Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 20, 2020

Congress Grifters Profit From Crisis

Grifters know well that every crisis is also a chance to make money. The U.S. Congress is, like most parliaments, full of grifters. Its is therefore not astonishing to learn that some Congress members used the early information about the novel Coronavirus pandemic they received for favorable stock transaction:

Soon after he offered public assurances that the government was ready to battle the coronavirus, the powerful chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr, sold off a significant percentage of his stocks, unloading between $628,000 and $1.72 million of his holdings on Feb. 13 in 33 separate transactions.

As the head of the intelligence committee, Burr, a North Carolina Republican, has access to the government’s most highly classified information about threats to America’s security. His committee was receiving daily coronavirus briefings around this time, according to a Reuters story.

A week after Burr’s sales, the stock market began a sharp decline and has lost about 30% since.

Burr did not just take care of his own portfolio. He also warned his special friends of the then upcoming crash:

The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee warned a small group of well-connected constituents three weeks ago to prepare for dire economic and societal effects of the coronavirus, according to a secret recording obtained by NPR.

The remarks from U.S. Sen. Richard Burr were more stark than any he had delivered in more public forums.
...
"There's one thing that I can tell you about this: It is much more aggressive in its transmission than anything that we have seen in recent history," he said, according to a secret recording of the remarks obtained by NPR. "It is probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic."
...
In attendance, according to a copy of the RSVP list obtained by NPR, were dozens of invited guests representing companies and organizations from North Carolina. And according to federal records, those companies or their political committees donated more than $100,000 to Burr's election campaign in 2015 and 2016.

Burr has of course the right to sell his stock holdings. But doing such insider trading while telling the public that all is fine borders on criminal:

The stocks were sold in mid-February, days after Mr. Burr, Republican of North Carolina and the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, wrote an opinion article for Fox News suggesting that the United States was “better prepared than ever before” to confront the virus.
...
Three other senators also sold major holdings around the time Mr. Burr did, according to the disclosure records: Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, who is also a member of the Intelligence Committee; James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma; and Kelly Loeffler, Republican of Georgia.

The grifters are bi-partisan and its likely that there are more of them. Many more will also have given tip-offs to their rich friends.

There will be more of this. The huge amounts of money that is currently being released by Congress to dampen the economic effects of the crisis will attract a lot of schemers, like Boeing chief David Calhoun, who neither deserve nor need it:

Before the Trump Administration hands $60bn over to Boeing for its own purposes and to serve as a conduit to aid the supply chain, there are just one or two issues to address.
...
When Calhoun was named CEO, he was awarded a seven figure salary and a $7m bonus if certain goals were achieved. Calhoun later said he isn’t sure he would have taken the job as CEO without a salary.
...
Calhoun is part of the problem: he’s been on the Board since 2009. Despite his incredible assertion that he was only in the front row watching a movie, he was an insider. He was the lead director. He was on the Compensation Committee. Suck it up and work for $1 and nothing, at this time, on the come. You owe it to the company, to the employees, to the shareholders, to the supply chain and to the USA to fix the problems you helped create.

Any larger company that now needs a government funded capital injection or a large government loan should be nationalized until it has paid back every cent of it.

But as many of these companies bribe the relevant Congress members that is unfortunately not likely to happen.

---
Previous Moon of Alabama posts on the issue:

Posted by b on March 20, 2020 at 15:32 UTC | Permalink

Comments
next page »

nationalize the losses, and privatize the profits... that seems to be the motto of american capitalists... thanks for highlighting this b...

if nothing else, the enforced social distancing and closing of many stores with a huge increase in the numbers of unemployed or out of work is going to impact this system we have of capitalism.. it can't happen soon enough...

Posted by: james | Mar 20 2020 15:45 utc | 1

All but a handful of these elected fucks are Swamp Creatures of the worst description. Skanks and slugs and grifters and "legal" rip-off artists.

We don't need to "Drain the Swamp." That's too slow.

What we need to do is "Flush the Toilet."

Posted by: Antoinetta III | Mar 20 2020 15:48 utc | 2

And they keep getting reelected.
Two septuagenarians fighting to run the USA for their backer's not their voters.
Until that business as usual attitude to US politics is stopped.
Nothing will happen to the system.
Different actors same story.

Posted by: Jpc | Mar 20 2020 16:01 utc | 3

I think Burr shows us that there didn't need to be a crisis/panic. The CRISIS! was a choice.

TPTB KNEW that the virus was a serious threat and they KNEW that swift action was necessary to flatten the curve. They could've closed the schools in early February - but they didn't.

And, when it became clear that the virus responded to certain treatments (by mid-Februrary), they KNEW that widespread testing was crucial (so that treatment could be administered) - especially since they had already failed to take early action. Yet, testing in USA wouldn't be widespread until mid-March (and even now, there seems to be difficulties).

Instead, they tried to minimize the threat, with Trump telling people "don't panic" - which only caused people to panic as soon as they came to understand the severity of the situation.

The only reason for a CRISIS! was to game it.

The Empire Games Covid-19

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 20 2020 16:03 utc | 4

When I see things like this, this absolute corruption, this trading on the misery and suffering of others that I despair of the political class. I honestly believe that politicians are too wicked even for hell...

https://richardhennerley.com/2020/03/19/too-wicked-for-hell-a-tale-about-bad-people-not-getting-away-with-it/

Posted by: Richard | Mar 20 2020 16:10 utc | 5

This is an interesting report. It is from ISS (Italian Institute for Health, it's a government institution and the document seems official), and IMPO, while the sample size is insufficient to say conclusively, somehow goes against the MSM narrative, that I, and MoA, after a diffident start, both have somehow bought, though with reservation. If anyone needs, and Google translate doesn't do a good job, I can attempt to translate it in English.
https://www.epicentro.iss.it/coronavirus/bollettino/Report-COVID-2019_17_marzo-v2.pdf

Posted by: gpcus | Mar 20 2020 16:51 utc | 6

It didn't take long for the news to get out about the Gang of 4 Grifters to leak out. Well, I'm not one bit surprised at this. And no, I didn't fall off my bar stool in shock at reading about it! I couldn't. All the bars in Cleveland are closed as per order of the state. Not to fear though. I stocked-up on booze and beer at home and other necessities and the beverage and liquor stores are still open so I'm optimistic I'll make it through this long night. Looking ahead into the near future, there will certainly be Hell to pay by the political and corporate elites for all this mismanagement and out right corruption. The Covid-19 pandemic is going to leave deep social, political and economic scars on the public that will remain for many years to come. Bernie Sanders will turn out to have been not too late, but too soon. The American people are getting a lesson in politics and economics they won't forget for some time. The US of A may very well get a dose of real socialism, not the watered-down type that Bernie Sanders espoused.

Posted by: GeorgeV | Mar 20 2020 16:57 utc | 7

@james

"…american capitalists…"

Capitalists

Posted by: paulmeli | Mar 20 2020 16:59 utc | 8

From Pepe Escobar's Facebook page:

"Celebrating Nowruz – the Persian New Year – today, Ayatollah Khamenei tried to put a brave face, saying, 'Iran benefited from America's sanctions. It made us self-sufficient in all areas'.

