|Best Interactive Chart Ever (click to enlarge)|
Italy and Spain remain the go-to countries for the truth of what is happening, they are just a couple of the few telling the truth. It is clear the fast-moving Covid-19 is spreading across the globe and just how bad things will become remains to be seen. Bill Gates the founder of Microsoft which has studied the subject of pandemics and predicted that something like coronavirus was coming recently revealed his thoughts on what needs to be done. Gates indicated we face a major challenge.
|Politics And Grandstanding For The Masses|
Following a major selloff in the stock markets, the White House and Senate leaders announced they reached a deal during the wee hours Wednesday morning on another massive stimulus package. Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) proudly hailed the legislation as "the largest rescue package in American history." The bill which totals 883 pages is their answer as to how we prevent the nation from falling into a deep recession because of the coronavirus crisis. The Hill reports the Senate proposal will inject approximately $2 trillion into the economy. It will provide tax rebates, four months expanded unemployment benefits and a slew of business tax-relief provisions aimed at shoring up individual, family and business finances.
The celebration started with markets embarking on the largest one day rise in decades and this was before negotiations were even finished. Staffers worked into Wednesday morning to finish the text of the bill which was to be voted on before the ink was dry on the printed version. “At last we have a deal. ... the Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement," McConnell said during a speech on the Senate floor after 1:30 a.m. McConnell pledged the Senate would pass the bill later in the day. The legislation includes $500 billion for a major corporate liquidity program, $367 billion for a small business loan program, $100 billion for hospitals and $150 billion for state and local governments but the poorly crafted pork-packed bill does not stop there.
A major component to many Americans is that it gives a one-time check of $1,200 to Americans who make up to $75,000. This is the kind of "throw the kitchen sink at it" stupidity that drives many financially aware Americans crazy, individuals with no or little tax liability would receive the same amount but if you make $75,001 your screwed. When politicians go into full-scale pandering fairness is not an issue as long as they have the cover of calling it "bipartisan" and can claim things would be far worse if they had not taken action. It should be noted this bill limits stock buybacks by some companies but at the same time injects such a massive amount of fresh money into the economy many people expect it to send stock prices higher, how high and for how long has yet to be determined.
It must be pointed out, that two trillion dollars translates into $6,000 per man, woman, and child in America, and yes this is deficit spending!
|Virus Curve (click to enlarge)|
While most of us are focused on ourselves and protecting those we love, a report from NBC News highlights the fact covid-19 threatens to inflict "carnage" on refugees around the world who often live in cramped conditions, lack access to clean water and are in countries with failing or stretched medical systems. This is also true in many poor and developing nations. Because of the absence of extensive testing at refugee camps in the Middle East, Africa or Asia, it's unclear whether the virus has already reached them and is rapidly spreading. Humanitarian aid groups and organizations told NBC News that from Syria to Bangladesh to Uganda, the people who have fled war and persecution are at risk, and only urgent international action can avert a catastrophe. Sadly, countries are so mired in their own problems little aid is forthcoming.
If you are into analogies, it could be said that we are all like frogs in a pot of water and the water temperature is slowly rising. I see a giant problem brewing. let us do some numbers. In a city of a quarter of a million people, some experts estimate 40% to 80% of people may get this bug. Of those American health officials say as many as 20% may need to be hospitalized.
So go with 50% catch rate= 125,000 infected
go with only 10% hospitalized rate = 12,500
We sure don't have the beds in my area. Note, this is 5% of the population.
I'm not focused on how many people die - handling the care of these people alone creates a massive problem!
Readers of AdvancingTime should be aware that an article on March 8, predicted the corona-virus had the potential to foster a major liquidity crisis, call it a liquidity issue if you want, that would cause the system to freeze up as people and companies decided to, or were forced, to hoard the money they have as fear grew that new cash would not be rolling in. The first article on AdvancingTime concerning the coronavirus occurred on February 2, when it was only a blip on the radar and contained to China where there were only 17,205 confirmed cases. At that time AdvancingTime warned it would make markets impossible to predict. I write this to remind you covid-19 has been a growing part of the landscape for some time. Like many of you, I will be glad when we can move on to other topics.
Footnote; Below is a list of covid-19 articles that have appeared on AdvancingTime.