Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 06, 2020

CNBC Makes Up V-Shaped Charts To Support False Claims Of Economic Recovery

After the announcement of less-bad-than-expected (un-)employment numbers yesterday CNBC headlined:

The recovery from the coronavirus sure looks V-shaped, going by these charts

A better headline would have been:

Can you believe that we could make up charts that show a V-shape?

The piece starts:

The U.S. economy added a record number of jobs in May as it appeared to bounce off the bottom of the coronavirus recession, and now the chart of jobs gains and losses is starting to look like a “V.”


That graph is straight out of How to Lie With Charts or similar books and pieces. A huge drop in the number of employed followed by a much smaller increase is mangled into a graph that somehow shows a V.

A real plot of the (un-)employment numbers, here from the Calculated Risk blog, looks much different:


Yes, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has announced an increase in employment numbers:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 2.5 million in May, and the unemployment rate declined to 13.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

However, the BLS added a technical caveat that many media failed to report. Its data, which is based on household and establishment surveys, does not have a 'Covid-19 epidemic' category which led to a statistical quirk:

If the workers who were recorded as employed but absent from work due to "other reasons" (over and above the number absent for other reasons in a typical May) had been classified as unemployed on temporary layoff, the overall unemployment rate would have been about 3 percentage points higher than reported (on a not seasonally adjusted basis).

Even if those numbers were included the real number of people out of work who are looking for jobs is still higher. The U-6 category of the BLS statistic (Table A-15), which includes all people looking for work, shows that there were 21.2 million unemployed. That number is only 1.6 million lower than it was last month.

That the employment number increased was unexpected. Bill McBride of Calculated Risk suggests this explanation for the increase:

Since the reference week included the 12th of May, this was too soon to be impacted by "reopenings" in most areas. That will be more of a June story. Instead this increase in employment was likely due to companies rehiring because they let too many people go in April, and because some companies needed to rehire to qualify for PPP [Payroll Protection Plan] forgiveness.

Under the Payroll Protection Plan companies could get access to government loans which will not have to be paid back if they keep a certain number of people on their payroll for several months. Those companies who only recently entered that program might have had to rehire people to qualify.

But back to the CNBC chart fakers. Here is the second one they show to support their V-thesis:

Mobility data from Apple showed that requests in directions for driving and walking had nearly recovered to pre-pandemic levels by June 1. The increase in travel demand has extended to flying as well, with major airlines announcing this week that they are bringing back some of the flights that they had suspended due to the pandemic.


The Apple data does not show that "requests in directions for driving and walking had nearly recovered to pre-pandemic levels by June 1". Apple does not provide the absolute numbers. It only says how the number of requests have changed. The graph shows that the absolute number of requests had been falling rapidly since early March but has now stopped falling further. The absolute numbers have not yet increased above the low pandemic level.

The third chart CNBC uses for its V-shape theory is of oil markets:

Markets data has also shown sharp recoveries. Oil prices show perhaps the most dramatic “V” as light trading ahead of a contract expiration for West Texas Intermediate resulted in a brief plunge below $0 for the first time ever in April.

That sell-off may prove to be a historical anomaly, but a combination of increased gasoline demand and production cuts has brought the U.S. benchmark oil price back to near where it was in early March.


The WTI oil price plunge below zero was of course a quirk that is unlikely to repeat itself. The now slightly rising oil price does not show an economic recovery. It only demonstrates that OPEC and others producers have massively cut their production. The lower supply now fits the low current demand.

To demonstrate a V-shape the CNBC author selected a three month period. But oil had been falling this the beginning of the year.


The oil price is still some 30% lower than it was at the beginning of the year. Th global oil demand has slumped since the very beginning of the pandemic crisis and has not come back. That is why OPEC today held another meeting and announced additional production cuts over a longer time period.

At the end of the CNBC piece we learn why the charts were made up:

At a news conference on Friday, President Donald Trump said “We’ve been talking about the ‘V’ — this is better than a ‘V.’ This is a rocket ship.”

The fake charts are supposed to support Trump's nonsense claim.

