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04 May 2020

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guidoamm

@ inflation/deflation of the currency

Right now, what matters is the sheer amount of US Dollar credit and cash circulating globally.

As the global reserve currency, US$ circulate globally both in cash form and in the form of sovereign debt denominated in US$.

What is happening today is two fold.

On one hand, a large number of countries are fiscally compromised. This is especially the case in Europe and in all those countries that have adopted a socio/economic model that is supported and financed by the West.

On the other hand, capital requires protection.

Skipping a few stones along the way, what is happening is that global capital is in search of protection that till recently came in the form of government paper such as government bonds and obligations.

The problem is that over the past 2 decades, not only have governments entered into an irreversible fiscal impasse thus their paper no longer generates the yield required in return assumptions that color the strategies of various pension, investment and/or insurance funds for example.

Today therefore there is a mad rush to hoard US$ globally. Hence there is a funding shortage which incidentally has also precipitated the crisis in the Repo market that the Fed is still trying to desperately staunch.

This is driving the US$ exchange rate higher which in turn is putting pressure on all those countries that have sold sovereign debt in US$.

In fact, the US$'s exchange rate bottomed in 2008 and has not looked back since.

The higher the US$ goes, the greater the socio/economic pressure on all the countries that have adopted the US$ as reserve currency and that have sold sovereign debt denominated in US$.

Compared to the effect of domestic policies in the USA therefore, the policies of global capital have a far greater effect on the exchange rate of the US$.

Alves

The best data in the USA for infection fatality rate of COVID-19 is from New York (between 0.5% and 0.8% in a population that is not that old when compared to the rest of the country), as they did a ton of serological tests and the infection is pretty spread there, well above the statistical and false positive issues that make the studies done in California all but useless.

Anyway, here is one link:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/antibody-tests-support-whats-been-obvious-covid-19-is-much-more-lethal-than-flu/2020/04/28/2fc215d8-87f7-11ea-ac8a-fe9b8088e101_story.html

It is not even something really new.

Also, people should note that the IHME model, the one that a few weeks ago was the base for some people in power to say that there would be only 60k deaths, was updated to better predict the total number of deaths (instead of mostly predict the peak use of hospital beds) and the numbers almost doubled.

Regarding the targeted stay at home that is the real topic here, well... IMO, it is pie in the sky to imagine that the different groups will not interact and, to be honest, it ignores that death is not the only thing that comes out of this disease. Reduced lung capacity, thrombosis on younger people, possible neurological issues... the disease still is barelly understood.

walrus

Fred,

We aren’t a bunch of billionaires. We are hopefully smart retirees who saw through the BS of endless shopping malls and decided to build and inhabit real spaces where we are somewhat self sufficient and have like minded neighbours. We aren’t green zealots or Californian free love nuts either.

I grow vegetables in a tennis court sized garden next to - the tennis court. We cut and sell 40 acres of hay. Our neighbors have horses, cattle, sheep and vineyards. Strangely, if you want to, you can buy your own slice of paradise in Australia, there is plenty to go around. We serve on the hospital auxiliary and the volunteer fire brigade. We cut firewood and do meals for the elderly.

Yes, we have friends that are also city folk who saw the light, but we also mingle with people who never lived anywhere but here.

We just met a new neighbor and his family. He is ex Green Berets. He has already endeared himself this month by breaking both arms of the local drug dealer. This ain’t the Hamptons.

You have a right to be envious.

Eric Newhill

PJ20,
You are being too literal and you are too focused on the trees and ignoring the forest. You also waver toward trivialities in definitions. No one in the real world has time or resources to pull apart every study and peer review and replicate into perpetuity. The real world is not academia. You, like Fauci (assuming pure motives), do not seem to comprehend that.

The point is every study that has been done, from California to Europe to South Korea, has shown that, the more testing that is done, the more we see that the virus is more prevalent in society than previously believed and, thus, less lethal.

There are just about 0 doctors that think the virus is a threat to children or the young and healthy adult population. The testing that you nit pick has allowed them to be confident in that understanding. That is the knowledge that is driving the decisions to re-open the economy and lift the draconian house arrest policies.

confusedponderer

J,
re And why would the CCP/MSS play such a dangerous game? -- Bio-weapons R&D.

J, who says that China does that?

So far we have the US gvt assertions, not more than that - and sadly not all that convincing. That is to say, if Trump said that leafs on trees are green I would probably check that just to be safe (and said that, what about autumn?).

After all, Sadam also didn't at all have these ever evasive chemical weapons George Bush Jr. asserted knowing of the falsehood = deliberately lied so much. As far as LIES go lets call the bad habit by its proper name - 'Trump trumps him easily'.