"Maybe not all, but quite a few – with immense sacrifice.

"President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran's struggle to fight Covid-19 'in the face of the US's maximum pressure and the inhuman impacts of the sanctions are already remarkable even when compared with the measures taken by other countries'

"Rouhani had to admit that, ominously, the ghastly, unilateral, illegal Team Trump sanctions had 'caused about $200 billion in direct damages to the Iranian economy in less than two years'.
The inescapable fact: these sanctions, in the middle of a pandemic, amount to a CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY." [All caps, Pepe. Bolding, mine]

Every second the Outlaw US Empire exists it commits a grave crime against humanity, and it makes no difference which of the Duopoly occupies the Executive. It's profited from death and destruction most of its existence. Most of the citizenry differ little from the "Good Germans" and have shown they're more concerned about being able to wipe their ass than about the impact of their government's policies--at home and abroad. One hopes Flores essay's correct; but for that to happen, a genuine Depression is required.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 20 2020 17:09 utc | 9

Trump was a politician who campaigned on the many things that populist shout out and one was term limits for congress. I am for term limits for congress and we already have term limits for the president. I hear from those who oppose them that it takes "time" for a new congress critter to learn their way around and they need to stay in office to be effective. My retort is, "do you really want someone who can't find their way to the bathroom representing you?" The other complaint I hear is that "the ballot box" is the way to remove them. Well, incumbents are hard to beat in this country unless you have a lot of money. Yes, this government is the best money can buy.
Term limits can be a great way to address part of this issue.

Posted by: Tonymike | Mar 20 2020 17:31 utc | 10

Of course Congress Grifter Profit has been greatly facilitated by the post-911 National Security State trope. Western Mock Democracy.gov has been quite blatant in citing National Security as the ubiquitous, derisive and insulting excuse for treating the sheeple like mushrooms (keeping them in the dark and feeding them bs).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 20 2020 17:31 utc | 11

Just like them, pump up the fear and rake in the cash. Standard operating procedure.

Posted by: Joshua | Mar 20 2020 17:35 utc | 12

Skynews video (5min) from an Italian hospital.

The shocking centre of the COVID-19 crisis

"This is not a flue."

Posted by: b | Mar 20 2020 17:35 utc | 13

@ 8 paulmeli.. true....

ot - @ lozion - 'Trudeau also announced a repatriation flight to bring home Canadians stranded in Morocco will take place this weekend.'

Posted by: james | Mar 20 2020 17:41 utc | 14

The entire US government bureaucracy is made up of people going in and out of corporate jobs in order to do the bidding of various plutocrats. So of course Congress sees that and wants in on the action. Famously the guy who was most involved in creating the Federal Reserve, Senator Nelson Aldrich, went into office as upper-middle class, then came out with the equivalent of half a billion dollars in todays money.

A new article from Pam Ho on "The End Times" and Tulsi Gabbard's decision to suspend her campaign--which a lot of people are upset by because they don't understand strategic planning over the long term. Tulsi Gabbard: The End Times

Posted by: Kali | Mar 20 2020 17:44 utc | 15

@ 13 b... tell allen and Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg.. they don't think there is any difference.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_AyuhbnPOI
i doubt they have had a change of mind yet either...

Posted by: james | Mar 20 2020 17:46 utc | 16

Well, at least the American people knows how much it is worth: USD 628,000 plus change.

Posted by: vk | Mar 20 2020 17:46 utc | 17

> karlof1 | Mar 20 2020 17:09 utc | 9 Good Germans! Yewbetch!

G'Mornin' Dr K! Just kibbitzin'

"...citizenry differ little from the "Good Germans" and have shown they're more concerned about being able to wipe their ass than about the impact of their government's policies--at home and abroad."

Dr K, This fragment from November 2001> (about your "good germans")

Wally found this searchin 'round...

Alas, the decent ordinary people of the West are in much the same position as the “good” Germans were in 1943. Just as they did, we know what kind of administration took power. Nevertheless, we must support the policies of that administration. Because we can’t take a chance on losing to the “outside enemy,” we are going have to go along with the junta. We are caught in the middle. If we seriously oppose the junta, we ourselves will be labeled terrorists. Not only that, but Ladenism must be defeated. Get in line people, take a number, it’s still early. The lights are going out and things are getting out of control. This is just the beginning of real, terrible war.

Posted by: Walter | Mar 20 2020 17:53 utc | 18

@9
Iran like USA is a country full of doctors and scientists yet run by old military men and other economic oligarch thief’s. Both Iran and USA rely on religion, both countries leaders spew propaganda not science despite having access to better knowledge. They both have lied so much to their people that now that the truth is coming out it is hard to control the situation and now get people to listen to science.

Posted by: Garrett | Mar 20 2020 17:55 utc | 19

Posted by: Kali | Mar 20 2020 17:44 utc | 15

"Tulsi Gabbard: Enemy of T̷h̷e̷ Their State"
by Pam Ho

Yeh, by endorsing Biden she is an enemy. They sure know how whip the Millennial heads left and right with little effort.

Posted by: Tom_LX | Mar 20 2020 17:56 utc | 20

I watch the markets very closely as I do invest in them. I was nearly 100% out based on open sources. I noticed the oil stocks dropped heavily for weeks before the oil standoff between Russia and the Saudis. This is pretty much SOP for the insiders, selling or buying on intelligence. They know the plan going forward and get out.

The intelligence briefing he got could have been discerned through open sources. It saves a bunch of time and effort when you can get it direct. It pays back his contributors for the dollars they placed in his campaign. It is not illegal for Congresspersons to insider trade. They make the laws.

They can go after those contributors who traded on the inside information and they should shame the legislators. Will they huff and puff? Probably. Will the change the law? Maybe when hell freezes over.


Posted by: dltravers | Mar 20 2020 18:03 utc | 21

But of course these grifters sold based upon insider information-that is what they do!

I do not recall now exactly what is the law against congress trading on insider info but I recall that not long ago an effort was made to tighten the law to which congress rose up against almost 100% against.

Posted by: Thomas Minnehan | Mar 20 2020 18:06 utc | 22

Escobar on the "theft" of test kits by the Outlaw US Empire:

"THIS STINKS TO HIGH HEAVEN.

"So here's the story in La Reppublica about those 500k test kits which did NOT come from China but from Brescia, in Lombardy.

"So we have a situation where a factory in the epicenter of the fight against Covid-19 has an amount of test kits enough to satisfy the needs of the whole of northern Italy, and instead they end up on the US, traveling from the NATO base in Aviano to Memphis on a military flight?????????????????

"What the hell? How much these 'private American distributors' paid for this scheme - if not the Pentagon itself? Was the government in Rome aware of it? My initial info came from diplomatic sources. No wonder informed Italians fume about the fact they are living in AMGOT - American Government Occupied Territory."

