Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 16, 2020

The Recovery Will Not Be V-Shaped

During the last four weeks 22 million workers in the U.S. filed for unemployment insurance. Some 10 to 15 million additional workers were not eligible but also lost their jobs.

Michael Hudson extrapolates from there:

Ross: Ultimately, where does this end? Because if in 12 weeks time, people can’t afford to enter into the social norms, enter into the economy, live, put bread on the table, where does that logically finish?

Michael Hudson: With the American economy looking pretty much like Greece. It’ll be austerity. There will be people who don’t have jobs. They are going to be evicted from their apartments. They will have run through their savings. They will not be able to pay their credit card debt and other debts so arrears are going to rise. The banks would be squeezed, but Trump says that although we can’t save the people, we can save the banks. The Federal Reserve has enough money to keep all the banks afloat, even if they’re not getting the mortgage payments, even if they’re not able to collect on their loans. The banks can now make up for the money they’re not getting by having a huge new market: lending money to private capital and to the large companies to buy out these small businesses that are going under. It’s a bonanza.

A bonanza for the 1%.

But the oligarchs who rule the United States are probably miscalculating this crisis:

“U.S. stocks are pricing in a V-shaped economic recovery even more keenly than elsewhere in the world, so are vulnerable in the case that exits from lockdowns globally and in the U.S. prove more complicated,” said Edmund Shing, head of global equity derivative strategy at BNP Paribas SA.

The crisis will not be over before the fat lady sings. That lady has not even entered the house. A recovery will not be V-shaped. The economy will not spring back into action as soon as the lockdowns are over. It will be a long slog. The U.S. economy always depends on consumer resilience. But with more than 30 million people out of jobs there will be a huge fall of demand compared to before the pandemic.

It is also likely that there will be more than one wave of the pandemic. During summer the case numbers will probably recede but they are likely to go up again during the fall. In between the pandemic will slowly burn through more of the population but mostly out of view because of many asymptomatic cases. When it comes back it will be in a different way. During the first wave the infections started first in place A then in place B then place C all depending on traffic and contact pattern. But the second wave will likely come, as it did during the Spanish flu, as one big wall that will hit all places at the same time. That will make it more difficult to allocate resources.

Pandemics are, as Nassim Taleb and other have pointed out, fat tail events where normal statistics no longer apply. They are not symmetric Gaussian distributions curves where the way down from high case numbers has a similar shape as the way up had. The way down is actually much longer and more of a very slow decline which might even include additional eruptions.

To expect a V-shaped return to a normal economy under these circumstance is foolish.

The political consequences will be huge. A wide public demand for more social policies will come into conflict with a recalcitrant oligarchy. Can that conflict be solved within the current U.S. system?

There are a few signs for hope. The first two vaccines developed in China are now in their first phase of human testing and more are coming. Some of them may actually work. A mass producible effective vaccine would mean that the fat lady has started to sing.

There is also the curiosity that most children not only do not fall ill with the covid-19 disease but do not get infected at all. Further research into the phenomenon could point to a protection mechanism that might be exploitable for the protection of adults.

On the sad side the Economist has started to systematically cover 'excess death' from the pandemic and finds that all official death numbers are serious undercounts.

Posted by b on April 16, 2020 at 17:49 UTC | Permalink

« previous page | next page »

Everyone who can afford it is still living in last year. But supply lines are fraying. Since the USA does not manufacture anything anymore, collapse of the Post Office and the gig delivery system plus depletion of stocks is at hand. Personnel Protective Equipment has turned into the new normal, the Wild Wild West. Meat packing plants are closing since distancing is impossible when butchering animals. Medical workers and grocery clerks are dying.

Today the US federal government turned the reopening of the economy over to the 50 States. The future will be even more haphazard, incompetent and deadly than the last three months. President Trump and Congress repeated the 2008 playbook, funded the oligarchy, then Congress disappeared into hiding. The campaign for the November election is in hiatus. The federal US government is doing nothing to prevent a national collapse.

Atlantic indicates that the background infection rate right now in the USA is around 20%.
Asymptomatic virus spreaders are around 40% of the infected population. Super spreaders are almost certain to have caused the outbreaks in NY State and South Korea. Without universal virus testing, contact tracing and isolation of virus spreaders, a simple way to describing the May 1st reopening of America is murder. Uninfected Deplorables are almost certain to get COVID-19 when they go to back to work to get money to survive. In a failing nation, up to 10% of the newly infected will die because they don’t receive early healthcare because they can’t afford it and then overwhelm the system with their last breaths; dying alone in bed, on the street or in hospital corridors. Dead too soon because the government doesn’t give a damn about them.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Apr 17 2020 1:10 utc | 101

The rupee fell to all time low of 76.87 per US dollar

The Rupee falls to all-time low against US dollar

16 Apr 2020
The US dollar has strengthened against other currencies amid risk aversion and flight to safety, say analysts

Rupee may fall beyond 77 per US dollar, they say

A broad strength in the US dollar pushed Indian rupee today to record lows against the greenback today. After opening at 76.74, the rupee fell to a new low of 76.87, breaching last week's low of 76.55 per US dollar. The rupee also closed near all-time lows at 76.86 per US dollar. In comparison, the rupee had settled at 76.44 in the previous session.

"Risk aversion and flight to safety has returned in global markets. US treasury yields are lower, commodities and commodity currencies are weak, equities are weak and we are seeing broad USD strength," said Abhishek Goenka, founder and CEO of IFA Global.

Other Asian currencies were also weaker against the US dollar today. The US dollar index, which tracks the movement of the greenback against six other major currencies, was up about 0.50% to 99.98.

Posted by: Realist | Apr 17 2020 1:11 utc | 102

@VietnamVet #111
I would note that the Federal government had nothing to do with the state-ordered lockdowns - and they also don't have anything to do with the state ordered termination of lockdowns.
The federal government (and CDC) has power only the regulate incoming/outgoing from the US and between states - not within the states themselves.
This is purely Trump positioning himself.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 17 2020 1:13 utc | 103

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 16 2020 23:17 utc | 81 Much more was needed for the big split with China. At the moment Trump looks to be winning.

That's what Colonel Pat Lang has been trumpeting for the last couple years - Trump has been great for the economy (allegedly - I call BS) and Trump can win his trade war with China (I also suspect this is BS).

I don't follow trade balances and stuff like that for a couple decades now, so I have no clue about that. But I *do* know that if Trump claims it, it's *undoubtedly* bullshit.

I ask the next question: How far is this "we're at war with China" Pat Lang BS going to be pursued by the US government? Have they forgotten that China has a couple hundred nuclear warheads that can obliterate the 50 Major Metropolitan Areas in the US (I live in one, so I'm kinda interested)?

This could prove to be worse than all the "Russiagate" blah-blah-blah crap that has soured US/Russian relations. Russia experts have been saying we're closer to nuclear war with Russia than any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis. This China crap seems to have popped up a lot higher in just a month (not counting the last X years of bashing China).

It's one thing to claim Russia is "aggressive in Eastern Europe" or "Ukraine" or whatever - and another to directly claim China has unleashed a biological weapon against the US. People tend to get upset if they believe the latter more than the former. Then they start talking "payback" - and then you have a war.

The idiots around Trump think they can have a "conventional war" against Russia *and* China - and win it. Never mind that every Pentagon war game over the last ten years that pitted NATO against Russia had NATO with the starting advantage - and Russia winning. Granted, that didn't include the US. But with China's military's sheer size, you don't degrade that any time soon without using nukes. And nukes are a whole new ball game.

These morons are going to get us all killed - while they hide out in their bunkers or in Switzerland. That's a considerably worse outcome than the country being in recession or Depression.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 17 2020 1:14 utc | 104

karlof1 @100

Sadly, you're correct. The pain will get worse before Americans start rebuilding real communities and recognizing their interdependence. People are holding out hope that things will soon return to the way they were. They have to give up on that before they get serious about building resilient interdependent communities.

Maybe it is just me, though, but it seems like America's West might be closer to making that leap than the East. We'll see...

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 17 2020 1:15 utc | 105

Is anyone familiar with the user script to block posters? I am trying to use it, but it doesnt appear to be working correctly. The script is saved with grease monkey extension running. I am able to change the setting to show the poster name before the comment and the block button is present, but nothing seems to happen when I click block. Can anyone tell me how to use this correctly? Posted by: David F | Apr 17 2020 0:48 utc | 103

The Greasemonkey script (2.00) hasn't been working for a few weeks now. I have the same experience as you do.

