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Politics And The Markets 5/6/20

May 06, 2020 6:20 AM ET499 Comments
Political Comments profile picture
Political Comments

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Political Comments profile picture
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Comments (499)

Pretty pathetic when a member of Jared Kushner's handpicked team of enthusiastic young people has to submit a complaint to Congress about how f'd up the program was despite their efforts to secure equipment and how offers of equipment from legitimate sources were pushed to the bottom of the list while the young team followed leads from know-nothing VIP's who were favored by the administration. There is no question this young team wanted to do the right thing but were stymied by the bolloxed handling of the program by people who knew nothing about procurement etc. Not surprisingly there were experts within the system who could have made this work for the team but were ignored or not consulted at all because they were considered the "deep state".
techy46 profile picture
Fresh breeze blowing from Denver Post opinion column?

"In the midst of the constant up-and-down of coronavirus news, both from science and the markets, it’s easy to lose sight of the scariest scenario of them all: the one where there’s no magic bullet. In this entirely plausible situation, there would be no effective Covid-19 vaccine or transformative therapy; the combination of testing and contact tracing wouldn’t successfully suppress the outbreak; and herd immunity would come, if at all, only after millions of deaths around the world.

Even raising this possibility is a big downer. But the fact that an outcome is terrible doesn’t make it impossible.

Since the end of February, I’ve conducted some 20 interviews with epidemiologists and virologists like Marc Lipsitch, Angela Rasmussen, and Carl Bergstrom; economists like Paul Romer, Stefanie Stantcheva and Larry Summers; and leaders at top hospitals and experts on government agencies whose names you may not know, but whose life’s work is preparing for moments like this one. Despite getting expert answers to dozens of my questions, the one question I haven’t been able to get an answer for is this: Who, exactly, is planning for the nightmare scenario in which we never get a vaccine or a breakthrough treatment?

Ideally, it would be the federal government’s executive branch, with its resources and bird’s-eye view of the problem. But the president, running for reelection, has every reason to insist on (unrealistic) optimism. In fact, the administration actually discussed disbanding its coronavirus task force.

The CDC and other public health agencies might be a good second option; but they’re busy (rightly) warning the public not to throw up our hands and let the virus spread unchecked. It’s not really a job for scientists — they are (understandably) devoting all their energy to searching for treatments and vaccines. Governors only have the authority to plan for their individual state. And the Fed is tasked with trying to save jobs and markets, not modeling the end of the economy as we know it.

I’m not one who enjoys doomsday scenarios. Yet realism absolutely demands considering every confluence of events that could occur with reasonable probability. If in fact there is no agency or department planning for the worst-case scenario, that is a major governance failure.

The fact that some 90 vaccines are being explored, with some clinical trials, is exciting and uplifting. It’s better than 80 vaccines or 40 or five or none. The sheer number tends to make us think that one or several will succeed. But the sum of many very low probability events doesn’t necessarily translate into a high probability that one will succeed."

techy46 profile picture
WHO are they bullshitting, pun intended?

They worried the US is going to cut the $550 million funding!

"(Bloomberg) -- The World Health Organization is considering a new mission to seek the source of the coronavirus in China, amid growing controversy over the origin of a pandemic that has killed more than a quarter of a million people.

“Without knowing where the animal origin is, it’s hard to prevent it from happening again,” Maria Van Kerkhove, a WHO epidemiologist, said at a press briefing Wednesday.

Talk of a new mission comes as debate grows over the source of the outbreak, which was first identified in Wuhan, China, more than four months ago. U.S. President Donald Trump says the virus likely escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a laboratory that studies dangerous pathogens. Some intelligence agencies are casting doubt on that theory.

The WHO has come under fire from Trump, who has moved to cut off funding to the Geneva-based United Nations agency, saying it was overly deferential to China as the virus spread in that country and beyond.

Van Kerkhove in February participated in a previous mission to China, which concluded that the virus was zoonotic in origin. Bats appeared to be the “reservoir” for the virus, but an intermediate host could not be determined, the report said.

“There is discussion with our counterparts in China for a further mission, which would be more academic in focus, and really focus on looking at what happened at the beginning in terms of exposures with different animals,” Van Kerkhove said."
Giorgio il Buffone profile picture
"WHO are they bullshitting, pun intended?
They worried the US is going to cut the $550 million funding!"

Let China fund them.
Namron Damron profile picture
Gigi, the US needs to keep their fingers in WHO and suspect we will. Funding levels maybe should change.
Jack D Stocks profile picture
@Namron Damron

We can keep our fingers in WHO even if we cut from 500 Mil to 50.
Make everyone pay their fair share.
relospecialist profile picture
In Blue State Texas I found this leaked audio interesting:

Texas Governor Admits Dangers of Reopening State on Private Call With Lawmakers


Abbott was asked during a Friday afternoon phone call with members of the state legislature and Congress.“How do we know reopening businesses won’t result in faster spread of more cases of COVID-19?”