What follows is a machine translation of the article:

<< The whole world says it's a war. And for the first time in history it seems to be of all against all, with no more alliances. Every nation thinks for itself, using every means to secure the winning weapons against the virus: tampons, masks, respirators. So the United States managed to buy half a million kits to detect the contagion in Brescia. And they transferred them to Memphis on a military plane.

On Wednesday, America celebrated the arrival of a shipment of tampons, exactly half a million pieces. An impressive supply: in our country since the beginning of the epidemic, a little more than 100 thousand have been made of it. But that supply landed in the Usa came from the American base of Aviano, not far from Pordenone. Yes, in Italy there was a colossal reserve of diagnostic tests, available a few tens of kilometers from the epicenter of Covid-19: tools that our regions seek in every way to stem the spread of the disease but they can not find.The announcement of the transatlantic expedition was made on Instagram, along with the photo of the hold of an Air Force C-17 Globemaster quadrireactor full of containers with kits. Then the post was removed. But the news found official confirmation in the words of Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman. "There are multiple elements to make the test - explained General Paul Friedrichs, of the Central Medical Command - the first are the tampons that serve to collect samples from people, then there is the liquid where to develop them. This is what we brought from Italy." The general said that the materials are produced in the US and abroad, without specifying where they were found. And he added:"This is a great example of how nations work together to ensure that global questions are answered."

And half a million tests were produced in Italy. From a company in Brescia, the city that in these hours is at the forefront of the battle against the disease: Copan Diagnostics. Ambassador Lewis Einsenberg confirms this in Repubblica: "We are pleased that the Italian company Copan Diagnostics continues to produce tampons for testing Covid-19 in sufficient quantities to meet requests in Italy and sales abroad. The Italian private sector contributes to saving lives in the world. I congratulate you on this effort." It specifies: "the United States will continue to purchase these tampons from Italian companies according to their needs. The United States and Italy continue to work together in close collaboration. " the news seems surprising. A Lombard company had at its disposal a sufficient quantity of tampons for the needs of the whole North and instead was sold overseas. Did they beat us on the price? Various information is circulating on the US government's efforts to source resources against Covid-19. The White House, for example, would have offered very high sums to obtain the exclusivity of the vaccine tested by the German CureVac laboratories: an operation blocked by the intervention in Berlin followed by the European Union, which has allocated 80 million to prevent the leak of the patent. In these hours, there are worldwide auctions to buy at increasing prices even stocks of masks and respirators-an economic challenge, in which the strongest wins. Like in war. But no more alliances they hold.

At first it was thought that the tampons came from American military bases. In Aviano there is a large deposit of medical materials, accumulated in view of a conflict. It is the medical War Reserve Materiel of the 31st US Army: a video from last December shows a giant hangar packed with components for field hospitals, diagnostic instrumentation and medicines. All ready to be boarded on planes and get anywhere in a few hours. Another escort should be located at Camp Darby, at the gates of Livorno, the largest arsenal located outside the States. Both strategic warehouses in the Pentagon documents are indicated, although in the last point of the priorities, as usable for "host nations". That is Italy. But nothing has been made available to our country. Citing Winston Churchill, in his book the legendary General Jim Mattis, former Pentagon chief, wrote:"There is only one thing worse than fighting together with allies, fighting without allies." It was a critique of Donald Trump's foreign policy. A warning that also applies in the war against the virus.

But the reality is different. The tampons were ready in Brescia, in the heart of the epidemic, where doctors and nurses struggle to block the disease before it overwhelms Milan, where every day thousands of people risk the infection. Was our government aware of this?

The Copan Diagnostics replicates that " everything happened in the sunlight. We should not have warned the Italian authorities: they are products for free sale. And we are a leading company that exports all over the world. There is no shortage of tampons: in recent weeks in Italy we have sold more than a million and we can meet all requests. The problem is not the kits, but the laboratories to analyze them." And he points out: "that stock was not purchased by the US government, but by private companies and American distributors. They transported it on a military flight only because there were no commercial aircraft available."

Websites tracking traffic in the skies have determined that the tampon jet took off from Aviano on Monday, March 16 in the early afternoon. At that time in Italy there were almost 30 thousand cases and 2,158 deaths. In the United States there were only 86 deaths and the positive 4,500.>>


Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 20 2020 18:12 utc | 23

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 20 2020 18:12 utc | 23

" At that time in Italy there were almost 30 thousand cases and 2,158 deaths. In the United States there were only 86 deaths and the positive 4,500.>>"

Yes but that means very little. Most likely an exclusive group of people (because who else) in the US desperately needed these test and got them. How ? Through the good work of US Ambassador Lewis Eisenberg who made sure that it happened. Alliances mean little when you are fighting a War Against Corona.

link

Posted by: Tom_LX | Mar 20 2020 18:33 utc | 24

Coronavirus Stimulus Package Spurs a Lobbying Gold Rush

Posted by: vk | Mar 20 2020 18:40 utc | 25

karlof1 @ 9 says:

One hopes Flores essay's correct

I don't find Flores essay particularly optimistic.

You see, in the America story there was this dangerous myth that it would all work out in the end

Posted by: john | Mar 20 2020 19:00 utc | 26

Walter @18--

You mentioned Mike Parenti yesterday in a comment directed at me that I failed replying. I used his The Anti-Communist Impulse (1969) quite a lot in essays and lectures and have read a few of his other works and articles. Here's his concluding paragraph from "1918":

"Now comes a different conflict. We have enemies at home: the schemers who trade our blood for sacks of gold, who make the world safe for hypocrisy, safe for themselves, readying themselves for the next 'humanitarian war.' See how sleek and self-satisfied they look, riding our backs, distracting our minds, filling us with fright about wicked foes. Important things keep happening, but not enough to finish them off. Not yet enough."

Yes, there never seems to be enough "to finish them off." The deft dicing of what might become solid solidarity is always done with dexterity and finesse, and gloated over by BigLie Media. Why become a Winston Smith when Anderson Cooper is made to appear more appropriate. The almost step-daughter-in-law wasn't worried about TP; she wanted to hit all the pot shops to ensure she didn't run out. At least she stood her ground by continuing to wear her mask at work--MikkiDs--where she was first told wearing it was against the health code!

So much is stolen by lead & mercury laden water, hormone mimickers in absolutely everything, diluted 'cides of all sorts swimming in almost all processed foods, and so much more leading to far more than one Lost Generation incapable of thinking for themselves, producing more masculinized and femenized offspring than ever before in human history. Masses of people who can't figure out who they are so they have no clue about what they really need to do.

Then there's the sorry old Jewish man who caved in favor of longevity instead of his convictions. He joins those who worship a long dead Jewish Rabbi but in reality have no idea what he stood for or why they worship him. I'm at the point where I think Steve Keen and Reg Morrison are correct: Humanity's a Plague Species and Gaia launched the virus. My solace lies in the fact that hearses don't have luggage racks; but it would be quite nice to discover Dante was correct too.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 20 2020 19:10 utc | 27

Thomas Minnehan@22
I believe that Congressmen are now pretty well exempt from Insider Trading laws and that this was one of the many 'changes' that Obama campaigned for and introduced during his eight years in office.