The number of new Covid-19 cases in Texas, California and several other states is still increasing. The crisis is not over. Recessions have quite lengthy consequences and the recovery from this one will likely take years.


As Yves Smith remarked today on the employment numbers:

Way too early to open the champagne. I had expected a W shaped recovery, an initial bounce followed by a reversal, independent of a second wave. Infection rates are still rising in a lot of states. Given the fits and starts with getting PPP funds to employers, most if not virtually all are in the period where they have to maintain payrolls. I’ve heard directly from business owners that they expect to have to cut heads, so that bleed will start shortly.

The U.S. economy is down by 50%. Many of the recently lost jobs will not come back. Any hyping of a V-shape recovery only prevents Congress from taking the necessary measures, like launching large infrastructure programs, to help the millions of jobless to again gain some work.

Posted by b on June 6, 2020 at 18:28 UTC | Permalink


Hah-ha. Yep, I saw this mind boggling piece of feces yesterday. A brilliant piece of deceit, an extra-special con job.

The propaganda machine is in overdrive and the media is fully on board. We gotta keep propping those stock prices up! And let's not forget real estate. Here in Denver the real estate market has never looked so good if the Denver Post is to be believed. Already several articles over the past month or so proclaiming how rock solid home buying is here. There's apparently a perfect blend of price stability, buyer affordability in place that keeps the market well above the chaotic fray of the real economy. It's nirvana.

Meanwhile neighbors are jobless, local small businesses/restaurants are shuttering and there are announcements that hundreds of furloughs are becoming permanent layoffs. Yeah, this is all going to end very well.

DOW 35K EOY2020! Ride it like you mean it.

Posted by: snow_watcher | Jun 6 2020 19:06 utc | 1

As if people didn’t distrust the government enough already...

Cooking the books won’t make the unemployed love Trump. On the contrary, particularly since Trump will use the numbers to block further income support.

This is even more ridiculous and malign than Krugman’s repeatedly telling us how great the economy was back in 2015, before real median household incomes had even returned to 1980s levels.

You can fool some of the people some of the time, but at some point it backfires, as Democrats learned in 2016.

Posted by: JohnH | Jun 6 2020 19:18 utc | 2

Yep. I agree with the author here. The USA's situation is dire and there's no prospect for recovery.

I'll repost the graphic here:

CBO: V-shaped recovery... for 2030!

No 'return to normal' until 2030, says CBO!

And this is not just for the USA. This pattern (of a depression over another depression) can be observed in the whole capitalist world (Western Civilization):

None matched the spectacular improvement in China

It is master of the obvious that there won't be any V-shaped recovery if you're not called China.

The fact that Wall Street has been booming has a very simple explanation: the USA has become an exclusively financial superpower. As China quickly recovers, the Americans are then able to absorb excess capital again through the emission of USD bonds and USD printing.

Today a very simple and interesting analysis of May's unemployment figures in the US came out. I recommend reading it:

Returning to normal?

That's why I've been insisting: 2020 is not 1968. It is more like 1937, when a recession happened on top of the 1929 depression.

The USA may never see the light again.

Posted by: vk | Jun 6 2020 19:20 utc | 3

I have seen some CBO estimates and they project for US unemployment to peak in Q3.

As for Coronavirus, it is declining in some areas, such as NY or NJ, but spikes have occured in California (especially LA), Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, Virginia, Alabama, Wiskonsin, etc.

In the US, its like a cat and mouse game with it. They suppress it in one place, but it pops up in another.

Overall it stays stable at around 20k new cases per day, with 1000 dead per day. It will continue to be a serious problem in June.

Posted by: Passer by | Jun 6 2020 19:22 utc | 4

These charts are a pacifier for elites to suck on at bedtime. Elites prefer to keep their delusions even after falling off the cliff. For them, the truth is too horrible to contemplate, and the solutions are even more horrifying.

Trumps says the economy is a rocket ship. I wonder, does he realize that 40% of the NASA space shuttle fleet suffered catastrophic airframe failure?

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Jun 6 2020 19:30 utc | 5

Some more data...

