure I’ve had it and my friends think they’ve had it too but… no test. So on the news they report that nearly all cases are from international travellers and there is very minimal local transmission. Bs! If you don’t test you don’t find. I would also like to know if I have immunity but if they did this most of us have probably been exposed already and then this all seems silly including economic fallout, vaccines etc. Something doesn’t add up in my opinion.

      • I reckon you can pretty much put it down to Government complacency and incompetence. Western governments the world over were thinking that it was just China’s problem and it was business as usual. Even when the CCP locked down 70 million people no one seemed to think it might be something to pay attention too. Our chief retard was even telling people to go to the footy and the only reason the F1 GP was called off was because it was done by the race organisers, not the government. Same with face masks. They are telling us they don’t work because they don’t want the dunny roll saga to repeat for face masks when they don’t even have enough for doctors. Same with testing, they don’t have enough test kits to do it. IMO the only way to get this thing under control is mass testing and forced isolation for positive cases. Until they can produce enough test kits I think this thing will keep reoccurring.

        • Venetian Mask

          It’s weird how the Chinese authorities got the idea to do the lockdowns given coronavirus is just a very infectious flu which everyone already has had… must be another country in on the secret conspiracy to destroy all economies and personal freedoms. Even though people don’t have freedoms in China anyway.

    • The CCP are on a roll; failed to tell the world about a highly contagious virus outbreak, lied and continues to lie about the numbers, quietly hoovered up the world supplies of medical equipment then donates their garbage equipment back to the world as some sort of good will gesture. Well Xinis, here’s my gesture 🖕

  31. Excellent article about the likelihood of deflation vs hyperinflation

    Good but simple historical comparison


    what we did in World War II was that we capped treasury yields at 2.5%, let the inflation rate run up to over 10%, and thus inflated away that debt as a percentage of GDP. When a sovereign hits debt levels of over 100% of GDP, there’s almost no mathematical way to service that debt in real terms. They either default or print. Usually, they print.

    So, we find ourselves more in a 1940’s situation than a 1930’s situation. Except instead of World War II, we have COVID-19.

    Broad money supply will continue up and to the right, by decree. The GDP will likely experience a deep dip, and then nominally increase up and to the right eventually.

    Stocks outperform gold by a lot over the multi-decade long term when dividends are included and reinvested. But, over several years or up to a few decades at a time, gold outperforms the Dow from tops of the cycle, when the Dow is overvalued and overbought.

    From the first peak in 1929, it took the Dow until 1959 (30 years) to reach a new high as priced in gold.

    From the second peak in 1965, it took the Dow until 1997 (32 years) to reach a new high as priced in gold.

    From the third peak in 1999, The Dow still hasn’t reached a new as high priced in gold, over 20 years later.

    The most recent local peak for the Dow-to-gold ratio was in September 2018, and we’ve been lower since then. There is a good chance in my view that we’ll see a Dow-to-gold ratio of below 10x before we see a new high.

    From a multi-year perspective going forward, I like stocks over bonds, but I like gold and silver over stocks.

    • I’ll be a contrarian.

      It really depends on wage inflation and interest rates. Bearing in mind that we will get something resembling The New Deal to rapidly get back close to full employment, deglobalisation will also create higher demand for workers, and massive political pressure to get rid of the 2 million temp working visas. We may get to full employment and high wage inflation a lot quicker than people expect.

      If that happens we’ll be back to the 70s and 80s with high wage inflation and high interest rates. Stock markets dropped 80% (?) in real terms as dividends yields needed to compete with high interest rates.

      Also consider the implications of saving for retirement at record low interest rates and then having the interest rates mean revert just before retirement. The opposite to what boomers got to experience with their savings earning generous income and falling interest rates putting a rocket under asset prices.

      • That’s always the risk case

        There are a few reasons why I think that won’t happen

        A) technology is naturally deflationary
        B) you’re overestimating the political power of popular opinion. If big corporations and banks desire immigration and globalisation, that is what we will get. The stupidity and gullibility of the general population is on plain view currently
        C) Oil is finished (see technology, above). Energy is no longer a real constraint. That was one of the primary sources of inflation previously
        D) reflation by expanding central bank balance sheets will be tempered if there is any hint of possible wage inflation.

        What we are effectively witnessing is a debt jubilee by stealth, as central banks take on all liabilities junk bonds etc, and governments mandate mercy for mortgagees

        Also, the impact of coronavirus is being overstated in my personal opinion, and the lockdown will finish much faster than everyone here anticipates once IgG testing is widely deployed

        • I agree with debt jubilee by stealth. I just don’t believe CBs will risk hyperinflation by letting inflation run for too long against a backdrop of rapidly falling unemployment.