Posted by: occupatio | Apr 17 2020 1:23 utc | 106

Is anyone familiar with the user script to block posters? I am trying to use it, but it doesnt appear to be working correctly. The script is saved with grease monkey extension running. I am able to change the setting to show the poster name before the comment and the block button is present, but nothing seems to happen when I click block.

Can anyone tell me how to use this correctly?

Posted by: David F | Apr 17 2020 0:48 utc | 103
I seem to recall that David F was obsessed with this the first time I saw one of his posts here.

Posted by: Really?? | Apr 17 2020 1:31 utc | 107

Richard Steven Hack

My thought has been the US under Trump will not attack China directly. I think he will try and secure China's oil supplies which is heir Achilles heel, and this coronavirus move is to separate China from the west. China's biggest trade partners have been US EU ect. Trump is trying to bring a bit of manufacturing back to US but main goal is simply to ,move manufacturing away from China.
Trump's shooting war will be around the Persian gulf.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2020 1:34 utc | 108

#1 Piotr Berman

I have an elixir of youth for you:

30Grams magnesium chloride in a liter of water.

drink 30ml in the morning, 30 ml at night. It is an amazing restorer of youth.

If you can get some testosterone topical gel, your friends and family will not recognize you
due to renewed youth.

Posted by: CarlD | Apr 17 2020 1:41 utc | 109

Trumps show piece, US shale, is being choked to death. War in the Persian gulf will have shale booming again.
Trump needs all hands on deck for his next moves.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2020 1:43 utc | 110

Really?? @62 "Muh hurd immuniteh!"

I suppose you do not understand how it works, but there is no difference between herd immunity developed by vaccine and herd immunity developed by all of those susceptible to the virus dying off... except, of course, the deaths of some number of the population large enough to influence the population's gene pool.

It would take millions of deaths to significantly alter America's gene pool.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 16 2020 23:30 utc | 83
WTF is that thing at the top of your post?
"You spose Ah'm a dum redneck fuck," right?
I spose you didn't actually read my post.
Since I voiced questions regarding b's assumption that a vaccine will arrive that will confer universal herd immunity, I spose perhaps you are being a tad obsequious.

I would be interested to find out your source for this:
" the deaths of some number of the population large enough to influence the population's gene pool. . . . millions of deaths."
I don't think you know what you are talking about.
This sounds like you think that acquired traits can be inherited. In response to an online query "Can immunity to a virus-caused disease be inherited?" the answer is "It cannot be inherited. Each kind of immune self-defense, either inherent or responsive one is created by relevant innate system of immunogenesis."

If herd immunity is the best we can do, you also appear to assume that the ill don't get treatment. And that this failure to provide treatment somehow affects the gene pool . . . ??? Obviously, the ill get treatment under any scenario. And if they recover they too have immunity.

Now leave me alone with your stupid snobby redneck crap.

Posted by: Really?? | Apr 17 2020 1:50 utc | 111

@ David F, and all

The Barfly Tools script to filter out user comments is unchanged from the one posted on the Open Thread 2020-03 and can be downloaded from this
Pastebin) link.

On Chrome, Firefox and Opera, you will need to install an extension that allows you to use userscripts. Depending on your browser it should either be Greasemonkey, Violentmonkey or Tampermonkey. Once it is installed, create a new script from the extension options/menus and copy-paste the contents of the link above into it, or click the "Use clipboard" button.

The block list is stored as a cookie on your browser. If you flush this out often, remember to copy the contents of the text box added to the bottom of the page.

Posted by: Drive-by Commenting | Apr 3 2020 15:04 utc | 50

Posted by: james | Apr 17 2020 1:53 utc | 112

occupatio | Apr 17 2020 1:23 utc | 116

Thanks, mabye it doesnt work because of an update. Maybe someone knows how to fix it?

Really?? | Apr 17 2020 1:31 utc | 117

If asking about it one time makes me obsessed, then i'm guilty I guess. You are still an asshole. YOU are one of the primary reasons I want to use the script. But seriously, go away!

james | Apr 17 2020 1:53 utc | 122

Thanks James. That was the reply I received when I first asked if such a script was available, and following those instructions has gotten me to this point. Occupato seems to think that it quit working when grease monkey updated to 2.0, as it seems it was working for him prior to that.

Posted by: David F | Apr 17 2020 2:04 utc | 113

Loan Money Runs Out While Small-Business Owners Wait in Line

The petit-bourgeoisie is going to get crushed. Absolutely no mercy.

Serves them well: after more than a century serving as the royal guard of the capitalists, the petit-bourgeois are going to be put down like the old dog they really are.

Posted by: vk | Apr 17 2020 2:15 utc | 114

William Gruff said:

Tell you what, when you see giant and modern steel mills popping up around Pittsburgh and Sheffield, then you can speculate about Trump and Boris the Clown "winning".

Even in the unlikely event they could be financed could they be staffed? The tool and die makers and the folks would kept it running are long gone retired now and I have little confidence
in America's current workforce. The death thros of Industrial America have taken 40 years but it is pretty much dead.

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Apr 17 2020 2:16 utc | 115

The petit-bourgeoisie is going to get crushed. Absolutely no mercy.

Serves them well: after more than a century serving as the royal guard of the capitalists, the petit-bourgeois are going to be put down like the old dog they really are.

Posted by: vk | Apr 17 2020 2:15 utc | 124

Now that is what I call a "haughty" remark. Typical ideologue meat machine masquerading as a human being.

"the royal guard of the capitalists"

Comrade vk's heroes in Communist Party can make (necessary, expedient) deals with "capitalists" and have their kids hang out with the children of the said "capitalists", but shame shame shame on "petit-bourgeoisie". In their case, cooperation with "capitalists" is completely unforgivable and a clear sign of their stooge status for the "capitslists". But not our dear comrades in CCP.

Posted by: concerned | Apr 17 2020 2:25 utc | 116

@ 123 david f.. i will ask a friend who will know and get back to you and occupatio on this.. cheers..

Posted by: james | Apr 17 2020 2:27 utc | 117

@ Posted by: concerned | Apr 17 2020 2:25 utc | 126

They way you put it sounds a little vulgar, but yes, that's pretty much correct.

Regardless: isn't the USA waging a trading war against China? Doesn't sound like "making deals" to me.

Posted by: vk | Apr 17 2020 2:30 utc | 118

james | Apr 17 2020 2:27 utc | 127

Super cool, man! Thanks.

Posted by: David F | Apr 17 2020 2:31 utc | 119

Numbers for the Chinese economy Q1 2020 have already come out, and they are devastating: -6.8% GDP (yoy).

Here you'll find the press release, divided by agriculture, industry and services, among other data:

Decline of Major Economic Indicators Significantly Narrowed Down in March

As I called last open thread: the IMF's predictions are way too optimistic.

Posted by: vk | Apr 17 2020 2:39 utc | 120

China has a lot to do with Africa. Buys oil from a number of African countries. Sending aid to a number of African countries.
Western MSM meme is China discriminates against Africans due to coronavirus. One known case of discrimination against a black African occurred in China. MacDonalds.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2020 3:03 utc | 121

Regardless: isn't the USA waging a trading war against China? Doesn't sound like "making deals" to me.

Posted by: vk | Apr 17 2020 2:30 utc | 128

If Deng had not made the "deal" with "capitalists", the Chinese would still be eating grass and smelting steel in their backyards. That is the "deal". But you know this.

Posted by: concerned | Apr 17 2020 3:13 utc | 122

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2020 1:34 utc | 118 I think he will try and secure China's oil supplies which is heir Achilles heel...Trump's shooting war will be around the Persian gulf.

And that's how he intends to "secure China's oil" - Iran. I've been predicting war with Iran since 2006. Everyone told me it's "impossible" - Iran is too big, it's too tough, it would wreck the economy if oil spiked (like the oil companies would care), etc., etc. all bullshit in my view.

What has Trump been doing since before he got elected? Trying to dump the JCPOA, imposing sanctions, kowtowing to Netanyahu, etc. Surrounded himself with neocons who architected the Iraq war - which was supposed to be followed by an Iran war until Iraq went to shit.

But everyone says Trump doesn't want to start a new war in the Middle East because it would violate his campaign pledge (seriously? Besides which, what does he in a *second* term?)) to not start any "unnecessary" wars and it would hurt his re-election chances (again, what about in the *second* term - crickets). I've always responded that Trump can be led by the nose to do almost anything - unless you disagree with him, then you're out. As someone wrote recently, it's like having the "Toddler-in-Chief" running the country...