(INFOGRAPHIC) EVERYTHING IS A LIE: Unemployment in the US: - RED: 15% according to official data - BLUE: 35% according to, which analyzes the data using the methodology of the 80s, avoiding the subsequent statistical makeup

(INFOGRAPHIC) BLACK HUMOR FESTIVAL: According to statistics, the average wage in the US has grown as never before in history. In fact, this "phantom" increase is due to the fact that the anti-coronavirus measures have destroyed the shadow economy and precarious jobs

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Jun 6 2020 20:00 utc | 6

five thirty eight recently had article showing percentage of positive cases is better indicator due to increased amount of testing in United States. It showed percentage of positive cases has been going down. Their chart showed decline from April 1 to June 1 from 20% to 5.1% of cases.

Posted by: mantooth | Jun 6 2020 20:07 utc | 7

In our Wag the Dog world it is interesting to watch how coordinated the tail can move.

Trump as the West Rocket Man is a good visualization for me. But even Rocket Man lies are not going to cover the economic/social stench by November. The "dog" is going to have to wag its tail faster and faster to maintain the global narrative and it seems to be failing more in that narrative control which is nice to see.

I dabbled in the world of labor economics in the 1970's and watched the US government move from honest reporting of employment data to increasingly manipulable numbers and then to the outright employment lies they spew today. Makes one think they might even be manipulating the CPI as well..../snark

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 6 2020 20:39 utc | 8

2 realities... the one on wall st, and the one on main street..

the message from wall st is the message of fakery and the one that trump and the msm want to use to maintain the status quo... the message from the street is not one of fakery, but one of growing concern for a bunch of different reasons.... lets see how they keep the lid on it all.. more police state tactics in combo with throwing copious amounts of fiat money at the stock market? that is what it looks like to me, regardless of how the charts are assembled... as for the charts - they remind me of arthur anderson, kmlp and the various accountant firms who developed a reputation for playing fast and loose with numbers... here they are essentially at it again.. they are circling the wagon -in this case - wall st and the ongoing dominion of the us$.... some might be growing more uneasy with this formula... in so far as wall st serves mainstreet, it can work... more and more people seem to be falling thru the cracks as i see it.. none of this is accounted for in the glorious charts trump is pumping..

Posted by: james | Jun 6 2020 20:39 utc | 9

All this seems to be contagious. Right now, Johns Hopkins University reports 35,000 fewer deaths than yesterday. After staring at the numbers, I figured out why - Brazil somehow fell out...

Posted by: Pnyx | Jun 6 2020 20:59 utc | 10

The reason and purpose for these lies is simple: to justify an end to any additional financial help for the 99%, as the 1% have had their fortunes restored, no, actually increased. They know these are lies.

Posted by: NoleVictor | Jun 6 2020 21:11 utc | 11

False and misleading numbers. Where have we seen that before?. Shocker.

The problem is all these lies are believed by a majority. Not necessarily the same majority. People pick and choose what numbers they want to believe.

Economic figures out of the US and many places have been mostly lies since Reagan (esp inflation and unemployment). Its been taken to a new level this century, the latest is just more of the same. Lipstick on a pig.

Posted by: Kay Fabe | Jun 6 2020 21:17 utc | 12

Suspicious event that, by passing would possibly be blamed on the protesters..

Do you recall that Elon Musk sold all what he owned in propieties some weeks ago while the bailout of WS was going on?

What if Bezos is setting his own warehouses on fire so as to get cash, previewing a harsh fall of sellings, since nobody will be able to buy anything?

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Jun 6 2020 21:33 utc | 13

I do not know whether any you work for US government, but beware...that these scoundrels do not wipe out your well deserved pensions...

After using the Federal Reserve program to save its ETFs, BlackRock manages the pension program of the 5 million federal officials, and wants to legalize non-transparent ETFs

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Jun 6 2020 21:39 utc | 14

How likely are they to actually carrying out their proposed plan to seize Chinese assets and freeze/write off their debt to China's government in this case ?

Posted by: Lucci | Jun 6 2020 21:49 utc | 15


Tom Luongo is in fine form today!

