Showing posts from April, 2020

Massive Job Losses Continue, But Pace Slows

Initial claims for unemployment insurance totaled 4.43 million for the week ending April 18, marking the fifth consecutive week of massive, record-shattering layoffs, and dwarfing the previous high of 695,000 in October 1982. However, on a positive note, the latest tally is the third week of declines in the number of initial claims since the 6.87 million claims during the week of March 27.

During the Great Recession in 2008-09, total job losses were 8.8 million over 25 months versus the current 5-week total of 26.5 million initial claims. The unprecedented flood in claims is the leading edge of a tsunami of negative economic statistics that reflect the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and the drastic policy reactions implemented to contain the spread.

Sales of new single-family homes tumbled 15.4 percent in March to a 627,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate. Sales are now down 9.5 percent from a year ago. Sales fell in all four regions tallied: sales plunged 41.5 percent in the Northeast…

Oil: Troubles are Just Beginning, But Won't Last Forever

Wall Street tumbled for a second straight day on Tuesday as a collapse in U.S. oil prices and glum forecasts by companies worsened fears of a deep economic downturn.

All 11 S&P 500 sector indexes fell 1.6% or more, with energy sliding for the seventh time in eight sessions a day after the WTI contract crashed below zero as oil traders ran out of storage for May deliveries.

With the collapse spilling into June futures contracts, equity investors became wary of the extent of the economic damage from sweeping lockdown measures that have halted business activity and sparked millions of layoffs.

The May Crude Oil Contract took a destructive hit April 20 as the contract traded into negative territory. Crude Oil plunged to all-time lows surpassing levels not seen since 1983. A variety of factors contributed to the heavy selling pressure and the lack of demand remains a major concern. The Light Sweet Crude Oil May 2020, (CLK20) contract traded well below the $0 price point, dropping as lo…

It's a Crazy, Crazy World Out There

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Cheers Oil Futures Price Plunge, Then Deletes Tweet: “You absolutely love to see it,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, responding to a tweet on the unprecedented crude oil price drop resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

Sixty percent of Democrats blame Trump for the coronavirus: Poll: A majority of Democrats blame President Trump for the nationwide outbreak of the coronavirus, according to a new poll. A total of 60% of Democrats reported that Trump is more to blame than China and the World Health Organization for the pandemic, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey. Seventy-one percent of Republicans said they do not blame Trump.

NYC Mayor Shocked To Hear Newly Released “Empty The Jails” Inmates Commit New CrimesThe “empty the jails” initiative has really been picking up steam in cities around the country. This is particularly true of New York City, where Mayor Bill de Blasio authorized the release of roughly 1,500 inmates, includin…

The Great Shutdown: We're in a Recession (Depression?)

The collapse of oil
The front-month May WTI contract plunged as much as 23% overnight to under $15/bbl, the lowest level since March 1999, after losing almost a fifth of its value last week. Production cuts agreed by top producers are barely making a dent in the demand destruction wrought by COVID-19 as the world rapidly runs out of places to store crude. While the May contract expires tomorrow, adding to reasons for prices to crater, the June WTI contract also fell more than 7% to $23/bbl (the spread is usually around $0.50 - it's now around $8-10). Besides the crude slump, U.S. stock index futures are off by 1% as investors look ahead to a busy week for earnings (nearly a fifth of S&P 500 companies report) and gauge the early financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Retail Sales
US retail sales fell a record 8.7% in March, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. The previous record slump for any month was a 3.8% fall in November 2008.

The decline in retail sales came as th…

Why the News Media Has Failed Us in this Crisis

Watching the media deal with the daily White House briefings reminds the country that we have never had journalism of this low character before—not in the acrimony over the Founding, not in the furor during the Civil War, not even in the age of yellow journalism at the turn of the 20th century.

Reporters do not wish to transmit knowledge to the public that might aid in confronting the virus. They do not even wish to clarify murky statements from public officials to ensure Americans know exactly what the government wants them to do.

Instead, journalists during White House briefings fixate on two agendas.