Well, now the neocons have the perfect vehicle to convince him Iran needs to be taken out - to hurt China's oil supplies and thus hurt China. So add an oil price spike on top of the coronavirus economic impact...

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 17 2020 3:15 utc | 123

yes, but why would the usa or the rest of the world want to make a deal with china beginning in the 70's with nixons trip?? how did it benefit the corporations while screwing mainstreet usa?? that is the question more americans need to ask.. instead some in the usa are collectively flying off the deep end in racist rages fitting of complete ignoramus's...

Posted by: james | Apr 17 2020 3:18 utc | 124

for: Johan Meyer (2) @ 7 <= When a governing system stratifies citizen knowledge, the system cannot produce, sufficient opportunity, to prevent the deplorable from destroying the entire system.

Sabine @101 <=If those who govern try to do something the Deplorable will likely destroy the entire system.

I feel the anger like never before.. the small business owners control the bottom tiers. and they are pissed.. the smaller they are the more intense the growth of the hate.. lifetimes of effort wiped out in single second lie.

Posted by: snake | Apr 17 2020 3:24 utc | 125

"The political consequences will be huge. A wide public demand for more social policies will come into conflict with a recalcitrant oligarchy. Can that conflict be solved within the current U.S. system?"

This is the question. The answer is no. Joe Biden is the "opposition" candidate. Like Obama, his role is to render unto the people the wishes of the oligarchs so that the exploiters & the exploited may live together without too much conflict. The system of debt slavery must be maintained for the good of all! Michael Hudson in the interview quoted does not seem to see a debt jubilee in the future. He needs to change his tune and be an advocate or he will seriously piss me off!

Posted by: jadan | Apr 17 2020 3:39 utc | 126

I suspect that the western governments were not slow to respond due to incompetence so much as were in need of a crisis and this fit the bill to a t just needed to ripen a bit.
Now 4T$ later - that should top up the tank on the ponzi for at least another 6 months.

I fear they are concerned that there has not been enough death - dont want another embarrassment like 9/11.

This article was so interesting, posted on Z/H re. history of hydroquinone. But likely the new wonder drug will be superior.

Posted by: jared | Apr 17 2020 3:44 utc | 127

Oops, this article:

Posted by: jared | Apr 17 2020 3:46 utc | 128

Richard Steven Hack 133 "Well, now the neocons have the perfect vehicle to convince him Iran needs to be taken out"

Trumps hatred of Iran and "Take the oil' Date back to 1980 that I know of.
the people he surrounds himself do not need to convince Trump to attack Iran. He has appointed these crazies for the sole purpose of taking US to war with Iran. All trumps appointees share the same blind hatred of Iran. That is the only quality he looks for.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2020 3:52 utc | 129

The one constant for revolution, the one without which no change will happen, is the foolish belief by the elites & their enablers that they are immune, that nothing can change, next time will be just like the times before.

Economists & their ilk keep talking about 'the great depression' but what is coming in amerika will be nothing like 1929 to 1932. In the great depression those who had it toughest were former agrarian labourers and small-holders whose inevitable displacement was initiated by the northern industrialists winning the civil war. It took 70 years to really kick off, during which time those who understood the inevitability were smart enough to get out of their own accord, long before they had to.

Of course most did not get out cause the people at the bottom are no different that the elites & their enablers, most of them cannot envisage massive, revolutionary change either.

I dunno exactly what is going to happen in amerika when the shit hits the fan but it will be very different to the depression where the hardships were largely confined by class & region.,

Twenty-two million amerikans have signed up for the sausage roll in the 2 - 3 weeks since the coronavirus scare began.
Now I understand that most laypeople equate 'unemployed' with collecting welfare, aka the sausage roll, but that is a wildly inaccurate way of calculating the numbers of humans out of work.

That is the reason the OECD insists all members conduct a monthly household labour force survey, so a more accurate picture of the state of the labour-market can be gleaned. This is done by the random selection of dwelling places across a nation, within the dwellings every human aged between 16 and 65 is interviewed about whether they worked in the last month, looked for work & if not why not.
The survey has been getting progressively more inaccurate over the last decade & a half in those nations which decided to use phone interviews rather than face to face. The old landline into every dwelling has gone to be replaced by mobile phones which shift with their owner therefore undermining the foundations of the survey that it is about dwellings not individuals.

People on welfare has always been at least 30% inaccurate as a method of determining unemployment simply because many unemployed are ineligible for welfare - a partner still working part time income from secondary job etc. Those secondary jobs have gone the same way as the partner's gig has - just about everyone is screwed.

In amerika the vast, deliberately cultivated 'black economy' designed to exploit 'illegals' was justified with by the belief that among everyone from the bourgeois up, that "their" illegal cannot cause trouble lest the ICE boogie-man grab her/him, now this was correct at that time but now for several reasons is no longer.

Amerika's welfare system has been in a state of malign neglect since the 80's, the belief was that unemployed people are parasites so who cares if the system is cumbersome, slow and incredibly inefficient to fix it would be encouraging, nay enabling, these parasites.
But now the twenty two million who have just signed on are/were hard working citizens, -even worse the system is so slow, so congested that according to those who work in that system, only about half of the newly unemployed have been signed on. There is still another twenty-two million to be processed, add to that at least 10 million 'illegals', and the numbers of adult former members of amerika's labour-force who now find themselves on the bones of their arses being left to starve and their families unable to access equitable healthcare during an epidemic fer chrissakes, number more than 60 million.

A sizable chunk of the adult population who, unlike during the great depression, are not confined to discrete identifiable regions nor confined solely to the bottom of the scrapheap.
In a couple of weeks (that's all cos before this began household savings were at an all time low in amerika) most will be hungry, have witnessed gross injustices in healthcare delivery to friends & family, so be angry, extremely articulate plus a large slice of them will be accustomed to usually getting their way.

Worst of all for the elites & their enablers, because of that, many will have buddies & family in law enforcement.
Whenever a revolution has been successful, one of the key indicators of that success has been that the forces employed to suppress the insurrection identified more with the oppressed than with their masters. No normal arsehole copper gets a boner outta beating down on a cousin or neighbour.
There is every chance of that happening in amerika, particularly if many places 'kick-off' simultaneously so that the forces of oppression who remain loyal to the bosses cannot be moved to then concentrated in particular remote 'hot zones'.

Sure the oligarchy will attempt to block communications but that will disadvantage the oppressors just as much if not more, because they are dependent on diverse communications.

If the oligarchy continues as it has done so far, there will be massive insurrections cause hope will be gone for too many, attempts to divide traditionally fail at that point, so appeals to skin colour, language etc are nowhere near as powerful as the unifying force of hunger.
I think it is great that there are several drongos on this blog who imagine things will go as they always have, because that assures me that their masters most probably subscribe to the same foolishness and will be unprepared for what is about to happen
I have already said at the beginning of the pandemic that amerikans on the left are nearly as stupid if they believe the citizens are sure to go for socialism or some variant of it. The coin is still in the air, there has been a decades long indoctrination against 'communism' which will effect many. Unless some leaders establish focused, functioning groups arguing for leftist demands right from the start, fascism could easily be the victor.
Incidentally the security of fixed, guaranteed incomes for those who have aged out of the labourforce will be one of the first casualties. Not for nothing did the "OK boomer" meme surface.

If I was 65+ and stuck in amerika, I would not be wasting time & energy on a blog, I would be chasing up old comrades, contacts from 'back in the day' as well as attempting to hook up with younger leftish contrarians against the current status quo. Trying to offer in a constructive, noncritical way, real, workable solutions to organising issues.
Age will of course be another fault line the oppressors will try to exploit, so it is vital to be prepared to stop such splitting.

If the oligarchy keeps on doing what it is currently doing, insurrection is certain, don't be waiting for it to begin before getting ready - start now! If they back down & provide genuine assistance to the population, great; no harm done, but if they don't which lets face it is the most probable alternative, being ready for the arseholes will be you and your loved ones only chance.

once again sory bout grammar & typos it is friday afternoon here & I have one more run to do.

Posted by: A User | Apr 17 2020 4:07 utc | 130

yes, but why would the usa or the rest of the world want to make a deal with china beginning in the 70's with nixons trip?? how did it benefit the corporations while screwing mainstreet usa?? that is the question more americans need to ask.. instead some in the usa are collectively flying off the deep end in racist rages fitting of complete ignoramus's...