The significance of this behaviour is that it shows that, whatever we might think and whatever Political theorists may claim, they understand that their duty is to those who elect them-the interests and individuals which fund their campaigns.
For many of these Congressional capitalist campaign funds have also been a major source of their personal wealth, something which reinforces their idea that they owe their political careers not to democracy but to oligarchs in a plutocracy, in which it is their role to serve the interests of their employers.
As to the masses-they are presumed to vote according to wholly irrational cultural rhythms which sway them like massed choirs conducted by the media and other featured attractions in the brothel of capitalist ideology.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 20 2020 19:11 utc | 28

Should read "For many of these Congressional capitalists..."

Posted by: bevin | Mar 20 2020 19:12 utc | 29

In the video at b's link, the reporter is at the hospital in Italy. He says some recover and some die in about equal numbers, and that is what the numbers on the coronavirus tracker is showing for Italy.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 20 2020 19:38 utc | 31

>A week after Burr’s sales, the stock market began a sharp
>decline and has lost about 30% since.

Thus proving once again the value of the Two Rules of Investing:
1. Don't Panic
2. Panic First!

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Mar 20 2020 19:55 utc | 32

There was plenty of warning that equities, derivative and bond markets were toast. The information was freely available in the public domain many, many, many months prior to the presently on-going collapse. It was not some secret demanding special access to hidden inside knowledge to understand what was afoot.

Posted by: Siotu | Mar 20 2020 20:08 utc | 33

Siotu "The information was freely available in the public domain many..."

Bullshit. Nothing in the public domain many months before hand. What is there is always there - the bubble's going crash ect ect.

In this case the government was publicly saying everything was good, its just the flue, but in private, selling off all their investments before the pandemic hit.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 20 2020 20:14 utc | 34

Buried at the bottom of an NPR article is an indication that Lombardy had the virus much earlier than previously known, perhaps even before Wuhan.

Some question why Italy was caught off guard when the virus outbreak was revealed on Feb. 21.

Remuzzi says he is now hearing information about it from general practitioners. "They remember having seen very strange pneumonia, very severe, particularly in old people in December and even November," he says. "This means that the virus was circulating, at least in [the northern region of] Lombardy and before we were aware of this outbreak occurring in China."

https://www.npr.org/2020/03/19/817974987/every-single-individual-must-stay-home-italy-s-coronavirus-deaths-pass-china-s

At this point, the virus virus outside Wuhan still has many unknowns.

Posted by: occupatio | Mar 20 2020 20:51 utc | 35

ie, the virus timeline outside of Wuhan still has many unknowns.

Posted by: occupatio | Mar 20 2020 20:52 utc | 36

TREAT COVID-19 WITH IMMUNOSUPPRESSORS?

I suggest that immunosuppressors are tried as a treatment for the pneumonia associated with the new coronavirus disease. This idea comes from combining five pieces of information and speculation.

1) Despite over a decade of efforts no one has been able to develop a vaccine for SARS or any other coronavirus. The problem is that the test subjects vaccinated (usually laboratory mice) exhibit a too strong immunoreaction to the virus, sometimes leading to a lethal cytokine storm.

2) COVID-19 patients become highly infectious before symptoms appear, but are no longer infectious as the disease progresses. This shows that the immune system is working and able to kill all viruses outside cells but viruses may still survive inside the lung cells.

3) All symptoms of COVID-19 are identical to the mysterious vaping illness that caused an epidemic in the United States in the fall of 2019. In both diseases CT scans show "ground-glass opacities" in the lungs. (The cause of "vaping illness" has never been properly established. It is my suspicion that it is actually caused by a strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.)

4) Patients with hypersensitivity pneumonitis, an immune system disorder that affects the lungs also show "ground-glass opacities" in CT scans.

5) Immunosuppressors have been used successfully in treating "vaping illness".

Outbreak of Electronic-Cigarette–Associated Acute Lipoid Pneumonia — North Carolina, July–August 2019

All five patients improved clinically within 24–72 hours after initiation of intravenous methylprednisone (120 mg–500 mg daily). All five patients survived and were discharged home on a taper of oral prednisone.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 20 2020 20:56 utc | 37

Politicians are only the front men. They probably wonder why they have been singled out as “everyone does it”. (Notable quote from UK financiers during a scandal of using the names of real Downs Syndrome sufferers in a tax avoidance, false “Charities” scam. )

The Banks are at it again. As are some Pharmaceutical groups.
https://theintercept.com/2020/03/19/coronavirus-vaccine-medical-supplies-price-gouging/

There is fight back …..
In Spain, the government seized control of private health care providers, including privately run hospitals, to manage the demand for treatment for patients with Covid-19.

There is this surprising item at the bottom of the link -
Last Friday, Levin circulated a letter signed by other House Democrats that called for the government to take charge in producing ventilators, N95 respirators, and other critical supplies facing shortages.
The once inconceivable policy was endorsed on Wednesday when Trump unveiled a plan to invoke the Defense Production Act to compel private firms to produce needed supplies during the crisis. The law, notably, allows the president to set a price ceiling for critical goods used in an emergency.

Meanwhile China has been sending kits and other medical supplies to Italy, Venezuela and Iran. (Should come as no surprise - or how to make lasting friends and influence people.)

(Repost as I put this on the wrong thread,)

Posted by: Stonebird | Mar 20 2020 21:23 utc | 38

Corrupt sure. But not many were in on it. The markets went on from Feb 13th to reach new highs.
After his luncheon (27th Feb) the market rallied upwards for the next week.
From my point of view, it was a market that reacted with a great delay, as if no one really believed what was happening. (Look at the extremely delayed fall in Boeing).

Posted by: Michael Droy | Mar 20 2020 21:36 utc | 39

Keep your eye on the senator's stock trading activities. When they start loadimg up it means they've founfd a vaccine.

Posted by: dh | Mar 20 2020 21:53 utc | 40

I've always heard that its very difficult to time the big moves in the stock market, but clearly that is only true for the sheeple.

Posted by: Bruce Berry | Mar 20 2020 22:36 utc | 41

Michael Droy @ 39
Just as they were unloading stocks these Senators were also issuing very upbeat statements assuring investors that there was nothing to worry about.
But the really interseting move was the one that the new GOP Senator from Georgia made, while selling millions of dollars worth she was also shrewd enough to invest in a teleworking firm that benefits directly from quarantines.
I wish that I had made this up, but you can't.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 20 2020 22:36 utc | 42

@42
If you sleep with the chairman of the New York stock exchange you are bound to get the occasional hot tip.

Posted by: dh | Mar 20 2020 22:54 utc | 43

Petri Krohn

Both the Chinese and Italians I think have been testing rheumatism drugs and getting results after the virus is gone or has been treated with antivirals. I put up a bit on this earlier in the coronavirus threads. steroids are bad news apparently as they were tried and the outcome was worse.
this coronavirus strain I suspects triggers some sort of auto immune problem in some people which causes the immune system to attack healthy cells and to continue doing so after the virus is gone.