          I also agree covid will be over quickly but for different reasons. They will find a combination of medicines that dramatically reduce the death rate (probably hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin). Govt will then try to throttle the virus spread to take advantage of the soon to be 7500 ICU beds plus general hospital beds. What we are doing now is just buying time to get us into a position of readiness. The trialling of hydroxychloroquine has already commenced in Australia and is expected to take 2 months max.

          • I think your premise is not internally consistent

            Governments will be running green new deals in order to boost employment, but somehow we will at the same time be struggling with wage inflation?

          • I mean unemployment rate will drop fast and RBA don’t know what the NAIRU level is. There is a risk inflation will rise too fast if they let it run. They will still have an inflation target, even a higher inflation target, but not that much higher.

          • Where is this jubilee

            There is mortgage deferring but capitslisation of interest

            That doesn’t sound like a wipe of your debt to me

        • I was thinking about the IgG testing. If they had enough to go around so that anyone walking around in public could get tested every 4 days (the estimated time it takes for someone to catch and become contagious) then they could crush the virus spread completely. But I can’t see that happening.

          More likely they would use those tests for earlier diagnosis knowing that using those medicines earlier dramatically reduces the chances of requiring ICU. No doubt they will also use the testing to sample the general public and get a better idea of the true fatality rate.

          • I’m not sure I understand your premise

            IgG testing would be useless for early detection – it develops late in the immune response

            IgG testing identifies patients who have been infected now mounted a mature immune response (ie no longer at risk of being infected, and at the tail end or no longer infectious)

          • If it is still possible to be contagious without it showing in IgG tests then ignore what I said. If that is true then what do you mean by the following?

            “lockdown will finish much faster than everyone here anticipates once IgG testing is widely deployed”

    • SweeperMEMBER

      bonds will outperform stocks.
      The post WW2 example isn’t a good one. Pent up demand (following forced saving) & demographics, active fiscal policy and low private sector debt meant the public debt could be inflated away
      Post corona, there will be pent up demand, but demographics are bad (median age now is about 8-9 years older than the early 50s) and the idiocy of balanced budgets and inflation targeting is still in vogue plus people have too much debt plus imo there will be a change in attitude to taking on debt, travel pointless spending etc.. And this is when demand was already weak to begin with.
      Inflation will be non-existent. This will hurt stock prices. Gold may be ok if real interest rates are negative. Bonds will outperform stocks and gold.

  32. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    Just got back from the SEUZ Waste transfer station next to the Olympic stadium after dumping my, roughly Bi Monthly, trailer load of Rubbish. ($120)
    The bike tracks around the place were near empty surprising for a Sunny Saturday afternoon.
    I did a drive around the stadium and past Bi centennial park, past the Archery centre before driving back along Holker st past Silverwater jail before crossing the Parra river on the way home to Ermo.
    Hardly saw a soul anywhere on my journey.
    Creepy to see this on a nice sunny day esp on a Week end.

      • That area is one of the few Indian Granny Death Stare free zones west of Strathfield. The main reason is the proximity to Auburn, so for example the BBQ areas at Armoury Wharf are considered to be for the exclusive use of the Lebanese of a certain religion and woe betide anyone who takes the ‘this area cannot be reserved and must be shared’ signs literally. Not a hint of social harmony there.

    • adelaide_economistMEMBER

      They’re all on the Kmart website spending their covidbux. Friend sent me a screenshot earlier showing the Kmart website – yes, website – has a queuing system. Cheap toxic garbage from China has never been so desirable.

      • Poor people love buying crap.

        Look at any how much junk toys Houso kids have. Tonnes of princess, fairy stuff in varying shades of Bogan pink and purple.

        • To be fair, I’m not even remotely houso and my kids have all that too!

          Yep plastic. Get it into ya. It’ll probably be banned one day, the amount we use will be one of the many, many reasons that future civilisations will look back on ours with horror.

          • There will be future civilisations, even if after another 1000 year “Dark age”. We are even harder to kill than cockroaches.

          • okradovicMEMBER

            Yep, I second that: unfortunately it’s not just the bogans with tons of plastic toys. I feel frustrated about it, but it is almost impossible to stop.

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      Was out that way yesterday …..noticed a lot of for lease signs on the commercial buildings on silverwater road ……if they have been there’s as long as the ones in Chatswood then the miracle economy was in a spot of bother well before the batbug ……..great opportunity Scomo got to cover it up
      Hope the anaesthetist in charge of the hibernation ( or forced coma ) of the economy is paying attention ……good chance the patient will get dvt ( from its existing poor circulation) and not wake up .