Posted by: james | Apr 17 2020 3:18 utc | 134

Maybe Nixon wanted to get China on our side, against the USSR.
Actually, since Kissinger was the macher who (I am quite sure) arranged Nixon's rapprochment with China (didn't Nixon actually go to china, or am I misremembering that?), maybe someone should ask Kissinger what the basic idea was.

Posted by: Really?? | Apr 17 2020 4:23 utc | 131

A User
The yanks have the best of British and Nazi German knowhow for population control. Democracy and an enemy.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2020 4:26 utc | 132

Really?? | Apr 17 2020 1:31 utc | 117

If asking about it one time makes me obsessed, then i'm guilty I guess. You are still an asshole. YOU are one of the primary reasons I want to use the script. But seriously, go away!

Ha ha.
Reason i remember it is because you made a point of announcing that you hadn't commented on the site for years or so. You made some negative general observation about most of the MoA commenters. Then you asked how to block commenters.
Then you very quickly started writing bullying, expletive-loaded comments in response to one of my fairly anodyne comments. When I pushed back you really lost it. So, yeah, I remember your grand re-entrance here.

Posted by: Really?? | Apr 17 2020 4:30 utc | 133

Knowing the demographics of who is dying is essential for knowing how societies should respond to the pandemic. For example, children are returning to school in Denmark. There is a good reason for that. Because of the huge human cost of a long worldwide and worst ever economic depression, it may be best to protect the vulnerable and the rest of us get back to work while taking sensible precautions.

"Individuals with age <65 account for 5%-9% of all COVID-19 deaths in the 8 European epicenters, and approach 30% in three US hotbed locations. People <65 years old had 34- to 73-fold lower risk than those ≥65 years old in the European countries and 13- to 15-fold lower risk in New York City, Louisiana and Michigan. The absolute risk of COVID-19 death ranged from 1.7 per million for people <65 years old in Germany to 79 per million in New York City. The absolute risk of COVID-19 death for people ≥80 years old ranged from approximately 1/6,000 in Germany to 1/420 in Spain."

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 17 2020 4:37 utc | 134

Why the pandemic and why now?

The article below came out in August and it explains many things. Medically speaking, many things don’t add up for me, being a physician. But, the so called pandemic, and it’s timing, after reading this article made a lot of sense.

Btw, no vaccine for me.

Posted by: Alpi | Apr 17 2020 4:40 utc | 135

A User @ 140
"In the great depression those who had it toughest were former agrarian labourers and small-holders whose inevitable displacement was initiated by the northern industrialists winning the civil war. It took 70 years to really kick off, during which time those who understood the inevitability were smart enough to get out of their own accord, long before they had to."

Can you unpack this statement? First time I heard the connectoin made between North winning Civil War and agrarian laborers being displaced during the Depression/Dust Bowl.

Posted by: Really?? | Apr 17 2020 4:40 utc | 136

Historically capital grabs absent pushback is a bonanza for very few, concentrating capital and power ever more as weaker capitalists, such as small business owners who employ wage laborers, are devoured, and ordinary working people (the 95% who file(d) W2 forms) become impoverished or debt peons. Capitalist internecine conflict rends social relationships asunder and, much to counter-revolutionary chagrin, revolutionary conditions arise.

The US empire is in steep decline. One wing of the kleptocrat party endlessly pushes Russia as enemy of the people.The other wing of the kleptocrat party pushes China as enemy of the people. People are played against each other on seemingly opposite teams but both teams conveniently cheer empire wars which enrich kleptocrats. I am ordinary people and russian people and chinese people are not my enemy. They are my friend.

What is that I hear? A dinned rage? yes. The kleptocrats’ source of real wealth is mad, angry at being sorely neglected and badly abused, exploited and discarded. Can the china scapegoat hold?

What is known about the nvirus is that it needs new hosts to survive. Deny it new hosts and it dies. One Italian town did just this. It took 10 days, just 10 days, of complete commitment to terminating new host opportunities and the virus was gone. Eliminated. Completely. A small town, yes, but nevertheless this is not nuclear science. Where are the tests? Where are the tests? Where are the leaders? Where is the technology and organization to do this? Regional people, local people must do this for ourselves, take the lead. The kleptos don’t have a clue how to fix this even if they wanted to.

This is a time for forging new social relationships based on need, locally and regionally, and forming larger associations rooted in those newly forged social relationships to foster the health and well being of our larger commons upon which we are all collectively interdependent.

Trailer Trash put forth an excellent idea yesterday — a civilian corps to work-in, live-in, at care centers to protect the vulnerable. Good jobs. Good work. How about opening an account at the fed to finance this whoosh quick? Also, open accounts there for all workers. Then no problem helicoptering money where it is needed.


“In Rome the oligarchy always overreached itself, impoverishing the economy. In Rome that led to a Dark Age. We’re going to be entering something like that at the end of summer in this country, because you’re going to have many homeless pouring onto the street, many families losing their homes, small businesses who’ve had to go under, medium-sized businesses that have decided to sell out to the large private capital funds. The economy is not going to look very pretty.” Michael Hudson

Posted by: suzan | Apr 17 2020 4:53 utc | 137

"Seventeen of Trump’s fellow Republicans on the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee wrote to Trump supporting his announcement this week that he was withholding funding for the WHO, and saying he should condition the resumption of contributions on the resignation of Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus"

US of A is truly evils. Russia's Putin and China's Xi better watch their backsides....

Posted by: JC | Apr 17 2020 5:09 utc | 138

Zhang Jixian the doctor who first investigated suspect pneumonia in Wuhan. (not the eye doctor that was posting stuff to social media)

Zhang's experience during the 2003 SARS outbreak, when she worked as a medical expert investigating suspected patients in Wuhan, made her sensitive to signs of an epidemic. After reading the CT images of the elderly couple, she summoned their son, demanding a CT scan of him too.

"At first their son refused to be examined. He showed no symptoms or discomfort, and believed we were trying to cheat money out of him," said Zhang.

It was Zhang's insistence that brought her the second piece of evidence: the son's lungs showed the same abnormities as those of his parents.

"It is unlikely that all three members of a family caught the same disease at the same time unless it is an infectious disease," Zhang told Xinhua.

Also on Dec. 27, the hospital received another patient who also developed symptoms of coughing and fever and showed the same lung images in the CT scan.

The blood tests of the four indicated viral infections. Zhang also prescribed them a series of influenza-related tests. All turned out negative.

That day, she filed a report to the hospital, which soon submitted it to the district-level center for disease control and prevention. "The report is about we discovered a viral disease, probably infectious," she said.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2020 5:12 utc | 139

More bad news in northern New Jersey...

"An extraordinary number of coronavirus-related deaths appears to have overwhelmed a nursing home in northern New Jersey where police found 18 bodies in what the governor called a “makeshift morgue” on two consecutive days earlier this week."

Now I wonder who's lying, hiding and cheating... The worst is still to come - be prepared. Went out again today stock up my fridge and pantry --- more canned food.

Posted by: JC | Apr 17 2020 5:24 utc | 140

Really?? | Apr 17 2020 4:30 utc | 143

"You made some negative general observation about most of the MoA commenters."

No, I didn't. I told YOU to go fuck yourself because you jumped all over a comment I posted in a very condescending and superior way. And then you proceeded to rant about how out of line I was being mean to you when you hadn't said anything offensive. And then you felt the need to say something about me over at the saker as well. Most of your comments are condescending.

What is your fucking problem? I told you a couple of days ago that I didn't want to engage with you, and you have said shit to me like three times since then. I wish this was a real bar, because me and you would've had it out by now, and you wouldn't be talking shit to me anymore.

So, I am going to ask you again, just ignore my posts, they are not directed to you, and I don't want to hear your opinion of them.

Posted by: David F | Apr 17 2020 6:15 utc | 141

@Realist | Apr 16 2020 20:08 utc | 19

I have been thinking the same for a long time about the dollar. All the corrupt elite of the world has dollars stashed away. They have no incentive to destroy the petrodollar and void their fortune.
Add the billions of ca$h the US shipped to the middle east to grease the system, buy their way into the region and pay their "moderate rebels". There are an awful lot off people who love their dollars. Give people dollars, they get greedy, they want more, become more corrupt. More supply creates more demand, in contrast to regular products.