The pneumonia caused by vaping was different to coronavirus in its spread (more of a chronic or persistant condition while the person continued vaping) and I believe there were other differences. No bacteria or virus was associated or with the vaping pneumonia whereas coronavirus quickly develops into a bacterial, and then according to the russian honcho, fungal pneumonia or infection.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 20 2020 23:10 utc | 44

The husband,who uses a different name, is the OWNER of the New York Stock Exchange.

Posted by: Kristan hinton | Mar 20 2020 23:53 utc | 45

Conservatives doing what they do best. Feeding at the trough and socializing the losses to the public. The beauties of the free market as raiders bailout their friends in various industries. So much for draining the swamp... Following the lead of their chief degenerate, deplorables will still look for someone to blame, wheter it be blacks, lefties or spics.

Posted by: Augustin L | Mar 21 2020 0:04 utc | 46

Crime, once exposed has no refuge but in audacity – Tacitus

Posted by: abee | Mar 21 2020 0:04 utc | 47

I believe what we are witnessing here is a controlled demolition of the world economy conducted by the western governments at the behest of the Central Banks of the West. The economies of the west for the past many decades have been built upon ever growing phantom wealth.
The House of Cards was destined to fall so the governments found a very weak pretext and have proceeded to use it as an excuse for tanking the economies of the world. No doubt many well placed persons will have bailed out early and have taken their huge profits leaving the ordinary folk to bear the weight of the collapse blamed on a virus whose danger has been grotesquely inflated much like the currency.

Posted by: James Robinson | Mar 21 2020 0:59 utc | 48

The problem with your theory, James, lies here:
" well placed persons will have bailed out early and have taken their huge profits."
The question is where could they have taken these profits, without risking their wealth?
Their wealth depends upon their control of the state and the law. They risk losing both by demolishing the economy.
There is nowhere, outside of capitalist society, for capitalist wealth to survive: if they put their wealth in land, as evidently the Waltons have done, they depend upon the people to defend it for them. If people are hungry they are not going to, and should not, respect such property any more than they should starve in the sight of full warehouses of food. And they will not.
If the capitalists have tanked the economy, they have shot their own feet off. I wish that they had.In fact the economy is collapsing because of their idiocy and despite their wishes.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 21 2020 1:47 utc | 49

bevin
A few things retain purchasing power in a major recetion depretion crash type event, which would be the aim. Purchasing power I guess would be the measure of wealth rather than units of any particular currency.
Physical ownership of precious metals stones and art seem to have always been good currency in the hardest of times. Americans (and others) though, seemed to have dumped shares in favour of the dollar.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 21 2020 2:07 utc | 50

@ Bevin @49

Very well said Bevin. Their wealth will evaporate in the wasteland they create.

Posted by: Copeland | Mar 21 2020 2:23 utc | 51

@49 Not only that but they have a big problem with security. Sure they can live in gated places with hired guards but can they trust the police and the army? The populace coud get organised at some point and there are a lot of armed angry people.

Posted by: dh | Mar 21 2020 2:27 utc | 52

Trump thinks he's a King with a Magic Wand. He waves his Wand, shouts, "Make more ventilators!"

Doh! They are already running full speed. We are truly ruled by idiots. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is playing Sorcerer's Apprentice by pouring trillions into a quickly shrinking supply of goods and services. That has never ended well, even as they claim, "This time it's different". But it never is.

In spite of all the cash they are pouring in, the foreign demand for dollars is driving up the value vs. other currencies. It reminds me of how the water recedes just before the tsunami hits. I think that is where the financial system is at right now.

This new depression could be much worse than 1930s due to urbanization. The last time, in the US many people had relatives in the country, so they had some place to go. This time, only 20% of the population is rural. Only two of my relatives have ever been to my place in 40 years. I don't think it would even occur to them that this could be a refuge. Oh well.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Mar 21 2020 2:28 utc | 53

>Sure they can live in gated places with hired guards but
>can they trust the police and the army?

US installed Afghanistan elite have been trying that for 20 years. It's not working. They keep hiring people who turn out to be Taliban sympathizers who kill their fellow soldiers and officers.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Mar 21 2020 2:33 utc | 54

Trailer Trash | Mar 21 2020 2:33 utc | 54 You know, friend, that's a classic "problem.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? "Who will guard the guards themselves?"

It's classical because the guards have the power, and the boss does not...of course Juvenal wrote about the girls plotting in the harem to seduce their guards... But we understand the message, eh?

Posted by: Walter | Mar 21 2020 2:45 utc | 55

New Speedway Boogie

Lyrics: Robert Hunter. Music: Jerry Garcia

Please don't dominate the rap, Jack
If you got nothing new to say
If you please, don't back up the track
This train's got to run today

I spent a little time in the mountain
Spent a little time on the hill
I heard some say "better run away"
Others say "better stand still"

Now I don't know but I've been told
It's hard to run with the weight of gold
Other hand I heard it said
It's just as hard with the weight of lead

Who can deny? Who can deny?
It's not just a change in style
One step done and another begun
In I wonder how many miles?

I spent a little time on the mountain
Spent a little time on the hill
Things went down we don't understand
But I think in time we will

Now I don't know but I was told
In the heat of the sun a man died of cold
Do we keep on coming or stand and wait
With the sun so dark and the hour so late?

You can't overlook the lack Jack
Of any other highway to ride
It's got no signs or dividing lines
And very few rules to guide

I spent a little time on the mountain
Spent a little time on the hill
I saw things getting out of hand
I guess they always will

Now, I don't know but I've been told
If the horse don't pull, you got to carry the load
I don't know whose back's that strong
Maybe find out before too long

Posted by: Copeland | Mar 21 2020 2:46 utc | 56

@54 Yes but I was thinking more of the average grunt. When push comed to shove are they going to fire on their own relatives and neighbours?

Posted by: dh | Mar 21 2020 2:47 utc | 57

Also, in 1945, a lot of Germans could go to relatives on farms. (See the last chapters of Fallada's "Jeder stirbt fuer sich allein".) That won't be possible for many Americans now.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 21 2020 2:48 utc | 58

@Jpc @3

And they keep getting reelected.

Outside the issue of vote fraud, this is very true. Nancy Pelosi is one of thee most reactionary politicans in the US, and the voters of supposedly very liberal San Francisco keep voting her in. During the 2016 primaries, Bernie won a number of states by very wide margins, and the elected officials who were super delegates supported Hillary. And not one of them from the ones I looked into were ever electorally punished.

This is why the democratic party will never be reformed and remain as Hedges said, zombies. Bernie supporters believed that the base of the democratic party is progressive and will revolt against the establishment masters. The base put the establishment masters into power.

Posted by: Erelis | Mar 21 2020 3:16 utc | 59

>When push comed to shove are they going to fire on their own
>relatives and neighbours?

Traditionally in the US they bring in National Guard from other areas, so rural rednecks are sent to put down urban riots, for example. During 1960s riots there was no problem getting Guardsmen to fire live rounds at civilians. In Detroit they sent in National Guard, 82nd Airborne, 101st Airborne, tanks, machine guns, and left 43 dead.