The bitter joke of the last days for me was for one the US intelligence community saying it does not have any evidence for corona coming from a china laboratory = nope, no chinese BC attack or acident, probably natural cause.

Soon after that Pompeo manifested himself saying that he believes the US intelligence community - to happily contradicting himself immediately by adding that the evil chinese commies cooked it anyway, for which he has mega-mega--over-over-overwhelming evidence (that he naturally cannot tell anyone about since ... super secret and all that) = trust me.

Maybe he is just infected with that current Whitehouse pandemy of that "reality is not reality, fact is not fact" germ. That the chinese gvt heads are not exactly nice people doesn't mean the assertions about chinese evildoing are honest or factual.

Maybe the perpetualy witch hunted Trump (according to himself treated by media even worse than Lincoln!) is just playing his 'blame china game' (who, as he said, also want him to lose re-election (and are pro-Biden), so it is a precaution re-election blamegame already, and in case he screwed up corona response it's all clearly Obama's, Biden's, China's & the WHO's failure), hoping to get more of Navarro's trade war super easy to win, and perhaps as a bonus a corona-ised regime change in China, that's a US habit goal older than Trump's own answer to anything else so far, compulsion & coercion penal taxery.

Blaming China of biological warfare against the US could also be just a bold, bold insurance, just in case shit hits the fan. That said, that conclusion is cynical, but playing that sort of a game is also.

Fred

WT Harris,

Lincoln was good at setting aside the constitution when it pleased him, which multiple governors are doing right now. Not the example of presidenting I want to see emulated.

CSP

"Am I right or wrong in thinking that when the injected liquidity plus existing cash exceeds the amount of money that would haven been in the economy at this point then the currency will begin to inflate?"

Inflate in relation to what? Gold, Silver, Oil, Euro, Yen, Healthcare or Food? It is all relative.

The anti-body testing would benefit as TTG suggest, by providing individuals with a peace of mind knowing they have had and survived the "killer" virus while also demonstrating scientifically that the virus is not as deadly as feared.

While governments, scientists and group-think can make all the proclamations they want, it will ultimately be down to each individual to choose their level of risk. In this sense, watching society re-establish itself to some sense of normalcy will be interesting to witness.

PJ20

Eric,
You say that COVID is less lethal than previously thought. The problem with that is that we don’t know how lethal it is because the death records are not always capturing COVID as a cause. To illustrate that, please see the charts in this link - https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/04/16/tracking-covid-19-excess-deaths-across-countries

Or, read this article from a few days ago - https://www.theweek.com/speedreads/912453/true-death-toll-coronavirus-pandemic-could-half-times-higher-new-research-shows

On top of that we don’t yet know what the lasting effects of COVID are on people across age groups who recover. There are already many signs of lasting lung and other organ damage which could very well lead to premature death of many of those now recovered.

Now, I’m just as sick of shelter-in-place as any other sane person. But I believe that unplanned unorganized reopenings will cause immense pain and suffering. Hospitals and clinics have to have all the PPE they require, along with critical care and ventilator capacity. Testing capability has to be adequate both in quantity and quality of the test. Contact tracing has to be ready to insure that the inevitable new cases do not cause further spread. Lastly, the population has to accept the wearing of masks.

Fred

Walrus,

Envy, like Pride, is a sin. Enjoy the vegetables, the tennis, and the neighbor who regales you with tales of glory.

RussianBot

Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1232869/

This is from Fauci's institute back in 2005. Their research showed it had "both prophylactic and therapeutic advantage."

Eric Newhill

PJ20,
If you were a sane person, you would be able to see the costs of "sheltering in place". Some of those costs are medical life and death matters as well. People are not getting treatment for emergent, acute and chronic conditions because their doctors' offices are closed and because they have been made to fear going out. People are dying of conditions like appendicitis, diabetes, cardio-vascular issues, infections. Malignant tumors are going undiagnosed and untreated; a condition where time is of the essence. People are dying of these conditions, or will die.
Psychiatric medication prescriptions are up 25% since the lockdown. Suicides and drug ODs are up significantly. This is all from the data and I have participated in the studies at work.

Anecdotally, alcohol sales (= consumption) are way up, As are incidents of domestic abuse.

IMO, all of that outweighs the covid deaths and must be considered when evaluating policy options.

You seem to be motivated to only focus on covid itself for some reason.