Posted by: Joost | Apr 17 2020 6:31 utc | 142

If the south had won the civil war, slavery or at least indentured labour would have continued with the west developed by agrarian capitalists as the south had been. The massive migration from europe to New York wouldn't have happened as slavery displaced the need for imported euros, power would have remained in the south where the wealthy advocated importing slaves rather than labour who expected payment, so rather than industrialise amerika would have remained a foodbasket & cotton source for europe.
The north winning changed that amerika became an industrial state to the point where the small holdings throughout the south and midwest couldn't earn sufficient to participate in the amerikan economy. Land values bottomed when weather conditions were adverse the agricultural labourers & small holders had no cushion and were forced off their land when they couldn't sustain the loans they had borrowed in the hope things would gt better.
Wall St lost paper money a few of the less responsible speculators lost big but the most who ended up at the bottom were from rural areas.

Posted by: A User | Apr 17 2020 7:13 utc | 143

- The world economy was already "slowing down". The "corona" crisis made it only worse.

1) World Trade fell for the first time since 2009 (/2010 ??).
2) Germany's car production fell 9% in 2019. Germany has made itself too dependent on exports in the last say 20 years and is now paying the price for that with World Trade "slwoing down".
3) The US Trade Deficit already fell in the 2nd half of 2019 (= weaker US demand for imported stuff = "slowing economy")
4) The canadian city of Vancouver fears it's about to go bankrupt because of the bust in the Vancouver housing market.

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 17 2020 7:42 utc | 144

occupato & James

My friend was able to fix the script, part of a line was missing. I am using it now and it works fine, much nicer to be able to just pass by stuff I know I don't want to read.

I tried to paste it here, but the formatting got pretty messy. I am not sure of the best way to share it. Got any ideas?

Posted by: David F | Apr 17 2020 7:59 utc | 145

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2020 3:52 utc | 139

Pre-sanctions between them Saudis (13%) and Iran (12%) made up about 25% of China's oil imports.

But Iran's 12% contribution has been reduced due to the sanctions, and China clearly found other sources to replace the loss.

Now would probably be the least effective time ever for taking Iranian oil and/or Saudi oil out of the market completely.

Demand is down at least 30% so you could eliminate Iran and SA exports entierly and China would hardly bat an eye due to the glut in oil supplies worldwide

So no I dont see any attack on Iran, in order to take their oil out of play for China, in the near future

Posted by: Realist | Apr 17 2020 8:01 utc | 146

Close to 40% of China's oil comes from Persian Gulf.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2020 8:10 utc | 147

Cadavre exquis:
"It is 2020 and ultra-liberalism has reached its utmost expansion. For capitalism to keep markets and share-holders high, and the masses busy enough so they don't revolt, the need of resources was no less than the product of several earth planets per year. To do so, unmanageable fluxes of people had to be carried by planes, trains and by the road, some of them workers and others consumers enjoying a break from work and paid holidays. As a contagious pneumonia struck, it was deemed too costly to install temperature checks in Western international hubs and organize the quarantine of infected people............"

Please feel free to correct/expand. Please continue throughout threads. A little game won't hurt in these dark days.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 17 2020 8:18 utc | 148

I tried to paste it here, but the formatting got pretty messy. I am not sure of the best way to share it. Got any ideas?
Posted by: David F | Apr 17 2020 7:59 utc | 155
Can you please just copy-paste the line in the script that needs to be changed?

Or paste the whole script to

Posted by: occupatio | Apr 17 2020 8:25 utc | 149

Close to 40% of China's oil comes from Persian Gulf.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2020 8:10 utc | 157


Still doesn't change anything. With demand for oil down at least 30% and a current worldwide glut of oil, now would be the least effective time to pull that move.

Plus: at least one carrier group is completely out of action due to CV, and you think NOW is the best time for the US to piss China off by attacking Iran?

Posted by: Realist | Apr 17 2020 8:37 utc | 150

Thr Economist? The NYT?

Posted by: Johny Conspiranoid | Apr 17 2020 9:01 utc | 151

SwissArmyMan @125: "Even in the unlikely event they could be financed..."

Correct. Unlikely because capitalism does not work that way. A country cannot have investment go a certain way just because they want it, or because it makes sense to their aspirations. Capital investment occurs in a given way because it is the most profitable option available to investors. There are mountains of alternatives that Trump will have to somehow shut down before rebuilding America's industry becomes the most profitable investment option available.

"...could they be staffed? The tool and die makers and the folks would kept it running are long gone retired now and I have little confidence in America's current workforce."

It took China a generation to build up that workforce, and that is with the deliberate effort of economic planning that is not available to America. Still, the workforce is one of the more flexible parts of the problem. It is possible that America could rebuild an industrial workforce in a generation too since the states have some control over primary and secondary education, but you are right that cannot happen overnight.

The bigger problem is bootstrapping supply chains for industry. That is impossible to do in capitalism unless you allow encourage vertical monopolies. Actually, you'd have to do more than encourage, you'd have to subsidize those monopolies as they will not be quickly profitable for investors otherwise.

"The death thros of Industrial America have taken 40 years but it is pretty much dead."

Capitalism cannot rebuild an industrial economy in America, at least not in less than about half a century. Economic planning is needed to build an economy quickly. Of course, bypassing the markets and employing economic planning would defeat the whole point behind trying to re-industrialize global capitalism's home base. So yes, Industrial America is pretty much dead and not coming back without a revolution or something like that.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 17 2020 9:03 utc | 152

Posted by: Realist | Apr 17 2020 8:01 utc | 156 So no I dont see any attack on Iran, in order to take their oil out of play for China, in the near future

You forget something - it doesn't have to actually *work in reality* for the neocons and Trump to *believe* it would work (or at least help)...

How did the war in Iraq work out for the neocons who wanted to attack Iran shortly after? Israel only came on board with attacking Iraq in 2002 after the neocons told them Iran would be next, according to Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett, who were working in the Bush Administration at the time. Israel initially wanted the US to attack *Iran* after 9/11.

Yes, the carriers are out of Again, what about next year? As I said, Trump may be waiting until next year so as not to mess up his re-election.

They don't even need the carriers. They can run bomber flights out of the US and Diego Garcia and who knows what other airbases - if they think all they need is air power to beat down Iran (at least initially). Again, it won't work, but they might well believe it *could* work.

And they don't even need to believe that. The military-industrial complex won't care if the war drags on for twenty years - that's twenty years of guaranteed profits. Why do you think Afghanistan lasted 18-19-going-on-20?

The coronavirus could indeed postpone the war. It can't stop it, short of a considerably greater percentage of the US military being put out of action.

The Iran war is another cognitive dissonance moment for a *lot* of people. It's so mind-numbingly stupid and a bad idea that almost everyone doesn't want to believe it can happen. But it can. And I've been convinced since 2006 that it will. It's just a question of how and when.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 17 2020 9:23 utc | 153

B would it be possible to do a post of non American corona virus news ?
All this attention on the US perpetrators of this Apocalyptic germ warfare is unhealthy. And only encourages their narsicistic attention
seeking exceptional arse’s !
Far better to right them off as trump voting war criminals that they are (their are a few good ones, not least here)
Let them slowly decompose in a festering and disfunctional heap of their own making !

While the rest of the sane, humane world get together and recover from this U.S bio weapon.
What’s happing In Palistine, Yemen? What’s happening in the refugee camps ? These are the humans we need empathy for. Not some busted arse losers /Country That has no compassion so deserves no compassion.
Thanks for being here the best site on the internet! Walking a tightrope is hard you do it brilliantly. Kudos

Can we find countrys showing best practice? Russia, Scotland ? That Nicola Sturgeon has got balls I love her.

Posted by: Mark2 | Apr 17 2020 9:29 utc | 154

Richard Steven Hack
I love your comments your bang on and real. Hope things go well for you ! I’v been ‘there’ and know what it’s like. You can win the battle and will ! good luck mate.

Posted by: Mark2 | Apr 17 2020 9:47 utc | 155

@120 Peter AU

Dunno if this has already been discussed.

Whitney Webb's latest article deals with the ramification of the recent US shale oil debacle in guiding US foreign policy.
For this, she interviewed Michael Hudson on how a domestic oil production collapse makes a shooting war with Venezuela likely. The latest vilification of Maduro as narco-trafficker, the announcement of a de facto naval blockade, and the re-imposition of a new debt-for-oil scheme are the new pivot to Venezuela. From the interview, Hudson states:

“Under U.S.-backed dictators, Venezuela provided the collateral [for its debt] with all of its oil reserves… [Now,] America wants to give IMF [International Monetary Fund] loans to Venezuela and [oversee] the collateralization of Venezuela’s foreign debt with its oil reserves and then foreclose. [They want to] find an excuse to do to Venezuela what it did to Argentina, to grab Venezuela’s oil reserves as collateral by … preventing Venezuela from paying its foreign debt, [thus] forcing it to default on its foreign debt.