Abbott responded, “Listen, the fact of the matter is pretty much every scientific and medical report shows that whenever you have a reopening—whether you want to call it a reopening of businesses or of just a reopening of society—in the aftermath of something like this, it actually will lead to an increase and spread. It’s almost ipso facto.”

Texas Republicans are not here to protect our families. He know unnecessary additional deaths will happen by reopening Texas and now he needs to own it.
Henry Miles profile picture
A university buddy called me out of the blue a couple of hours ago. This friend is a shooter - 25 years with KPMG, CFO of a large publishing company, CEO of a sizeable bank, adjunct professor at a major university, board member (still) of a major insurance company, a hospital, and a college. We violently agree that whereas it's relatively easy to understand sector "system risks", vitrually no one has a handle on "inter-system" risks. This is coming at us.
Jack D Stocks profile picture
@Henry Miles

Why don't you publish a detailed article on that subject here on SA. I'm interested in those issues. Thanks in advance Henry.
Henry Miles profile picture
@Jack D Stocks

I've contributed 59 articles to SA. However, in January, I took a break because of some differences with editorial policies. At this point, I doubt I will return to writing, but I do agree that this would be an interesting area for exploration (the closest I got to it was a piece I did on counter-party risk a few years ago).
techy46 profile picture
@Henry Miles

Like the house of cards fiat money has built?
What could possibly go wrong!?? Lol

Nearly 20,000 teens in Georgia have received their driver licenses without a road test

(CNN)The sweaty palms on the steering wheel. The repeated exclamations of "Sorry!" The nervous glances from the examiner.

They're all part of the dreaded road test, which, for decades, has been a rite of passage for every American teenager to obtain their driver license.
Well, until now.
"I had been nervous about the driving test -- with the parallel parking and all that," said 17-year-old Willa Pevey from Tucker, Georgia.
"So I was happy that I didn't have to do it."
Neither did thousands and thousands of other teens in Georgia. All of them got their licenses without taking an official road test. It's Georgia's way of handling the backlog of the thousands of road test requests that have been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.
techy46 profile picture

I had no idea they still gave road tests.
They did until now.

My youngest failed her first test. We went in my GMC 2500 4x4. lol
To be fair the tester was an azz. She barely touched a cone when parking.
Jack D Stocks profile picture

Don't be a cheapskate, rent her a small car for her driving test.
I thought you were smart?
techy46 profile picture
@amazapple @Jack D Stocks @Namron Damron

"(Bloomberg) — BlackRock Inc. Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink had a stark message for a private audience: As bad as things have been for corporate America in recent weeks, they’re likely to get worse.

Mass bankruptcies, empty planes, cautious consumers and an increase in the corporate tax rate to as high as 29% were part of a vision Fink sketched out on a call this week. The message from the leader of the world’s biggest asset manager contrasts with the ebullient tones of a stock market that has snapped back from recent lows.

Even among Wall Street luminaries, Fink speaks with particular clout. He has been advising President Donald Trump on how to navigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. And BlackRock is playing a key role in the Federal Reserve’s efforts to stabilize markets, helping the central bank buy billions of dollars in assets.

Fink said on the call with clients of a wealth advisory firm that bankers have told him they expect a cascade of bankruptcies to hit the American economy, and he wondered if the Fed needed to do more to provide support, according to a person with knowledge of the remarks.

A BlackRock spokesman declined to comment.

Even as the U.S. is plunged into deepening economic gloom, it will have to raise taxes to pay for emergency efforts to rescue sectors grappling with a difficult recovery, he warned on the call.

Among his predictions: lifting the 21% corporate rate signed into law as part of 2017’s tax overhaul to about 28% or 29% next year, according to the person. Fink also said he sees tax rates for individuals going up.

Raising taxes would water down the biggest legislative achievement of Trump’s time in office, when he and a Republican-controlled Congress drove through the most significant changes to the tax code in decades.

Lower corporate rates juiced profits and showered cash on shareholders through increased dividends and stock buybacks. Now, at a time when many taxpayers are less able to bear the burden of higher taxes, the government may be forced to extract a larger share of companies’ and individuals’ income.

The spread of the coronavirus, and measures taken to mitigate it, slammed the brakes on the economy. While Trump pushes to reopen commerce and his officials predict a rapid rebound, public health experts and some economists are skeptical the crisis will soon be over.

Politicians, business leaders and economists are beginning to confront the risks of a limited federal response that might speed up the demise of smaller companies and wreck state and municipal finances that pay for schools, law enforcement and infrastructure.

That won’t be the only strain on companies. Many may have to operate with only about half their staff in the office for more than a year, according to Fink. Across white-collar industries, millions are working remotely from home. It would be hard to see a complete return without mass availability of rapid testing, he said."