  33. Best investments going forward?

    US dollars

    And a depression proof job like I have in health

    • IMV, neither.
      If CoV-19-84 progresses in US (Indication is that Sweden, Denmark and US will make Italian and Spanish losses of lives look as a small blip on the radar), and they also decide to try to peg results of their stupidity externally, it will bring all 3 in opposite direction from up, but gold perhaps slowest in that direction.

      I’ve invested in a local health related manufacturer that competes with imports distributors… already cannot cope with the demand caused by AU$ tanking (makes imports silly expensive, 2x in comparison to 2012) and as much as there are headwinds from CoV-19-84, on the other end of the crisis they can be the first to fill in demand.at very competitive prices.
      As silly as it may sound, I’d look into any local manufacturer that competes with imports and was not in distress for most of 2019.

      • local manufacturing? who could have imagined that it might ever become profitable again, let alone important for the nation’s well being…

      • 😂
        ScoMo could even spin it as stimulus for the bush & as most of us in the city are migrants he could count us as migrants to the bush & claim that a successful policy also. Win win

    • This active agent (Ivermectin) has been around for 30-40 years. Was used as cattle/sheep worm drench until it lost its effectiveness due to resistance build-up. Would be off-patent so may be a lack of motivation to follow it up.

      • can we try it on Mr Morrison first? He clearly does not need it, never seems to appear to use it.

  34. Professor DemographyMEMBER

    Speaking on the phone from the bank’s near-deserted head office in Melbourne, Mr Elliott said the crisis could lead to a spike in unemployment and also make people more averse to taking on big debts, both of which could lead to declines for housing prices. “I’m not going to give you a price prediction, but you’d have to think it was material,” he said. “It’s not going to be 2 or 3 per cent, it’s got to be a material [effect].”

    • People are starting to cotton on to how precarious their service sector and BS jobs are.

    • Delusional.
      Imagine one sane person in the world of loonies…. it is delusional from their perspective.
      A Twilight Zone episode….

  35. The Traveling Wilbur

    I was talking with my Mrs inside BCF, just quietly, checking out the camping gear displays and mulling the possible post COVID realities set to befall the nation and wondering which of the ‘outdoor home-away-from-homes’ we were checking out was the best bang for buck. We couldn’t have been stationary longer than two minutes when some security-ish dude comes up and starts making move-on gestures vigorously in our direction.

    Once I realised he meant us, and I started to ask what the problem was, he interrupted and said if we didn’t start walking he’d make sure we were arrested, and done for loitering within tent.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      If you’re a asymptomatic carrier, they won’t even test you. So the only way to stop infecting others is to wear a mask even if you don’t have any symptoms.

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      1 You’d think Recessionberg might pipe up – apparently, a cousin has been very sick with ScoVID-19 after returning from a trip overseas.

      • This is exactly the sort of dumb arse crap people talk about Asia, who obviously have never lived there let alone meet an Asian, it would seem, see my link to a couple of posts below from foreign policy. Someone on twitter who I respect in her field greatly said “it’s socially unacceptable to even blow your nose in public” talking about the whole of Asia & why Asians oftenn wear masks! Does he really think Aussies are that dumb they can’t work out you shouldn’t stick your finger under the mask to itch yourself?

        • It is just propaganda to free up supply for medical staff. Once Australian companies ramp up manufacturing of PPE they will change their tune. It would not even surprise me if they allow people to walk the streets again as long as everyone wearing a mask.

        • Paula Bradford

          Why do I always see Asians hoiking up greenies and spitting all the time whilst traveling Asia?

          • SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

            Cos for some unkckn believe able reason blowing your nose in a tissue or handkerchief is worse then standing on the footpath and hacking up your lungs and spewing them on the ground in front of you, it’s also better if instead of blowing your nose you snort all the snot up your nose every fkn 15 seconds while your in a restaurant, train, plane why anywhere as long as you can irritate the hell out of everyone around you

    • The Traveling Wilbur

      Done for bigly

      We need to broaden our testing capability. But we need to also remember the most important thing, and I say this every time I talk to the media, is that any return traveller from any part of the world, where there’s a COVID-19 outbreak, who develops symptoms, should isolate and seek medical attention. That is the most important way we can deal with and stop spread in Australia. But at the moment, and I’ve said this on many occasions too, there is no reason to put a mask on when you’re walking around the shops. There’s no reason to stop going to football matches or community activities. There is no reason to denude the shelves of lavatory paper in the supermarkets. We should continue our normal activity. We will watch the development of this and we will focus on any outbreaks and control them. Thank you.