Posted by: dh-mtl | Jun 6 2020 21:51 utc | 16

Sorry, posted the wrong link:

Posted by: dh-mtl | Jun 6 2020 21:56 utc | 17


Fine form,huh? More like the same old garbage

Posted by: vato | Jun 6 2020 22:23 utc | 18

Does such a brazen approach even appear in How to lie with charts? It's so stoopid and obvious that only a organisation of complete idiots would even think it would pass muster.

Posted by: Ghost Fish | Jun 6 2020 22:55 utc | 19

Trailer Trash | Jun6 19:30 @ 5

... pacifier for elites to suck on at bedtime.

LOL. Yup ... and they love it!

Next up: every thing was fine until the protesting started.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 6 2020 22:56 utc | 20

@ 18 vato... that was my impression too...

Posted by: james | Jun 6 2020 23:04 utc | 21

Uhhh, sorry guys, your ally Paul Krugman already apologized for challenging the Bureau of Labor Stastics 2400 employees who would not let such erronious stats to be publicised. The labor statistisare pretty much correct.

Posted by: GinevradiBenci | Jun 6 2020 23:07 utc | 22

VK, from your link

"As millions of Americans return to work amid the worst economic crisis in a generation, they’re unexpectedly discovering their old positions are far more burdensome than they used to be. Their hours have been cut, their pay has been slashed and their responsibilities are now magnitudes greater. And their job security —"

It has crossed my addled mind that perhaps the stock market sees the real chance that fascism is now in town with teeth.

Posted by: arby | Jun 6 2020 23:48 utc | 24

Not so much a V as a dead cat bounce.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Jun 6 2020 23:58 utc | 25

It's called a dead Bat bounce now.

Posted by: arby | Jun 7 2020 0:02 utc | 26

yep, classic BS with the recovery.

But most people will sooner or later return to work. Not because they are needed - if anything, this whole experience proves that the world can survive without most people actually going to work. Only a small fraction of employment is required in a critical sense. Especially when most of the labor intensive stuff has been offshored. (oh and all the wfh office space zoom meetings... yeah that's work. sure.)

And yet "full employment" will return, by necessity. Simply to keep there from being large numbers of idle people. that's your lesson learned from the protests/riots.

There's always room for more medical billing paperwork or some other quasi productive "service".

The feds won't do anything to get there, iin the current state of affairs. But the state's will figure it out... while going bankrupt in the process. There will be bailouts upon bailouts, and the private sector will become even more specialized in gathering those funds...

Posted by: ptb | Jun 7 2020 0:37 utc | 27

To paraphrase a quote from a comic book character: The future looks like two sticks jutting out of a dead raccoon. At least for those who continue to maintain a conventional "career path."

As long as my Social Security checks keep coming (and who knows how long it will be before Wall Street goes after those), I don't have to worry about unemployment. There are advantages in being retired. What I do have to worry about is whether my supported housing organization goes bust in this Depression.

There are even more advantages to being a hacker. I imagine there will be a *lot* more hackers in the near future as some people realize that the only way to get money these days is take it from the people who have it. And hacking is *the* best and easiest and less risky way to do that than robbing banks. The only easier way is counterfeiting money directly. China alone has at least 300,000 hackers - and that figure is from maybe ten years ago. Then we have Malaysia, Indonesia, and India coming up in the middle classes who can afford to own a computer and Internet access. They will add another million or so hackers to the European, Middle East, South American and US hackers. Already I see tons of Youtube videos and hacker training courses with Indian names attached to them.

Hacking and identity theft will continue to be on the rise for the next few decades. The odds of being caught for identify theft are something like 700 to 1; that is, out of every 700 cases of identity theft, only 1 criminal is caught and successfully prosecuted. The actual figure is probably closer to a thousand. For hackers, the figure is unknown.

From an article back in 2014:

So, how often do hackers get caught?

Mark Lanterman, C.T.O. of Computer Forensic Services, says he estimates it’s less than one percent.