Barbara Ann

All

Sorry if this has been posted here elsewhere, but a 100% of population serology test in a Tennessee correctional facility has showed very encouraging results:

2444 inmates tested
53% found positive - of which 98% were asymptomatic
0 deaths

https://www.newschannel5.com/news/more-than-1k-at-trousdale-turner-correctional-center-test-positive-for-covid-19

Doctor M

The virus is not the flu. It is much worse. Hospitals had to expand ICUs, use outpatient OR to expand their ICU capabilities. Patients dying in ERs, medical staff infected and many dying.

New York City is about 20% infected based on testing of all pregnant women being admitted and also based on antibody testing. The fatality rate is probably 0.3-0.5% or in that range. Aside from age and diabetes/hypertension/obesity, there are no predictors of death. A young healthy athletic person in their 30s can die from this. We doctors are really scared of this. I was not scared of H1N1. Even N95 PPE is not 100% protective. We know colleagues who used proper PPE but still got infected.

New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan, South Korea were able to control their outbreaks. The virus can be beaten and controlled.

The economy will be back once people are reassured there is a treatment/vaccine that will significantly reduce the mortality rate. I'm optimistic we will have a vaccine and more effective treatment regimens.

There will be many innovations in the next 2-3 years. better masks? Airplanes with closed kiosks? Controlled airflows? Your own filtered air supply like a fighter pilot?

Capitalist economies will bounce back, some industries will die but others will thrive.

turcopolier

DoctorM

"Capitalist economies will bounce back, some industries will die but others will thrive." Capitalist economies? Not the kind you like obviously. The US is dying.

Eric Newhill

America killers Doctor M and PJ20 are working from different and conflicting notes.

New York City not = United States. Put a military quarantine around NYC and let the rest of us go back to living and working.

walrus

Fred,

Off topic, but regarding “ tales of glory”, the gentleman concerned has just bought a house near us and we were barely on nodding terms with him and his wife and two kids. They run a cleaning business. His property backs on to the aforementioned drug dealers place. We didn’t know there was a dealer there because the occupants kept to themselves.

Anyway, the ex GB has been cleaning up the ten acres of his new place, removing scrub, etc. He was working at his fenceline near two large sheds on the next door property when the dealer appeared and took a shot at him with a shotgun and missed. The dealer then dropped the gun, came through the fence and onto GB’’s property, apparently intending to do harm, calling GB a “problem” that he intended to fix.

GB then broke both his arms to ensure he couldn’t use the gun again and called the police. Five police cars and two ambulances turned up (we all saw that, but didn’t know the story until a few days ago.). The dealers sheds were full of cannabis and worse. We are not sure what he is charged with. GB’s PTSD has “woken up” and his family is also very upset. He is having treatment and is worried about being charged with “using excessive force”, although we all think that is ludicrous. We are all doing our best to support them.

Nobody knows how this will end. Unlike storybooks, events like these don’t always have happy endings.

walrus

Breaking news. The French have found a case of Covid19 from 27 December.

I’m not sure of the impact of this news.


https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/after-retesting-samples-french-hospital-discovers-covid-19-case-from-december-20200505-p54prz.html

turcopolier

walrus

PTSD? Nah. Just taking care of business.

English Outsider

Colonel - above you mention inflation. As a result of all that money issuance the Central Banks are doing. You have some contributors who do finance so I was hoping one of them might address the question.

Some say the status of the US dollar as the reserve currency, and the consequent demand for dollars from the rest of the world, should mean that the vast sums being issued at the moment might not in any case have an inflationary effect.

Which is nice, if so. Perhaps, if one of your financial experts does go into the subject, he or she will explain how countries that don't happen to run the world's reserve currency can get away with it too.

Asking for a friend.

Eric Newhill

EO,

I just read that your version of Fauci and architect of the UK's "shelter in place" policy, Ferguson, has been forced to resign because he apparently doesn't really believe in sheltering in place. He has been caught sneaking out of his shelter to rendez vous with his married lover. Kind of like Chicago's shelter in place strong arm enforcer mayor who was caught sneaking out to have her hair done. So the "experts" don't really fear the virus?

I'm curious. What do your people think about that?


Kevin McDevitt

I live in Michigan. I agree with much that the Governor hear has done. However, I find it hard to stomach the 'stories' of hospitals being overwhelmed, while reading the reports available on the STATES OWN WEBSITE, that show over half the ICU beds in the hardest hit regions being only half full, and over half the ventilators still available. This does not jive with the stories of sharing ventilators and lack of PPE. Also, the state a few weeks ago removed it's 'PPE Inventory Reports' that showed millions of available N95 mask, shields and PPE clothing. They are sowing misinformation on purpose, and the data that they are publishing proves it. The weekly updates that are being spoon fed to the low information masses do not match the data that is easily available online. Even ignoring the far right extremists that the press loves to throw pictures up of on the television, this state was coming very close to revolt.