And of course the police continue to kill three civilians a day, every day, year after year.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Mar 21 2020 3:49 utc | 60

Its called insider trading b and its legal now in the US.

When you have a private finance system that is mainlining the global public you have to let those that make that possible enjoy some of the perks.

Some of the pigs in the human trough think themselves better than others and act accordingly. That mythical feeling of entitlement is the basis for not wanting to share as well because others are not as deserving as you and your kind.

Humanity is currently in a obtuse civilization war about that sharing concept writ anthropological......public/private control of human economic activity.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 21 2020 5:37 utc | 61

That oinking sound you here is that of Wall Street and American corporations lining up at the pig feeding trough that is the United States government, as it prepares to hand out billions (or trillions) of dollars as part of the "Corporate Grifters First Coronavirus Response Act"

Posted by: ak47 | Mar 21 2020 5:43 utc | 62

# 48 James Robinson

Word! You hit the nail at its head.

Posted by: Kirsten | Mar 21 2020 7:21 utc | 63

I do support the idea : "You get governmental help. You're nationalised as long you did not reimburse every cent of the bailout." It's the least that should be done. The billions spent on buyback could be useful now.

Posted by: DidierF | Mar 21 2020 8:33 utc | 64

WHO briefed and when was congress briefed about the Corona 19 attack

Clearly the nation state system has failed humanity. Its design rises the most criminal of criminality, and the most inhuman of humans, to the top and disposes at the bottom of the most dependent of the masses. Either the system of governance needs to be fixed, or a way for the governed to audit and punish corruption of those who abuse the system is needed.

The privilege of the governed that I proposed some months back, would allow any governed person, to charge critters with a crime against humanity and bring the charge to a human rights court. where a human rights judge(appointed by humanity and funded without state funds) in that court would decide if the charge had sufficient support to justify a case, if so, the critters would be removed from their governor position, remanded to the custody of the HR court, where the case of a violation of human rights by a person in a position of trust would be decided, and if convicted, punishment would be applied and the persons convicted. <= It is obvious that the state's system of courts was not designed to police its own.

Posted by: snake | Mar 21 2020 8:50 utc | 65

I suppose anyone that didn't see this coming shouldn't be in the market,
Of course that does not excuse the behavour of these insiders npo Not at all
Giving out false advice as Bernard says is indeed criminal behavour, but where is the sanction
for this, answer there is none and there wont be. and the foolish people who voted for this
excuse for a humanbeing will go out and do it allover again.

Posted by: joey the Fox | Mar 21 2020 8:59 utc | 66

- Even FOX (FAUX) News is/seems to be angry about what Burr did.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZHl21MsFd4

Posted by: Willy2 | Mar 21 2020 9:14 utc | 67

Off topic, have a look at Australia's ABC, 4 Corners TV documentary program on war crimes in Afghanistan, the Australian SAS trooper has been stood down, pending "investigation." Frightening. Does he think he is an IDF operative with unlimited impunity? No more endless wars for the Bandit State.
https://iview.abc.net.au/show/abc-news-24/video/NS1413V001S00

Posted by: Paaul | Mar 21 2020 9:25 utc | 68

Posted by: Paaul | Mar 21 2020 9:25 utc | 68
Yes, came across that one. Good guys are Teflon coated.

Google "Jim Steel Rumsfeld Iraq".

"Birds of a feather flock together"

An exclusive golf course backs onto a spacious two-storey house. A coiled green garden hose lies on the lawn. The grey-slatted wooden shutters are closed. And, like the other deserted luxury houses in this gated community near Bryan, Texas, nothing moves.

Retired Colonel Jim Steele, whose military decorations include the Silver Star, the Defence Distinguished Service Medal, four Legions of Merit, three Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart, is not at home. Nor is he at his office headquarters in Geneva, where he is listed as the chief executive officer of Buchanan Renewables, an energy company. Similar efforts to track him down at his company's office in Monrovia are futile. Messages are left. He doesn't call back.

Steel
I bet Pompeo visited him when he was in Texas to exchange notes with Steel.

Posted by: Tom_LX | Mar 21 2020 9:34 utc | 69

Not being a lover of Fox News. I have to say I find that Tucker Carlson usually calls a spade a spade.
He has aired the Assange case up to a point also tackled the false narrative regards Syrian gas and chemical
Attacks, so in my book he is one of the good ones.
As Tacitus said "Crime, once exposed, has no refuge but in audacity", and the Empire in all its forms Have perfected this tactic.

Posted by: joey the Fox | Mar 21 2020 9:38 utc | 70

Paaul 68

He will recieve a slap on the wrist for getting caught. Whoever released the video is the one that will cop a decent punishment. Nobody will be punished for murder.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 21 2020 9:43 utc | 71

The grift is called capitalism. Not ‘casino capitalism’, ‘crony capitalism’ but capitalism in all of its mutations. Sorry, libertarians.

The atrocious response to the COVID19 pandemic by EU and North American governments and the inability of privatized or deliberately underfunded health care systems in these countries to cope with the influx of patients, not to mention the rickety economy crashing (again) and governments bailing out the rich (again), exposes the capitalist con in all of its dysfunctional glory.

It will be very interesting to see what kind of world emerges from the other end of this crisis.

Will the people finally force their governments to stop letting psychopathic capitalists run their countries into the ground or will the banksters and corporate mobsters be allowed to consolidate their power (again) and further immiserate and impoverish the wage and salary earners that make up the vast majority of the population?

Posted by: Daniel | Mar 21 2020 9:44 utc | 72

Posted by: joey the Fox | Mar 21 2020 9:38 utc | 70

"Not being a lover of Fox News. I have to say I find that Tucker Carlson usually calls a spade a spade."

I avoid FOX (NYT,WaPo,CNN and BBC) like the plague (just a pun) unless I want to know what they want me to think.

My reading of him is that he is being used as a "Pressure Relief Valve" because otherwise I don't get it.

Posted by: Tom_LX | Mar 21 2020 9:49 utc | 73

Trailer Trash and bevin have it right. This economic crash is "the Big One" that preppers and doomsayers have been predicting for over a decade. These tools of the oligarchs in Congress are just swapping paper for paper. When the dust settles they will be able to wipe their butts with it, but that's about it. The only things that will retain value are real and tangible properties. The "prices" for those real and tangible properties will fluctuate along with the perceived value of currency, but when things settle down the perceived value of currency will stabilize at reflecting the real values of properties. It could even be that the US$ ceases to exist as a currency altogether, which is a good scenario to imagine if you are trying to model where reliable economic value can be found in the economy during an unusually deep crisis.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 21 2020 10:02 utc | 74

@60 I'm imagining a situation where heavily armed rural rednecks are the ones doing the protesting.

Posted by: dh | Mar 21 2020 10:36 utc | 75

Ask yourself this simple question: Why is it that police and military never get the virus or whatever else is going round ? The real measure of how lethal any viral contagion really is, is how many government officials and government police and army get the virus. In Italy, armed police and soldiers are strutting up and down the streets, threatening the people, yet they are a picture of health and well being. Now why is that ?