“You’re looking for a needle in a haystack of needles, if it even exists,” Lanterman said. “The really good hackers understand the evidence they’re generating and they work so they don’t generate that evidence.”

According to the PwC U.S. State of Cybercrime Survey, the FBI told 3,000 businesses last year they’d been hacked.

“Most businesses have either been breached or they don’t know they’ve been breached,” Lanterman said.

Read this piece:
Why Internet crime goes unpunished

To sum up: Rob a bank and face a one-in-four or one-in-five chance of doing hard time. Steal someone's identity and your odds of being caught are almost infinitesimal. Consider, too, that identity theft comprises only 9.8 percent of all Internet crime, not including the likes of intellectual property theft. Factor in all Internet crime, and the numbers are likely to be far, far worse -- which is saying a lot.

Bottom line: I envision a rosy future and much better income.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 7 2020 0:47 utc | 28

The grave danger to me is the addiction to debt and warmongering. They could be insane enough to trigger a dollar collapse - in which China and others refuse the dollar in trade and neutralize sanctions globally by digital yuan.

After that, the US collapses politically because they can't pay for imports with "printing money". Secession follows since the Federal government would be impotent - and the police/military can't control the streets, as we witness.

Posted by: Eighthman | Jun 7 2020 0:53 utc | 29

ShadowStats uses the same methodology the Feds used in 1983 to calculate unemployment(see link for chart)

May 2020 ShadowStats Alternate Unemployment is 34.0%, 36.5% net of BLS errors

Posted by: Perimetr | Jun 7 2020 0:53 utc | 30

A Dead Cat Bounce is not a 'V'
Wow the first chart is a dooozy, they mix cumulative job losses and compare it to a one week delta to make it look like all of our losses have been erase and we are roaring again. Some boys from our State Dept. must now be working for CNBC.

2.5M gain over 1 month only erases 4 days of job losses in the first week of our recession we lost 5M jobs and kept losing 4M jobs every week for at least 5 weeks. If we plateau at or below where we were before this qualifies as a dead cat bounce not a short recession.

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Jun 7 2020 1:01 utc | 31

Minneapolis' Third Precinct served as 'playground' for renegade cops

One officer kicked a handcuffed suspect in the face, leaving his jaw in pieces. Officers beat and pistol-whipped a suspect in a parking lot on suspicion of low-level drug charges. Others harassed residents of a south Minneapolis housing project as they headed to work, and allowed prostitution suspects to touch their genitals for several minutes before arresting them in vice stings...

Between 2007 and 2017, the city paid out $2.1 million to settle misconduct lawsuits involving Third Precinct officers. Judges have thrown out cases for “outrageous” conduct of the officers, and prosecutors have been forced to drop charges for searches found to be illegal, according to court records.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 7 2020 1:06 utc | 32

I have a question that I would really like it answered. According to everybody's narrative, the media is mostly liberals who DESPISE Trump. Yet they are willing to lie as much as him.
SO WHY are they supporting him if they are Liberals who lie about everything? THis is an open question to everyone here.
THis is a serious question by a NON-American.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Jun 7 2020 2:18 utc | 33

Probably should have posted that 32 post over in the other thread.

I just added a Youtube video over there of *another* elderly man with a cane being knocked down by a cop.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 7 2020 2:19 utc | 34

WWII saved FDR. Rumors say he cheered in joy when the Pearl Harbor attack happened. He was smart, he knew his stuff, after all.

Now, Trump seems to be searching for his Pearl Harbor moment:

US warship crosses Taiwan Straits attempting to shift its domestic pressure: analyst


@ Posted by: Hoyeru | Jun 7 2020 2:18 utc | 33

The answer is simple: the liberals are adversaries, not enemies, of Trump.

They disagree with his vulgarity and some values he defends, but not with his economic and much of his foreign policy.

When the moment came to defend the American economic system, they came to his help because it is of shared interest/ideology.