      March 5.


    • happy valleyMEMBER

      Instead of Kelly feeding us a line about face masks not being necessary yet for the general public (read: because we don’t even have enough for the medicos, but once we do we’ll be doing a swifty change of mind as to the general public), why doesn’t he be PIC and blow his stack about how our supplies were shipped overseas from under our noses we wouldn’t be in this invidious position?

    • If you are wearing a surgical mask, it won’t protect you. Surgical masks are for protecting patients from what the medical staff have. Gotta love those altruistic people walking around in surgical masks.
      If you want protection you need a sealed mask that prevents you breathing air around it.
      ” intended to be worn by health professionals during surgery and during nursing to catch the bacteria shed in liquid droplets and aerosols from the wearer’s mouth and nose. They are not designed to protect the wearer from inhaling airborne bacteria or virus particles “

      • bj – the Japanese tend to wear them to prevent infecting others, whereas the Chinese tend to wear them in the hope they are not infected by others.

  36. djubbo got a new maccas and a new hungry jacks (theyre in the process of tearing down the old hjs) right at the time no ones allowed to be inside the restaurants

    they both look pretty swish tho ay

    • the ship probably for those already in hospital or recently admitted with problems that are not COVID19, eg hip fracture, whatever, heart, whatever. Those people do not need to get the damnned virus so put them somewhere safe.
      (and in 2 weeks, we will hear reports of a COVID outbreak on the ship…)

      • happy valleyMEMBER

        Yep – heard on the TV news the other night that this is what the hospital ship is being used for (ie non-COVID-19 cases), so that normal hospitals can have beds freed up for virus patients.

    • The Traveling Wilbur

      Are you including the flammably clad homes in your questioning? If so, probably not.

      Shorting insurance companies seems like an obvious play at this juncture. Just sayin’.

    • Walking through Westfield Woden today there were so many shuttered shops I was reminded of the Dead Malls website. It was kind of eerie. Only about one customer walking around. And the post apocalyptic atmosphere was somewhat enhanced by the fact that the one chunt present was wearing a bulletproof flameproof meteor-proof N95.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Have you told the Mrs yet that it’s your civic duty to go on moar random walks through shopping malls on a quest to repopulate the species with other likeminded participants?

        • I tell you what, there is going to be an epic outbreak of infidelity once this virus is gone. Not me of course. But a friend tells me that after a couple of weeks cooped up at home with the family, pretty much anyone new starts to look pretty damn good… even in a mall wearing active wear…

    • If you have a limited number of tests available, you have to deploy those tests so as to maximise health outcomes, i.e. to give you the maximum amount of information about who else is infected or likely to get infected. If someone has died in their own home, or in a nursing home where others already had covid-19, then there is no point in testing them. In New York, available testing is so limited that they can’t afford to test people who have mild symptoms and are able to stay at home; it would not help in terms of “contact tracing” because the virus is already everywhere anyway.

    • And during the AIDS crisis – do you think people considered the AIDS deaths as just pneumonia and flu cases, or the reality that they were AIDS deaths (full-blown AIDS after being HIV positive).

      It’s disingenuous to say someone died of Corona if they were on their last legs with terminal cancer or other terminal conditions.

    • Been saying for that for weeks. Testing in the ACT, like other states, was limited to those who had travelled in an known infected area and/or been in contact with an infected person. That’s it. Who knows how many people had CoVid and were none the wiser. How many unattributed deaths has CoVid caused? We’ve no idea and never will.

    • That’s been my thought with America for weeks. How many people would be passing away that either didn’t go to hospital or couldn’t be tested.

    • When hospital resources are diverted to fighting covid, many other people also die. e.g. other patients needing a ventilator, fewer precautionary checkups, etc.

      • Yes, I believe France changed their reporting a few days ago, to include those who died at home or in aged care. I’m not sure whether they are actually testing, or just guessing based on diagnostic criteria.

    • Negligible

      The number of corona deaths may be twice that currently reported?

      Big deal, when the number of corona cases may be 200x that currently reported (see thread above)

      We are talking true mortality rate 1-2 orders of magnitude below what is currently stated

      • I may be wrong (apparently I have a low IQ) but you’re just an absolute chunt.