Posted by: john wilson | Mar 21 2020 11:23 utc | 76

What about the Donald himself? All the time he was saying it's a hoax and delaying the intl answer (cf. IATA), did he move his assets? I would be he did.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 21 2020 12:01 utc | 77

Skynews video (5min) from an Italian hospital.

The shocking centre of the COVID-19 crisis

"This is not a flue."

more fear mongering? does that anaesthetist being interviewed down at the corona virus epicenter seem stressed or overtly concerned? he's not even wearing a fucking face mask, for crying out loud.

having one of the finest healthcare systems in the world, Italy's real good at keeping old folks alive, mostly up there in the north where the population density is the highest, longevity is the highest, and air pollution is the highest, oh yeah, and where they're the richest. so, when we read that 99% of the deaths are people with 2, 3, 4 pre-existing conditions, well, put two and two together...why they're counting them as corona deaths i don't know, unless scaring the shit out of everyone is in the script.

also, some of the congestion in the hospital system up there is due to the fact that they've been downsizing considerably over recent years. you know, all the money's gone...

Posted by: john | Mar 21 2020 12:05 utc | 78

Boeing chief David Calhoun gave Mossad, maybe also to CIA the access to the autopilot software. MH370 got hijacked to punish Malysia (G.W.Bush war crime tribunal). 20 UN members on board of Lion air on the way to vote for a decision not favorable to Israel.
Ukrainian Air plane changed course to Iranian air defence station / shooting down in Teheran?

It was covered up with 737max having technical software problems, etc.

In turn for the damage Boeing got now a 60 billion for reconstructing the image, etc.
The FED bolstering the rouge hedge fonds...I gues they will buy up Italy now.

The solution to avoid martial law all nations should stop this stupid covid-19 testing and breaking out of the WHO White Helmets terror Organisation, secretly lead by Vaccination Pope Bill Gates and the usual suspects who own big pharma.

Posted by: Hempus | Mar 21 2020 12:39 utc | 79

And, you have helped these grifters by doing your small part to spread hysteria. If we all end up living in police states, you can take a tiny bit of the credit. Enjoy being locked in your house next week, I'll be taking a hike.

Posted by: SteveK9 | Mar 21 2020 13:33 utc | 80

I must admit that Putin has the best immediate reaction. On being told that some Companies are raising prices 50rubles to 70-100 rubles, he simply said "revoke their licences, okay", (and do the same for anyone else who tries)

Even Merkel is now going to block foreign takeovers, to avoid an economic sell-out.

In a war you find out who your real friends are.

Posted by: Stonebird | Mar 21 2020 13:37 utc | 81

Trump: "I love Italy" (spagetti)

It will be hard for him to see George Soros and others eating up Italy in front of his eyes.

Is Trumps's political correctness toward the Israel lobby now overboiled and running bloody hot down over the USA?
An option for him would be declaring martial law in America, stop the Covid-19 swindle, Nationalize the FED and jail the swamp creatures!

Guess the Media would nail him as a "covid-19 denier" which is almost as bad as a Holocaust denier or as a denier of the almighty god of the none existing Semites.

Instead the deal of the century in favor of the chosen he has now the fight of the century against the chosen?

Posted by: Hempus | Mar 21 2020 13:39 utc | 82

SteveK9@80
Perhaps you can explain to us why the ruling class is so eager to move towards what you call a Police State?
Were they being prevented from doing anything that they are now enabled to do?
We know that they don't need to smash Trade Unions because they already did that. We know that it is not because they want to be able to put dissidents into jail, without troubling with trials and juries because they already do. We know it is not to license Police Officers to execute people with impunity, because that is already the case. We know that it is not in order to manipulate the currency, spend trillions on 'Defense', cut social services to the bone and employ hundreds of thousands in the secret police because they already do?
So what is it about? What is their motive?

Posted by: bevin | Mar 21 2020 14:18 utc | 84

This editorial raises a very important point for debate:

How to Avoid Complete Economic Destruction

It recommends the USG to bailout all the businesses, including small and medium businesses (they gave the restaurants as an example).

Most comments, however, propose that the solution must be to "bailout" the workers, i.e. the USG should give the money to the individuals, who are to decide with what to spend said money, thus creating a "demand economy".

I understand why the "money solves everything" argument is so strong in the USA. After all, the USD is the universal fiat currency, so that in every major economic crisis, the capitalists try to put their positions in money, which means in USD, which makes the USD stronger and not weaker - as would be the case with every other nation not called USA.

But this magical money tree is illusory, because, in a major crisis like this one, production (the chains of production) are also disrupted. So, yes, the USD will get stronger, but its purchasing power will collapse. Little people would have their USD 1,200 checks in hand - but all they would be able to purchase would be overpriced essential goods (food and medicine) from the few shops opened or to pay whatever debt they have (money to the financial sector).

The USD is only getting "stronger" as a financial asset, not as money per se. Capitalists are rushing to the USD so they can safely reverse their positions to other capitals when the situation is solved. That doesn't mean whoever has USD in hands will see his/her purchasing power increased.

Keynesianism is a farce. There's no such a thing as a "demand economy". Dollars don't create things; humans working create things. True power lies with the working class, not with the money.

Posted by: vk | Mar 21 2020 14:21 utc | 85

SteveK9 @ 80 says:

Enjoy being locked in your house next week, I'll be taking a hike

'All the money's gone, nowhere to go...

But oh, that magic feeling, nowhere to go
Oh, that magic feeling
Nowhere to go, nowhere to go

One sweet dream
Pick up the bags and get in the limousine
Soon we'll be away from here
Step on the gas and wipe that tear away
One sweet dream came true today...'

(link)

Posted by: john | Mar 21 2020 15:07 utc | 86

@ 80 steveK9... please answer bevins questions... what you say doesn't make sense...

Posted by: james | Mar 21 2020 15:46 utc | 87

Posted by: vk | Mar 21 2020 14:21 utc | 85

How to Avoid Complete Economic Destruction

There are three possible ways to bail out the economy.

  1. Bail out the banks.

    Send trillions of dollars of money to banks and hedge funds to cover the losses inflicted by speculation. This is privatizing profits and socializing losses, also called lemon socialism.

  2. The businesses will still go bankrupt, but it creates a bargain prices for the billionaire class to buy businesses.

  3. Bail out the businesses.

    Another form of lemon socialism, but better, as now both the businesses and the banks will be saved. The people will still go bankrupt.

  4. Bail out the people.

    Send each citizen a check for $10,000 or something. This money will quickly go to the business and from there to the banks. Everyone will be saved.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 21 2020 16:01 utc | 88

Hempus | Mar 21 2020 13:39 utc | 82

A way to conceptualise what is happening, is to think in images.

Where the "Ant-brained" (such as the Military, Bureauocrats) rush around without individuality but according to a groupthink. Can be "clever" and persevering, but are limited to whatever "aim" has been given to them. They cannot change, either it or themselves.
The "elite" as they call themselves, are "Termites". Who burrow into and under the foundations of society, and attack the basic structure itself (the house) unseen, just for their own (probably personal) gain. ie. The "grifters" in high positions. or could belong to a closed society.