Posted by: vk | Jun 7 2020 2:26 utc | 35

Posted by: Hoyeru | Jun 7 2020 2:18 utc | 33

The liberal press is not supporting Trump. They're supporting the rich elites. Trump also supports the rich elites. So Trump and the liberals are in agreement on that. The liberals and Trump also support warmongering - although Trump, being a narcissist, is scared of being *blamed* for starting a new war. It's only the right-wingers that support Trump in anything else - and only so far, since pretty much everyone recognizes him as a complete idiot - except the even greater idiots who are afflicted with what I call "Trump Savior Syndrome" (as opposed to the Democrats "Trump Derangement Syndrome.) The Democrats have an insane degree of hatred for Trump, while his supporters have an insane degree of devotion to Trump.

Morons, the lot of them.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 7 2020 2:26 utc | 36

Faking the numbers pre-dates Trump. How long has it been since we've had actual employment and inflation numbers? Since Reagan the right has been trying to proclaim morning in America, but not until Trump showed up has a right wing supply side privatizing idiot been willing to lie so brazenly. Clinton tried to argue that a blow job is not sex and he fixed the new meaning of the numbers, but they've become even less related to reality than ever. Economic indicators don't mean bupkis today and there are few intelligent journalists in the MSM who can challenge them and depoliticize the data. We come to the web seeking truth and I just bought one of the chart reading books b recommends. Thanks for the link, b. So long as the numbers look good, Trump & Ugly Mitch can refuse to do more stimulus and revert to the old reliable bootstrap bullshit of the self-made society where the best government serves only the rich and demands that everyone else work for a living.

Posted by: jadan | Jun 7 2020 2:27 utc | 37


Any hyping of a V-shape recovery only prevents that Congress takes the necessary measures, like launching large infrastructure programs, to help the millions of jobless to again gain some work.

The US do not have the workforce for large infrastructure programs. For that they would need a lot of immigration added to the existing illegal immigration (or contract foreign companies).

This is a big political "No" for Trump.

The jobs that got lost are in

leisure and hospitality industries -- which shed some 7.7 million jobs -- though employment fell sharply across all major industries.

Other notable job losses occurred in food and drinking service sectors (which lost 5.5 million jobs), education and health services (which lost 2.5 million jobs) and retail employment (which lost 2.1 million jobs).

Manufacturing employment also fell by 1.3 million.

This is easy to restart as soon as people are allowed and unafraid to meet. US mentality is different from German mentality where consumerism will be gone for good for a while because people will return to saving.

The people backing Trump have an interest to get the US economy going for November, and so they will. It will work as people feel differences but not absolutes.

This crisis was won by the shortening of hedge fund managers and now they need to invest. The state will not do the recovery, they will, risk capital be burned.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 7 2020 6:38 utc | 39

Posted by: somebody | Jun 7 2020 6:38 utc | 39 This is easy to restart as soon as people are allowed and unafraid to meet

Which might be six months from now - or not. First we have the pandemic spike as a result of the protests. Then we have another lockdown, which worsens the economic crisis. Then we have virus wave 2.0 in the fall and winter. Another lockdown (unless the US has ramped up its testing, tracing and isolation - don't count on that.)

How do you figure leisure and hospitality, travel, food and drink services and retail recover once the money runs out on unemployment and people stop spending on those items until they get a new job?

You are *way* over-optimistic.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 7 2020 6:47 utc | 40

At least we had a new-fangled smartphone revolution to (somewhat) carry the real economy out of the smoking crater of the Great Financial Theft of 2008. I can't see anything similar right now that will do the same in 2020.

Posted by: JW | Jun 7 2020 7:08 utc | 41

osted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 7 2020 2:26 utc | 36

Ah! But there is method in their madness.

"Establishment narrative managers on both sides of America’s imaginary partisan divide have been saturating the mass media with gushing praise for the two former presidents and their wonderful words of healing and unity, and indeed, the words are quite nice. They will change exactly nothing, but they sound nice.

And that is exactly what a US president’s real job is. Not to end police brutality and systemic racism, not to make changes which benefit the American people, and certainly not to make the world a less violent and murderous place, but to say pretty words which lull the public into a pleasant propaganda-induced coma while the sociopathic oligarchs who really run things rob them blind.