One is to goad the president into saying something sloppy, by repeatedly suggesting that in reacting to the virus, he was in error, that he is cruel and heartless, or that he is dangerous. That gotcha obsession explains why the media can call Trump a xenophobe and racist for issuing a travel ban against China—contrary to the earlier advice of WHO, the Centers for Disease Control, the …

Pelosi Becomes Increasingly Dangerous to Nation, People

Update: April 19, 2020:
Pelosi Is Pushing a Coronavirus Lie Even Though It's Been Debunked

by Victor David Hanson, PhD
Stanford University

(April 16, 2020) As the COVID-19 outbreak begins to reach its zenith, it remains unclear whether the measures taken to stem its tide will prove sufficient, insufficient, or an overreaction. What is certain, however, is that a number of individuals and entities have behaved shamefully and demonstrated no capacity for leadership or usefulness in this moment.

Nancy Pelosi: Gone are the mythologies that Nancy Pelosi was a pragmatic liberal voice of reason among the otherwise polarizing American Left, honed after years of paying her dues to the Democratic Party, as the mother of five dutifully ascended the party’s cursus honorum.

It does not matter whether her political and ethical decline was a result of her deep pathological hatred of Donald Trump. Who cares that her paranoia arose over the so-called “Squad” that might align with socialist Bernie Sa…

Killing the Economy to Kill a Virus

by Gary D. Halbert Halbert Wealth
While this may not come as a surprise, many US small businesses that are shuttered right now face a financial disaster. Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly clear that millions of small businesses may not be able to reopen their doors when the economic lockdown ends.

Karen Mills, the previous head of the US Small Business Administration (SBA), said on April 4 that “20%, even 30%, of small businesses could fail even in a good scenario.” She warned that without immediate support to buffer the cash flows of stalled businesses waiting for the economy to reopen, it is a matter of days until millions of companies begin to shut their doors permanently – driving unemployment up significantly and sending the economy into a tailspin.

Small businesses make up over 90% of US businesses, employ almost half of the American workforce (over 60 million people), create over 60% of new jobs and account for almost half of GDP. If 20%-30% of small businesses go under…

Same Ol' Shit, Just a Different Day

Congressional stalemate deepens as Pelosi, Schumer say they won’t budge on coronavirus funding demands: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Monday that they won’t agree to the Trump administration’s insistence on more money for small business loans unless their demands are met for additional funding for hospitals, state and local governments and food stamp recipients.

Nancy Pelosi Reveals Plan To Steal 2020 Election: In an interview with CBS News, Pelosi claimed that not supporting vote-by-mail is “not what our founders had in mind” and claimed that the effort would be something Democrats focus on in the next bill…

'Absolute chaos' as businesses try to tap into rescue funds:  NEW YORK (AP) — Desperate small business owners who hoped for a quick government lifeline to help them survive the coronavirus crisis are still without funds, instead battling red tape, wary banks and swamped computer systems.

Michigan Gov. Whitmer facing backlash fo…

What to Read this Weekend

Chronology: Trump Was On Top Of Coronavirus While Biden Mocked: No media or Nancy Pelosi false narratives or phony Joe Biden campaign ad can change the truth about the real chronology of the coronavirus.

The FDA Graveyard: Absurd Bureaucratic strictures are hindering the efforts to fight Covid-19
Americans are dying daily because of FDA regulations that have repeatedly delayed testing for the Covid-19 virus and impeded the manufacture and deployment of masks and other protective equipment.

Pelosi Says Congress Will NOT Reopen In April, Warns Trump Not To Restart Economy: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi told Politico Friday that she is considering keeping the House of Representatives out of session longer than the April 20th return-from-recess date, and may not bring Congress back until well into May — and she’s warned President Donald Trump to keep the country under lockdown even longer.

Not everyone is getting a $1,200 coronavirus stimulus check: Not everyone qualifies for one of the …

Avoid These Five Financial Errors

1. Not having an emergency fund. The goal should be six months expenses, but start with $1,000 as a minimum.

2. Not having an automated savings system. Don't save what's left over. That rarely works. Pay yourself first, with an automated system.

3. Not having health insurance. While it looks like an unnecessary expense, you must have some type of catastrophic coverage.  Consider an HSA as a minimum.

4. Buying things to impress other people. Don't do this. Develop an attitude that doesn't wrap your self-worth in material things.