The rest of us are more or less individual insects - but it is not necessary to take the images too far - as the advantage of this way of thinking is that it is not based on race, creed or colour, but on attitude.
The terms "ant-brain" or "Termite" could therefore be used freely without being sidetracked by accusations of favouring or slurring one ethnic or power group or another.

Posted by: Stonebird | Mar 21 2020 16:22 utc | 89

@ Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 21 2020 16:01 utc | 88

None of these will work because the COVID-19 crisis also stops the productive process.

You can't eat money.

Posted by: vk | Mar 21 2020 16:23 utc | 90

This article by Philip Roddis makes some interesting points. He cites the Modern Monetary Theorist Richard Murphy's economic prescriptions:

"1) Cancel all tax payments to government. There is no time for finessing who should, and should not, have a tax payment holiday;

2) Cancel all mandatory payments to pension funds: right now they are low priority;

3) Freeze required repayment of bank loans, mortgages, leases, credit card charges and similar. Guarantee funding to banks to ensure their survival, but on condition they are nationalised immediately without compensation. Every bank is now, in any case, effectively insolvent;

4) Cancel all rent obligations for the foreseeable future and let landlords claim benefits of the same type as the self-employed;

5) Nationalise all utilities (electricity, gas, water) and cancel all charges for now. In this one case the government should make good the lost revenues, but they will now be under state ownership;

6) Introduce food rationing, first by limiting the amount any consumer can buy, and thereafter in an organised fashion through store loyalty cards, extending these to locations that do not use them at present;

7) Guarantee payment of 50% of regular net wages to all employees of a company (since rents, mortgages and utility charges are no longer due), and authorise all companies to make these payments and make a claim from the government for the cost. If settling the obligation threatens financial liquidity (with significant penalties for false claims) grant funding should be created to keep basic systems going;

8) Set up a universal basic income equivalent to the national minimum wage for all self-employed people and landlords, with severe penalties for false or multiple claims;

9) Guarantee payment of all pensions whatever the liquidity of their funds;

10) Put price controls in place to prevent racketeering: I explained how here;

11) Create a programme of quantitative easing to create the money required to deliver this programme. There is no limit to the amount of money the government can create in this way and it will not cause any economic harm to do so when the alternative is catastrophe. I explain this here.


http://steelcityscribblings.uk/wp/2020/03/21/labour-party-your-silence-is-deafening/

Posted by: bevin | Mar 21 2020 16:53 utc | 91

by: vk @ 85 <= i agree but nobody is listening.. the way to fix it all <= make currency interest free, issued by government, and made available without required repayment.. and remove all property, copyright and patent laws. retake from private interest all public resources that the nation state system has allowed the few to privatize. <==That would bankrupt the banksters, destroy the massive in size corporation and Wall Street, and empower all of the masses with the resources they need to openly compete..

the problem with Petri Krohn's @ 88 solution is that it would require the state to be the functionary, it would allow the state to continue is practice of handing to those it favors feudal gifts in the form of public assets<=privatized and in the form of <=monopoly powers expressed as privately owned copyright, patents and property made possible by operation of law. These intangible property laws are a form of privatization, because they take works and arts and inventions of the mind as well as rights of all to use property by law of trespass and claim of private right to own in a deed. These by law generated powers and the acts of privatization they encourage, bestow on corporations monopoly powers that allow the corporations to deny others access to the market place. ..

The state is the problem, in fact the current Covid 19 problem seems to have origin in the secret operations of the state, that must be avoided to empower the people. in the day when there was no technology to connect a person in Russia with a person in America (via Internet or Satellite) nation states were necessary, but the nation state system has outlived is usefulness, the states have outlived their usefulness to the governed humanity, and are now being used by the few to control the masses.

Posted by: snake | Mar 21 2020 16:54 utc | 92

This is the direct link to Murphy's site. It contains the links to the "here"s of 10 and 11
https://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2020/03/18/a-plan-to-let-the-country-survive-the-economic-crisis/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+org%2FlWWh+%28Tax+Research+UK+2%29

I hope that works without messing up the thread.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 21 2020 17:04 utc | 93

The vultures are circling:

World’s Richest Spend $1 Billion on ‘Bargains of a Lifetime’

Posted by: vk | Mar 21 2020 17:09 utc | 94

And the Twin Towers Cannibal Award goes to ....

https://www.nasdaq(dot)com/articles/heres-why-big-health-insurance-stocks-are-soaring-today-2020-03-04

"4 March (5 days after Feb 27)

The impressive performance by former Vice President Joe Biden in the Democratic primaries on Super Tuesday boosted investors' optimism about the prospects for health insurers. Biden won at least nine states and 351 delegates compared to three states and 280 delegates for Vermont's Sen. Bernie Sanders. Two states -- California and Maine -- haven't been called yet by The New York Times, although Sanders is the clear leader in California while Biden has an edge in Maine."

Time for citizens journos to track down and publicize each and every portfolio investment fund and manager and stock ticker company by name. Make them defend their blood money dante corporate brands in public, at dinner parties!

Posted by: Екатери́на | Mar 21 2020 17:15 utc | 95

Ppl interested in the economy will comment on that, please?
https://cepr.org/content/second-instant-ebook-covid-19-economic-crisis-act-fast-and-do-whatever-it-takes

Posted by: Mina | Mar 21 2020 17:45 utc | 96

The monetization of politics assures that politicians are economically self-serving. There is only one fix for this. The question is whether that is brought on by natural calamity or the policies and actions of government.

Posted by: Noah Way | Mar 21 2020 19:05 utc | 97

Noah Way @97

Everything is a commodity in capitalism. Food and shelter, of course, but also health and education. Everything. Including politicians. The solution isn't to fix the political system as even if that were possible in a capitalist society it would just break again as soon as you turned your attention elsewhere. Democracy in capitalism is inherently unstable and will always tend towards being a commodity like everything else. Instead one must work on building a society that isn't based upon an economic system that makes everything a commodity.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 21 2020 20:08 utc | 98

So what ? Not a single american that wouldn't do the same ....

Posted by: Czerny | Mar 21 2020 20:24 utc | 99

Mina @ 96 <= i read your book on the economic solution the EU economic genius proposed.. I categorically reject its multiple many fix the .. existing government proposals. Every governed person in the EU should come out against these proposals IMO.

I agree with Gruff.. the last thing we the governed want, anywhere in the world, is for those that have for so long used the nation state system to abuse the humanity it governs. A fix to the existing nation state system which allows those that govern to further in-debt the those who are the governed, is completely out of the question. Economics is no longer acceptable as a basis for government.

No damn way should we the governed allow the haves to continue to use our governments to continue their the use of government for the profit and pleasure of the few. . .adding more debt onto the burden already of the governed is over bearing. Its time these government be forced to respond to the needs of hose it governs and to govern only in response to the will of the governed. Mr. Gruff @ 98 said it correctly. See his statement below.

Instead one must work on building a society that isn't based upon an economic system that makes everything a commodity.
by: William Gruff @ 98

Posted by: snake | Mar 21 2020 21:05 utc | 100

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