So maybe they first pivot to Venezuela before getting embarrassed in the Persian Gulf.

Posted by: vato | Apr 17 2020 9:47 utc | 156

Decoupling. Ukraine continues shooting itself in both feet at US request.

(Reuters) - A Kiev court has rejected an appeal by Chinese investors to unfreeze the shares of a Ukrainian aircraft engine maker, a setback for the Chinese company that has sought to acquire the Ukrainian firm in a deal opposed by the United States.

China’s Skyrizon Aircraft Holdings Limited bought a majority stake in the aircraft engine maker Motor Sich, but the shares were frozen in 2017 pending an investigation by Ukraine’s security service (SBU). Washington wants the deal scrapped.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2020 10:33 utc | 157

RT reports....

Israeli TV says US intel warned IDF & NATO of coronavirus threat in NOVEMBER 2019, doubling down on claims dismissed by… US intel

If true then practically everything the US has been publicly saying about the causes of the pandemic and how it spread is untrue.

Posted by: ADKC | Apr 17 2020 10:57 utc | 158


China may have secretly set off low-level underground nuclear test explosions despite claiming to observe an international pact banning such blasts, the U.S. State Department said in a report on Wednesday that could fuel U.S.-Chinese tensions.


A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Thursday that accusations against China made in a U.S. report were groundless and not worth refuting.

Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks after the U.S. State Department released an executive summary of the 2020 Arms Control Compliance Report Wednesday, accusing China of not complying with commitments to suspending nuclear testing and to non-proliferation, and questioning China's report on its implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC).

Positioning itself as a judge and model, the United States has kept concocting the so-called annual "arms control compliance report" in recent years, in which it sticks its nose into other countries' arms control and non-proliferation policies and measures, Zhao told a press briefing.

"This is confounding white with black. The guilty party is shifting the blame onto the innocent," he said.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2020 11:02 utc | 159

Peter AU1 @169 quoted neuters: "...the U.S. State Department said in a report..."

When you get accustomed to parsing the claims made by psychopaths then these sorts of "reports" are useful sources of information. This one basically says that the US has been conducting underground nuclear tests. The way the psychopath looks at it is that if they make the accusation first, then nobody would ever suspect them.

The psychopaths in question are not very bright.

By the way, there will be no V-shaped recovery. The recovery will actually be more pear-shaped.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 17 2020 11:47 utc | 160

"Crushing the economy is the point of this whole exercise. They don't care about their paper wealth right now, they're going for real assets; land, houses, businesses, etc. Those who already own most will now own all, and the rest of us, the remaining 99.5% who aren't dead soon, will have nothing."
@ So sad | Apr 16 2020 20:33 utc | 35

That is exactly the essence of it. Bain calculated recently that Private Equity is sitting on $2.5T of 'dry powder' cash to invest. Cash is king in a depression and 2.5T go a long way when everything is pennies on the dollar. Your point of the elite looking forward to swapping their transient bubble paper wealth for durable assets is most acutely observed.

On your criticism of our host: I know the disappointment of being banned (elsewhere), got called a spreader of Chinese propaganda for posting links to Western medical data before being cut off. Yet I know of no other serious blog that tolerates so much (well articulated) dissent, even personal attacks on the host.

My deepest respect to b, to his untiring devotion to finding and reporting the truth. His evident courage in speaking truth within earshot of power.

Posted by: Leser | Apr 17 2020 12:01 utc | 161


1. Today's price of WTI crude oil in US markets: $18; informal sources (Fox business channel Maria Buttafucco(sp?) interviewing a former Shell(?) Oil CEO this morning) say in reality oil is being sold at "single digit" prices right now just so producers can get huge inventories off their books and be in better shape to obtain higher prices on the futures contracts (whatever that means).

2. Another YUUge problem that media and politicians alike are giving the 'cone-of-silence' treatment to is the US incarceration system population (~ 2.5 million prisoners, PLUS another ~1M jail/prison staffers), under very densely packed impossible to socially isolate conditions, worse than conditions on any cruise ship. It is like having 1000+ contaminated Diamond Princess ships sprinkled all across the United States.

Posted by: gm | Apr 17 2020 12:03 utc | 162

@ Really?? (62)

I agree with you on the vaccine issue, I don't think there is going to be one. There might be a 'vaccine', as in the 'flu vaccine' (which I refuse every year) but it isn't likely to do any good, except for the pharmaceutical companies of course. The good news is that successful viruses don't kill many people, it is better for the virus that they leave us alive to pass on our susceptible genes.

I also agree that lockdown wasn't the optimal approach, the South Koreans are the only people that had it right imo (but little good it will do them now that the rest of the world has allowed it to spread) Aggressive tracking and testing was the only hope of stopping it, it is now too late for that approach however and lockdown is the only remaining option that doesn't involve massive casualties.

I think the virus is here to stay, pretty much in the same way as flu.

Posted by: MarkU | Apr 17 2020 12:16 utc | 163

William Gruff 170

You are most likely right on the nuke tests. US always project what they are doing onto others.
Trump wants small nukes loaded on missiles for everyday use so I guess they gotta test a few.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2020 12:22 utc | 164

For all of you living in first world countries, no worries. Nobody will starve. But for those of us who are surrounded by abject poverty, where the informal sector of the workforce lives quite literally hand-to-mouth, and is the biggest segment of the workforce, things are gonna get very sticky very soon. I have already been sent countless videos of lootings and social disorder, and this is only the beginning. When everything comes down to food in the belly, the rich will be eaten first.
People have only so much in the way of patience, and the usual tolerance is dissipating quickly.
They are pushing us too far this time, in the name of solidarity with the old and weak, who depend on us entirely anyway.
This is a rich mans circus.

Posted by: Dan | Apr 17 2020 12:26 utc | 165

@ by: Dan | Apr 17 2020 12:26 utc | 175

Yep. The "Great Culling" will likely soon arrive. The only meager thing that 3rd World Poor might have going in their favor are possibly stronger immune systems, which would have been buffed/pumped up through a lifetime of constant exposure (vaccination of a brutal sort, if you will ) to filth and diseases.

Posted by: gm | Apr 17 2020 12:42 utc | 166

COVID -19 could trigger the greatest economic crash since the Great Depression of the 1930s, which in turn contributed to the cause of WW2. History keeps repeating itself.

Posted by: peter mcloughlin | Apr 17 2020 12:47 utc | 167

A good antidote to China bashing by Davide Mastracci

"The anti-China narrative is based on falsities, and serves to distract people from the failure of neoliberalismz'

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Apr 17 2020 12:51 utc | 168

We have reached the limits to economic growth as predicted by system theorists of the MIT in the early 1970s. Both the impacts of depletion (rising raw material and energy costs, ecologically destructive land use change ) and of pollution (climate change, water pollution) are leading to new diseases like covid 19, SARS, MERS. Lyme disease, biodiversity collapse because of over use of the biosphere… much as predicted decades ago by environmentalists.

Unsustainability means something cannot continue and what was called “economic growth” has been profoundly uneconomic. Using a purely mainstream economics - or indeed Marxist economics - is inadequate because it lacks an understanding of the bio-physical dimensions of this evolving civilisational collapse. As the “real economy” runs up against resource and ecological limits it cannot grow enough to service the huge debts run up by the financial economy. So no, there will not be a V shaped recovery - more growth is not going to be possible even if the health and medical crisis triggered by this virus is in some way resolved.

The idea that so called “green energy technologies” can see us through is based on a failure to acknowledge the huge cost of adapting a renewable energy system to intermittency, the utter dependence on depleting fossil fuels to manufacture and install wind and solar energy systems, the severe shortage of rare mineral resources required in their production. All of these problems have technical solutions of some kind but are very costly - their call on resources will leave less finished goods to be distributed.

For decades the economy has been managed on the assumption that growth of production was the thing to aim for. Marxists and capitalists and their tame politicians all agreed on that – differing on the politics of the distribution of the growing output, in whose interests the economy should be managed and on the politics of debt.