        I said I was going to leave you alone but then you went and called me out. If I’m bored with time on my hands (highly likely next 3 months) I will relentlessly feed your trolling, prepare for inbox overload biatch. (members: advise if members can block replies from certain peeps, if so I won’t bother)

        • reusachtigeMEMBER

          Typical of someone who can’t handle alternate views. You are like the SJWa of virus propaganda. If we don’t follow your woke ways you shout and scream to shut down the un-allowed views. You are probably LBGTQI

        • reusachtigeMEMBER

          Typical of someone who can’t handle alternate views. You are like the S.J.W of virus propaganda. If we don’t follow your w0ke ways you shout and scream to shut down the un-allowed views. You are probably LBGTQI

          • Old fella!!! Look how far you’ve sunk. You used to spend Saturday nights at relations parties and now you’re wasting your time jumping to the defence of an anonymous, deluded, troll. You seriously don’t have something better to do? Chortle. Sad old man….

      • Venetian Mask

        I see, you’re extrapolating the results for one tiny sample in one of the worst affected areas of Northern Italy (where people are still dying) to deaths in the Netherlands, OK.

        • Actually a separate study was also performed by a professor of epidemiology but I can’t access full details behind the paywall

          Also even our own lame chief medical officer admits the true number of infections is 5-10x what is reported
          The reality will of course be much higher

          • Venetian Mask

            Yeah I would have thought it’d be harder to declare what must be one of the most contagious viruses since smallpox a “mass hysteria” or a “hoax” or whatever other scarewords we’ve got for being concerned about this highly destructive disease. Whether the destruction emerges from being very lethal or from just infecting absolutely everyone.

            Can’t really see what’s wrong with what we’ve responded… I’m actually quite proud of humanity that for once we took a threat seriously, albeit we can see the damage that is done to unproductive, debt-addicted, service-based Western economies that immediately turn into reruns of the Great Depression when anything at all goes wrong, versus productive economies like China’s where people can return to the factory after the lockdown and get back to work.

          • Bjw not sure if you’re being deliberately obtuse, or you’re really that dumb

          • Venetian mask both are debt-run plutocracies

            I think you’ll find there’s little effective difference

            We will know the true impact when we can calculate excess mortalities (average annual deaths in Australia is a very constant 150,00-160,00/pa)

            That will give a very accurate number

            Until then, Knowing the true number of infected/recovered is critical as it allows us predict herd immunity and estimate our true position on the curve

            IgG testing will be widespread in a week or two by the sounds of it

  37. anyone else think george pell was prob (at least) not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of these charges

    i was convinced at first he wasnt but ive been reading about the case a lot leading up to his high court appeal and even though hes still a grub im erring on the side of not thinking he should have been convicted

    • +1. Probably did it and deserves for hell to actually exist, but I expect High Court to overturn.

    • There’s no way he should have been convicted on the evidence. In fact, the trial judge shouldn’t have even let it go to the jury.

    • I can’t be 100% sure he did it but I am leaning that way. However, he did provide cover for other pedophiles and allowed them to continue abusing kids all over the place. For that alone he deserves to die in jail.

  38. happy valleyMEMBER

    Apparently, the Alex Hawke MP Facebook page is getting quite a few comments about the Ruby Princess saga and asking to confirm that he had no involvement with it?

  39. So no auction results, house prices according to ://www.corelogic.com.au/research/daily-indices
    Going up ..how do they calculate that in such environment?

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      Yes this is our great “ export industry “ …..exporting the wages bills from the franchisees of Caltex,Shell ,BP , 7 Eleven and Colewirths trolly contracters……..and zillions of hospitality agricultural and horticultural operations …….what a wonderful “export industry “ it is ………..the VC’s salaries are not counted as they add to the wonderful ever expanding property market in “ exclusive suburbs” ………….getitintaya straya !…….

    • “”we are also happy to use them as cannon fodder for many low-skilled and part time jobs that many Australians have resisted doing in the past.”

      the gaslighting…it burns.

      • My blood is boiling over this comment. It’s the fact that these muppets are only here to get PR and will take any shit job at any price that no Australian youth can get a look in.

    • Seems there is plenty of work for the South American food delivery workers in Brisbane.

      Can’t see them moving on. They may actually get cheaper rent due to Corona.

      St Corona, patron saint of Latino Delivery Riders in Oz

  40. Venetian Mask


    More Kennedy deaths… very sad… and honestly it makes me wonder if a message is supposed to be interpreted about something JFK did and what will happen if you do it. Surely the number of premature deaths in this family is statistically significant. Many heroic figures will sacrifice their own lives but few will sacrifice generations of their family…

  41. NikoMEMBER