Pinguino Investments profile picture
A sobering view. There is a huge disconnect between the economy and the stock market.
Huge disconnect!

I'm 100% cash in my trading account.
Jack D Stocks profile picture
@Pinguino Investments

I don't disagree with the "sobering view" however there wasn't a market-economy disconnect PRIOR to Xi's Wuhan Virus.

The USA was doing quite well.

Interesting timing to get this Chinese virus shit in an Election year with a lousy Dem Nominee, Biden.

Looks like Xi decided Biden needed some help (or did Nancy ask for help)?
gdpr you you guys five minutes they like you.
After reading this piece I am not sure CNN will have him on again...


James A. Gagliano (@JamesAGagliano) worked in the FBI for 25 years. He is a law enforcement analyst for CNN and an adjunct assistant professor in homeland security and criminal justice at St. John's University. Gagliano is a member of the board of directors of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund.
techy46 profile picture
C19 is much less dangerous the lliberal cowards, liars and socialists!

Nothing to see here...a general was pressured and threatened to try and get false testimony out of him and framed in the process to get him to cooperate. The FBI did it to get him fired and then the Mueller team took it a step further and may end up watching their entire investigation be shown for the sham it was by not letting it go with Flynn. Had they simply said plead guilty and we'll say time served he never would have sought a second lawyer and fired Holder's law firm who got caught hiding the plea deal from the judge after the prosecutor signed off that there was no deal in the court filing. Have seen the actual court papers. Not all lawyers are crooks but these guys are...
techy46 profile picture
@murfinnyc- But you can call me Senator

Yelp, the Federal Gestapo under Heinrich Mueller.

Repetition is the Mother of invention.
Any of you want to beef about that ?
Pinguino Investments profile picture
al, you should publish a book of your poetry.
Irrevocable , you need to ride around the hood and tell us what's going on.
Japanese are very angry , i think built in OS is a viable option.
it should support GDPR.
We should start posting when we go out so we can start bundling.
Henry Miles profile picture
@al roman

Meaning what? But, on a perhaps related topic, people would be well-advised to have a health care directive laying out care they do not wish to receive at EOL or otherwise. Also, in addition to one's partner and kids, I recommend reviewing the same with your primary care doc. Mine knows that he's my 'wingman' to ensure that my family does not do anything I don't want.
it's built in , only the certificate is needed , the directives are reciprocal , comprehensive solid ink , in all fifty and internationally.
on behalf is to the top i was suggested one last thing Access code.
mic designed the template with state and le.
Henry off duty goes shopping together , a lot of weight in motion.
DoubleD44 profile picture
it's stunning how fast we went from "15 cases will go down to zero, I've done an amazing job" to "it's totally under control, I've done an amazing job" to "60,000 deaths, tops, I've done an amazing job" to "f'k it, lots of people are going to die, I've done an amazing job...
Morning DD @techy46 a little after 9 , for the longest time it was 4 am , you know.
DoubleD44 profile picture
Cuomo Signs a Bill to Allow Release of Trump’s State Tax Returns.

Giorgio il Buffone profile picture
Old, old, old news.
techy46 profile picture

Cuomo's a lying prick.

All lives are priceless.

Don please bail NY out, each C19 death cost us $35,000!

No way Andy NY residents are only worth $4.27 according to us.
Jack D Stocks profile picture
@techy46 @DoubleD44

"Cuomo's a lying prick."

Cuomo has the worst record of any governor in America in controlling the virus.
Cuomo is not only a lying prick he is a total failure.
Wasn't there talk about Cuomo for Pres?
The double negative test are going through hell to get unemployment.
Yes medical workers did something wrong to acquire the need for compensation.
Torture Vet's who went on to serve state side and ended up serving the public with medicine you f a.. O's.
volunteered urgency unit because they were short staffed,that is the hang,somebody will right you a note and stamp it.
This is bad news.
techy46 profile picture
They need to change to (000s) like financial reports!
Henry Miles profile picture
@al roman

Thank you for posting this.
Someone was touting this as a way to pay down the US debt...I mean what if there's gold in them thar craters...


Or what if it was a way to power the Earth with CLEAN energy....

techy46 profile picture
So if the moons made of gold what will gold price be?

Depends on who controls the market. You think if DeBeers opened their vaults that diamonds would not be fairly cheap?
techy46 profile picture
@murfinnyc- But you can call me Senator

Just like oil, where do they put it all?
Listen too this.
Buckoux profile picture
very interesting, al.
problems east problems west.
and these a holes here are obsessed with Don.
@Buckoux good morning ,just zip a few of them.
@Pinguino Investments did you see the CNBC piece last night ?
Pinguino Investments profile picture
Nope. I don’t have TV service.
@Pinguino Investments i posted the fmf thing here.
i am worried about the effects of COVID on our Young folks.
i suspected this.
That young chap down the road really bothers me somehow i think he is really pissed off.
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