5. Not having an investing education. This should be a continuous, life-long learning process.

Pelosi Claims There's No Data to Support Small Business Aid

by Emily Zanotti
Daily Wire

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the architect behind Democrats’ decision to block $250 billion in additional funding to small businesses suffering because of coronavirus-related lockdowns, now says there’s “no data” to support an influx of emergency cash, even as banks are reaching their lending capacity due to unprecedented demand for aid.

Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) moved to block Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) from passing the emergency bill by unanimous consent on Thursday morning. McConnell had hoped that the need for assistance would be evident enough that he would not have to call Congress back from recess to vote on the measure, but Democrats disagreed.

McConnell was left incensed, noting that the $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program fund, which guarantees entrepreneurs with fewer than 500 employees low-interest loans that will be forgiven if they use the money to keep workers on the payroll, …

A Roaring Giant or Crying Baby?

by Victor David Hanson
Stanford University

Marshal Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto commanded the Imperial Japanese Navy in World War II until he was killed in April 1943. Despite the dialogue from the 1970 WWII film "Tora! Tora! Tora!" Yamamoto probably did not say in the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attack, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."

But Yamamoto likely either wrote or said something similar: "I can run wild for six months ... after that, I have no expectation of success."

Yamamoto summed up a general feeling among the Japanese admirals that the huge industrial capacity of the U.S. -- which had been asleep during the Great Depression -- along with the righteous anger and frenzy of an aroused American democracy would ensure the destruction of the Japanese Empire in short order.

They were right.

In 1940, there were fewer than 500,000 service members in the U.S. military. At the time of the Pearl …

4 Simple Steps to Save the Planet --- And Destroy the Human Race

By Hayden Ludwig
The Heartland Institute

Population control is back in the news—and for Progressives, what’s old is new again.

In November, a group of 11,000 signatories calling itself the Alliance of World Scientists released a dire public letter urging the return of population pseudoscience by declaring “clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.

“The climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected,” according to these experts, whose ranks are rife with psychologists, computer consultants, sociologists, and about 1,100 PhD students. “It is more severe than anticipated, threatening natural ecosystems and the fate of humanity.” Left unchecked, global warming could “potentially [make] large areas of Earth uninhabitable.”

In other words, it’s a typical news day for the climageddon folks, who have ratcheted up the alarmism so much recently that Oxford dictionary made “climate emergency” its 2019 word of the year.

But do…

Politics is Downstream of Culture

Excerpts from an editorial by Nick Searcy, actor, director and writer:

The most overused quote in 21st Century conservative columns and speeches has got to be this one, and the reason it is so overused is that we have not addressed it to this day. As the late great Andrew Breitbart famously said, “Politics is downstream of culture.”

We have let the Hollywood Left define the culture for at least the last 50 years. We had already conceded academia to the leftists, and as a result of their long march through the institutions, we have an army of socialist youth that rally to socialist superstars like Bernie Sanders and AOC because of their sheer ignorance of the death cult that is socialism. But now, we have been given an opening...

We ceded academia to the Left 70 or so years ago, and they have been running up the score in our school systems and universities ever since. You can see the consequences of that at any Bernie Sanders rally. We now have a vast number of historically ignorant an…

Social Distancing

Interesting take on social distancing. Or the lack thereof.

Headlines: More of What the Media Gets Wrong

April 3

Reporters Rage: Trump Has ‘Blood’ On His Hands
ABC’s Pitts to Pence: Do You ‘Talk to God’ About Those Who Died Because You Acted Late?

READ: Trump’s Devastating Open Letter To Schumer: ‘I Never Knew How Bad A Senator You Are’

April 2

Gavin Newsom: We Will Use Pandemic to Usher In Progressive Era
Biden and Whitmer ticket?

Former Vice President Joe Biden confirmed this week that he is considering Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to be his running mate if he is chosen as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.

I guess one incompetent deserves another.

Democrats Gear Up For All-Out Attack On Trump
Congressional Democrats are gearing up for another all–out assault on President Trump, this time even more absurd than the last.

Despite being in the midst of fighting a pandemic that is tearing through the nation, Democrats are more concerned with waging war on the president as he looks to guide the nation through this troubling time.

Democrats are reportedly in the early stages…