However, ecological economists like myself have been warning that justice over distribution was important but had to be seen against another looming danger that the growth was unsustainable and uneconomic and heading to a collapse because we have been degrading the carrying capacity of the ecological system. Now we are there – at the point of collapse. The future is not V shaped – it is degrowth. Managing resources again as commons in the interests of all - some limited central planning maybe...maybe...but the more important issues are ecological design of cultivation and production systems and of residential arrangements. A radical reduction in incomes because less can be produced - has, of course, to come from the top down. What the economy must offer people in the future is not "more stuff" but we must aim for more security and safety for people in a world in turmoil. Management for resilience and community not growth. Either that or it is extinction.

Posted by: Brian Davey | Apr 17 2020 12:52 utc | 169

Posted by: Realist | Apr 17 2020 10:11 utc | 166 Well at least you have the honesty to admit that you've been wrong about this for at least the last 14 years

And I've been right, too, as the US has been ramping up hostilities since the Bush Administration. Obama only got the JCPOA so he could have a foreign policy "win", especially since he knew the next administration would tear up the agreement, whether it was Democrat or Republican. Trump got right on that and has massively increased tensions since. Just the other day the US Navy is complaining again about Iranian small boats "behaving dangerously" with zero evidence provided, while Trump tries to pile on more sanctions (on what is a mystery, since everything has pretty much been sanctioned already.)

I doubt any two countries in history have had this much animosity for decades without eventually having a war. Iran has shown incredible forbearance so far.

No one is right or wrong until it's over. And it ain't over until the US and Iran open real negotiations and eventually end up with reopening embassies in each other's countries. And that ain't gonna happen. Especially not with Israel stirring the pot as well.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 17 2020 12:55 utc | 170

A piece on one of Trump's low yield missile submarines here.

A Twitter user pointed out that no information about coronavirus on the USS Tennessee could be found on Google anymore. “All deleted. If there is a country who has the capacity and motif to do it, US is the No. 1 suspect,” the user noted.

Is it fake news? Or did Google delete all the information? It remains unproven.

The Ohio Class Ballistic Missile Submarine is a strategic arm of the US military. It carries “low-yield” nuclear warheads, a small and new nuclear weapon. It is normal that there is classified information due to security concerns. However,the issue of COVID-19 is a humanitarian one. Transparency and the timely release of data are crucial for infectious disease response.

In replying to people’s concerns about the USS Tennessee, the US military has a responsibility to give an explanation.

The truth needs to float up. This is a test for the touted American freedom of speech and transparency.

These need tracking as they will lead any US attack on Iran.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 17 2020 13:15 utc | 171

Posted by: Realist | Apr 17 2020 8:01 utc | 156

The mutually assured destruction defense doctrine of IRI has multiple pillars, but one is definitely the 'devestating impact of the loss of West Asian facilities and resources'.

IRI's MAD doctrine is looking somewhat less convincing with the self-suicide of our lords and masters due to this maybe-pandemic.

Also one of the favorite whipping boys of this forum (MbS) is openly at war with CIA and US Oil. How dry tears will be shed in Cabal Central if MbS is vaprized alongside of ARAMCO?

And this my "tin-foil" extended theory. Once Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, UAE are out of oil and most other 'business', there remains the Russia-Israel Axis that will have control over vital strategic chokepoints on China's silk road. The Silk Road will happen, of course. But Russia and Israel will provide the strategic lever to keep CCP in line with their "partner" Oligarchs.

Posted by: concerned | Apr 17 2020 13:22 utc | 172

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 17 2020 12:55 utc | 180

While I agree with your assessment of our (USA) intentions, it has always been our intention to attack Iran, first and foremost, for multiple reasons (it's a rich prize, the revolution there offended us, to support Israel, to get Russia, to annoy China); the problem is that that has always been a stupid idea, and so various diversionary efforts (Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Ukraine, Georgia, to name a few) have been attempted instead, all failures. And in the meantime, the idea of attacking Iran has become ever more infeasible. The geography of the place alone is more than enough, and always has been. I mean realism has never been a large part of US military planning, and it's become less so as time went on, you are correct that there are people who would still give it a shot, but I don't believe at this point the military will go along, beyond the various small dipshit provocations CIA has pulled like killing Seulimani, and if they do they will get their clock cleaned in short order. Iran will not take the bait. Even Trump seems to grok this. The Crozier fiasco too suggests obedience is no longer to be relied on when stupid orders are given. People overseas have begun to notice this. They have noticed the state of our forces due to Corona too.

Posted by: gm | Apr 17 2020 12:42 utc | 176

I think the best of the 3rd world poor, subject to many years of rigorous selection, will easily best their 1st world enemies when the revolution starts, when things get truly medieval, not even close. That's their world already. The wealthy will be trying to hire the poor, hunter gathers, no less, as consultants.

Posted by: Joost | Apr 17 2020 6:31 utc | 152

Good point, I have considered at least since 2008, if not before, that one of our main supports has been that nobody really wants us to crash, all that offshore money for one thing, and we will leave a big crater in the global economy, for another, and we have lots of bombs and are dumb as bricks for a third.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 17 2020 13:23 utc | 173

Posted by: Johny Conspiranoid | Apr 17 2020 9:01 utc | 161


Posted by: concerned | Apr 17 2020 13:32 utc | 174

Posted by: concerned | Apr 17 2020 13:32 utc | 182

"On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog."

"Arguing on the internet is like competing in the special olympics, even if you win, you're still retarded."

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 17 2020 13:37 utc | 175

Likklemore | Apr 16 2020 20:18 utc | 25:
"The observation of this study raised the alarm that Sars-CoV-2 mutation that varied epitope (something that an antibody attaches itself to) profile could arise at any time. This means current vaccine development against Sars-CoV-2 is at great risk of becoming futile."[.]

No alarm needed, that's been routine with Coronaviruses ever since the first flu vaccine. For each flu season, a bet is made on which flu strain(s) will become prevalent that particular season. The flu shot then may or may not offer protection against the flu strains turning out "victorious" that season.

BostonTom | Apr 16 2020 18:21 utc | 4:
"Canada has got UBI up and running already. Spain too"

No surprise there either seeing these two dependable NATO poodles yapping away at UBI, another project the elite has long been pregnant with and that Covid will see smoothly flushed out. The key element is that ultimately the UBI amounts will be paid in traceable electronic form, so the government can control and monitor every single act of every single recipient. This voucher-type system has been extensively tested for years on lab rats without voice - e.g. the Syrian refugees in the gigantic Zaatari camp in Northern Jordan, and many others. The system has needed testing and refining to close loopholes for ingenious recipients who are still finding ways to slip out of the electronic cage into cash. For detail see the book "Extreme Economies" (but don't pay for it - its Economist writer presents 50% interesting facts, 50% those spun into the usual propaganda).

Posted by: Leser | Apr 17 2020 13:50 utc | 176

Pentagon Readying Force to Deploy in Streets of Washington, DC to Enforce Martial Law - Reports

It's from Newsweek and mentions four insider anonymous sources, so take it with a grain of salt.

Posted by: vk | Apr 17 2020 14:06 utc | 177

Posted by: vk | Apr 17 2020 14:06 utc | 184

Worth mentioning in passing that "all warfare is based on deception" and a total war command economy has quite a lot in common in its prepatory stage to a pandemic response posture.

Posted by: concerned | Apr 17 2020 14:19 utc | 178

@ 138 Really??.. i doubt that was the reason nixon went to china, but maybe! he might have been listening to kissinger or whoever was recommending to make sure that russia and china never teamed up... all water under the bridge at this point.. the move to china served the corporations very well, and screwed mainstream usa, canada and a few other places too..

@ 144 suzan... thanks for your comments.. good stuff..

@ 152 david f... thanks.. glad your friend was able to fix that! my friend still hasn't got back to me... if you could put the data on a website and share a link like the pastebin link - that would be helpful for others.. in fact that looks to be the way to do it.. check here -

@ 166 / 167 peter and william..appropriate quote from wg - "The psychopaths in question are not very bright."

UBI - universal basic income... i had to look that one up... thanks...

Posted by: james | Apr 17 2020 15:53 utc | 179

to So sad # 75. I don't know if you'll read this, but here goes. I completely agree with you that this is a heist. The market has been shorted down and pumped up, and the Fed/Munchkin have given 10s of billions to their buddies. I get that. I also get that your sister has been effectively robbed. Lots of small businesses have been. I was one of them, but I was done in long ago by the O'Bomber care/for profit health swindle that runs rampant in the us.