Fred

Walrus,

Sounds like a really stupid dope grower. Leaving out the cops made it much more enjoyable a tale.

"French have found a case... "I’m not sure of the impact of this news."

Lots of ass covering will begin as the real information comes out about actual death rates thus distracting from China's complicity in ensuring the virus was as widespread and simultantously present in the West as possible. That fact will get burried in an ongoing media barrage highlighting the rush to cash in on expensive cures before the cheap and readily available one is proven to be effective in a way even 'scientists' can't deny.

English Outsider

Mr Newhill - heard about Ferguson going. Couldn't see what the fuss was about - apparently the woman visited him, not the other way round, so it was her business not his if the regs were broken.

Seems the BBC reports his crime as being that he "allowed" her to visit. Curiously "patriachal" language for a Prog outfit like the BBC. And are we now expected to check that any visitors we may receive have arrived at our house in accordance with current regulations?

But since Ferguson was responsible for advising lockdown it was chancing it, I suppose, to be associated with someone breaking it.

On a related matter, I've been getting some stick on an English website, sometimes from compatriots of yours. My take on the US side of things is that Trump and his team acted with admirable decision once it was realised that this virus was getting out of hand.

Also the policy that Trump set out for coming out of lockdown was the right one - test and track, maybe local lockdowns if needed to contain the inevitable further local outbreaks.

I've contrasted this American (and German) approach with the UK approach, which until recently and maybe even now is all over the place.

But my interlocutors don't agree. They claim that Trump screwed up.

I know you don't approve of lockdowns but apart from that and setting all the petty stuff about bleach etc on one side, and given that you're sitting right in the heart of the American medical system, do you reckon The Trump/Pence team got the policy right for coming off lockdown?

PJ20

Eric Newhill,

I have not made any personal comments, nor will I. I did notice in your last post you labeled me an "America Killer." I had thought this board was a place for reasoned discussion, not ad hominem attacks.

As I said above, I'm sick of shelter-in-place, and I listed what seems to me and many others are reasonable conditions for reopening. In rereading that, I notice I left one out, and that is, before reopening a state, new cases of Covid must be on a clear down trend with the R0, or basic reproductive ratio, at less than 1.

I'm sure you have seen that many states are relaxing their shelter-in-place orders. Unfortunately, many of these states are still showing daily increases in new cases. To reopen in those circumstances, is inviting a second wave of a severe magnitude. You can check this prediction out in 2 - 3 weeks. (Though perhaps some of those states reopening will regain their senses.)

Also, you noted in an earlier post that almost no physician suggests that the virus seriously effects children. You might want to read this - https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/05/nyregion/children-Kawasaki-syndrome-coronavirus.html?smid=tw-share

Our experience with the virus is only recent and we will very possibly learn of more damaging effects, e.g. in one of my earlier posts I noted we are learning of many 'recovered' patients with serious lung and other organ damage which could well lead to premature death, but thus not yet counted in the death rate.

Eric Newhill

EO,
Thx for the reply re; Furgeson. Interesting.

"do you reckon The Trump/Pence team got the policy right for coming off lockdown?"

First, I agreed with the original two week lockdown. That seemed painful to small business, but neither unreasonable nor unrecoverable; especially given that we didn't know much about the virus at the time.

However, for at least a month, the data has been sufficient to understand that the virus is killing the elderly and infirm and to re-work policies such that the elderly and infirm are protected and the rest of us can get back to normal life. We have also had time to understand that the WHO/CDC models were all wrong and should not be used as a basis for policy. Except, possibly, New York City, the overwhelming of hospitals never occurred. Even there, the hospital ship only briefly took on a small volume of hospital overflow and has now pulled out of harbor.

IMO, I think Pence/Trump have been dragging their heals for too long with regards to ending the lockdown, though I understand the concept of federalism (states versus Washington) and I understand, but don't appreciate, the vicious politics involved.

All of that said, to be honest, I don't know what their policy for ending the lockdown is, exactly. I have heard conceptual bits and pieces; no coherent plan - there might be one. I just haven't personally been exposed to it. I do know that the lockdown must end immediately or the economy will be lost for many years and there is a very real chance of major civil unrest; basically, the wheels coming completely off the country. I have a good sense that is what our enemies want and are working towards. They want to rebuild the country as a socialist state. Got to crack a few eggs to make an omelet.

If I was in charge in the form of Good King Newhill I would end the lockdown immediately such that not even the slightest remnant of it existed and I would install strict measures to protect the vulnerable.

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