You are right! But! Too buts. (sounds funny haha but I'm serious.) There is a virus which is killing people. You contradict yourself by saying that you need to take care of your sister, but to hell with anyone else who might become ill. Taleb's point was that the most efficient way to deal with the virus would have been to stop. Just plain stop. In fact it would have taken much less time than this drawn out horror. His other point is exactly what you say:
The Fed/dotgov should be sending money to people like your sister to tide her/ her employees over until the STOP killed off the virus. You should read the article. Unfortunately, most humans are not logical, and the murkan dotgov, as others have noted, is both criminally incompetent and criminally crooked.

My other point - hey please, let's leave the weapons at the door when we come into the saloon. Cheers

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Apr 17 2020 15:56 utc | 180

Oh, dear:

Not sure where that will lead.
But is somewhat of relief to see honest discussion of the issues.
If it proves to be true (meaning likely or high probability), it serves the public to know that.
These experiments (like GMO food experiments) need to be widely known and discussed.

Posted by: jared | Apr 17 2020 15:58 utc | 181

"There is also the curiosity that most children not only do not fall ill with the covid-19 disease but do not get infected at all."

Considering how fragile and in need of protection Society assumes children to be, their apparent immunity to COVID-19 infection seems counter-intuitive. In the Debunking thread Phil @ #414 posted material about cross-species infection, some of which invites creative thinking around the logical assumption that a parasite's sole source of 'food' is stuff available, and accessible, in the flesh/fluids of the host.

If that's true then healthy children would seem to be the ideal host for any parasite because they are growing and should therefore be rich in circulating, structure-building nutrients. Adults, on the other hand only require sufficient circulating nutrients to cover repairs and routine maintenance.

What if the growth nutrients produced by healthy children are so exquisitely fine-tuned to suit the precise requirements of Today's Construction Schedule that they arrive at their destination, and are incorporated into the slot for which they were created before the parasite has had time to transform them into a digestible form?

Conversely, in unhealthy adults, what if the 'normal' repair & maintenance nutrients, hanging around waiting to repair something, are so non-specific that the parasite can re-jig and consume them before they've decided on a specific role to fulfill?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 17 2020 16:00 utc | 182

That Israeli report says that the U.S. intel community became aware of the coronavirus threat during the second week of November last year. Earlier reporting said that they had reported on the matter in November, but this pushes it back to early November. How did they know? And why did Western governments fail to act for so long?

Posted by: lysias | Apr 17 2020 16:05 utc | 183

@190 Posted by: lysias | Apr 17 2020 16:05 utc | 190

"And why did Western governments fail to act for so long?"

They needed a crisis. Financial reset. The system was nearing collapse. Their first act was to bailout the oligarchy. Fairly transparent. Now the rest is just clean-up.

Posted by: jared | Apr 17 2020 16:09 utc | 184

William Gruff @167: The recovery will actually be more pear-shaped.



Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 17 2020 16:13 utc | 185

Whether the cov19 is natural or man made time will tell. What isn't natural is our response. As hard as they try they can't get the numbers to wash. We can't reference the Black Plague or the Spanish Flu. Because of modern water treatment and air quality controls, they're not relevant. We ignore this and allow psychos like - not a doctor - Bill Gates, various Foundations run by known eugenicists, to bring their fictional scenarios into reality.
Is America bankrupt? Probably. Will printing cash solve this problem? No. Do people really matter? No.
Natural selection is harsh, but maybe we should have given it a shot.
I'm waitin on B to do just one piece on Bill Gates and his India and Africa troubles. Real or conspiracy, we need your opinion.

Posted by: Joetv | Apr 17 2020 16:24 utc | 186

@ 193 joetv... regarding b doing an article on bill gates... i spoke with a friend yesterday. he is 30 years old and fairly bright.. he figures in spite of gates wealth, gates is a good guy.. a nerd essentially who wanders around with a bag of books that he is always reading and etc. etc... some people have a different viewpoint on bg then me and you by the sounds of it!!

Posted by: james | Apr 17 2020 16:35 utc | 187

@Hoarsewhisperer #189
Why is it so hard to believe that children's bodies and immune systems are different than adults?
There are many diseases which are minor if contracted as a child, but are much more serious when contracted as an adult: chicken pox is a notable example.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 17 2020 16:39 utc | 188

I talked about how blood plasma from people who have recovered nCOV infections is a low scale vaccination method - it also can be a potential treatment.

And I also noted how it would be problematic because of the "who gets it" problem.

And here's an article talking about it:

blood plasma nCOV antibody scramble

I'd bet money at this point that really rich people have already been buying/using it.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 17 2020 16:42 utc | 189

@ by: Joetv | Apr 17 2020 16:24 utc | 193

Relevant regarding Gates getting kicked out by India/African country(s)(?) for vaccine testing issues; Duran YT from day or two ago:
"Bill Gates" (the name that cannot be safely said on YT w/o risk of being de-monetized by google algorithms)

Bill Gates: compromised by the Invisible Hand's
blackmail factory??

Posted by: gm | Apr 17 2020 16:59 utc | 190

occupatio | Apr 17 2020 8:25 utc | 156

I have saved it in paste bin with the title "MOA Block User Script". Not familiar with this service, but I believe it is a public document that can be found by looking for that title.

Let me know if you cant access it and I will try something else.

Posted by: David F | Apr 17 2020 17:32 utc | 191

@David F | Apr 17 2020 17:32 utc | 198

paste to pastebin again, then share the link here. thats the only way to access what you paste.

Posted by: occupatio | Apr 17 2020 17:37 utc | 192

Why is it so hard to believe that children's bodies and immune systems are different than adults?
Posted by: c1ue | Apr 17 2020 16:39 utc | 195

Good question.
In my case it's probably inherited 'wisdom' ~50 years after my own offspring were immunised with Triple Antigen to successfully ward off whooping cough & 2 other (forgotten) maladies. In Oz.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 17 2020 17:54 utc | 193


Block user list

Let me know if this still doesnt work.

Posted by: David F | Apr 17 2020 17:58 utc | 194

@ David F.
Thanks. it works.

Posted by: occupatio | Apr 17 2020 18:07 utc | 195

Dan @172: "For all of you living in first world countries, no worries. Nobody will starve.

I am not sure why people think that. VK says the same thing but that poster should know better. I suspect the impression many others have of what real life is like in the United States is formed more from Disney movies than anything else.

Ireland was a food exporting country throughout The Hunger. People starved while Irish butter was shipped to England. Libby's shipped kilotons of canned beans to Europe from Ethiopia while people there starved. Famine in capitalism is not always about the lack of food nearby for starving people to eat, but rather the lack of a profitable way for those people to get food.

Almost all food in the US is processed through a long chain of businesses before any American gets to eat it. When that chain breaks down then warehouses can be full and grain silos can be overflowing, but Joe Sixpack can't find anything to eat. If the food isn't making it from the fields to the processing plants to the supermarkets, then it might as well not be there.

To get an idea of how things can go just look at the inability of the US to respond to Puerto Rico getting hit by Hurricane Maria, and then magnify that by a hundred. If the recovery is pear-shaped rather than V-shaped, then serious hunger can become a reality in the US.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 17 2020 18:12 utc | 196

William Gruff @203--

Once the US economy reaches the valley of the V, I expect it to wallow in banana-shaped undulations while the debt unwinds and a steady-state type of policy's finally adopted, long after my departure from this orb. That might be altered if the US citizenry can rally and change the nation's fundamental political-economic arrangement; but in all honesty, I've pretty much given up on that occurring. The 21st Century will belong to the Eurasian collective and a developing Africa. I have just one goal: To leave my wife and daughter a debt-free house after I'm gone.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 17 2020 18:31 utc | 197

One of the interesting things here is how much the media in any country, no matter what political slant, want to believe they 'are hitting peak', 'are about to flatten the curve', 'the worst is behind us'... The US's main media have been trying that wording now for 10 days. Yet still I see that the high daily death rates stay similar for about 1 month: France, Italy. In other words, the direct link between a stabilizing new infections rate and the actual daily deaths going down is about 1 month apart.
In the US, you might have small waves going through the midwest and south before there's a second massive wave in fall.

Posted by: Josh | Apr 17 2020 18:41 utc | 198

c1ue | Apr 17 2020 16:42 utc | 196

The Chinese have been using it since they had recovered patients willing to donate blood for that purpose. I think they said it did help in some cases. I'm not sure, but I think they said it reduced the average length of time to recovery.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Apr 17 2020 19:18 utc | 200

« previous page | next page »

The comments to this entry are closed.