This is not accomplished by tweeting obnoxious things about shooting “thugs” and getting censored by Twitter. It is not accomplished by threatening to implement martial law against the will of the states. It is not accomplished by using the military to brutalize protesters so you can pose in front of a burnt church with an upside-down Bible. It is not accomplished by calling the brother of George Floyd and being curt, uninterested and dismissive. It is not accomplished by first mismanaging a pandemic, then mismanaging a response to an incendiary police murder, then having nothing soothing or sympathetic to say that makes people feel like you’re listening and you care. It is not accomplished by creating an environment which allows photos to circulate of the nation’s capital burning.

And that, right there, is the one and only reason why certain elements of the establishment do not like President Trump."

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jun 7 2020 8:22 utc | 42

Even after restrictions are lifted, a lot of people will be staying away from crowded sports and concert venues, cineplexes, airports, airliners, cruise ships, entertainment parks, fairs and festivals; the sort of elbow-to-elbow entertainment that makes up a lot of modern life and culture.

The economy cannot be expected to fully recover until there is a vaccine, an effective cure/treatment or at least widespread testing.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jun 7 2020 8:25 utc | 43

@Hoveru @ 33:

"According to everybody's narrative, the media is mostly liberals who DESPISE Trump. Yet they are willing to lie as much as him. SO WHY are they supporting him if they are Liberals who lie about everything? THis is an open question to everyone here."

Simple - because we don't have a liberal media. There is no such thing here, at least not within the mainstream media umbrella.

Immediately after the "economic meltdown" in '08-'09. and then going into the next couple of years, I kept reading the argument put forth by all the media that Keynesian economics did not work and that the meltdown was proof of it. The odd thing was that not one single voice in the media pointed out that the US has not really used Keynesian principles since the Great Depression of the 1930's. We weren't operating under Keynes' principles before the meltdown and did not access his suggested solutions during or after the meltdown. Obama sure didn't come anywhere close. Obama's response to the downturn was some kind of mishmash of Austrian School, free market, and supply-side crap. Nonetheless, even to this day, all you will read from the media when they look back at Obama's solutions is that his (Obama's) actions proved "Keynesian economics does not work".

The US is awash in lies. One of the lies is that there exists a plethora of viewpoints in the mainstream media. Another lie is that one of these viewpoints is "liberal". Our liberal media (MSNBC, CNN, WaPo, NYT, etc.) is merely what used to pass as conservative Republican in the 1960's.

Posted by: teri | Jun 7 2020 8:42 utc | 44

Could people who follow the numbers for US states/cities look if the places which have had the first demos after Floyd's assassination have now a spike?
In the Middle East, Eid was ca 24-25 May and some are now experiencing spikes (cf Iran).
Dosten said incubation is ca 10-12 days, if I remember correctly.

Heard an odd story about a guy tested positive with Ebola in Beni on 16/4 who escaped before getting transferred to the special Ebola hospital. He would now have resurfaced, alive, after 55 days of traditional medicine. Or raptured to a lab somewhere? no new about the Ebola+Covid cases there.

Posted by: Mina | Jun 7 2020 9:19 utc | 45

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jun 7 2020 8:25 utc | 43

The economy cannot be expected to fully recover until there is a vaccine, an effective cure/treatment or at least widespread testing.

COVID-19, like other coronaviruses, is expected to mutate at least every season, raising serious questions about claims that any vaccine will work. A successful vaccine has never been developed for any of the many strains of coronaviruses despite 30 years of effort, due to the nature of the virus itself. In fact vaccinated people can have a higher chance of serious illness and death when later exposed to another strain of the virus, a phenomenon known as “virus interference.” An earlier SARS vaccine touted as effective because it produced antibodies to the virus never made it to market because the laboratory animals contracted more serious symptoms on re-infection, and most of them died. In reports from China and South Korea, even people who have previously recovered from COVID-19 have become re-infected with the virus. If antibodies created naturally in response to the wild virus don’t protect against future infections, the weaker vaccine-triggered antibodies won’t work either.

Researchers working with the AstraZeneca vaccine claimed success in preliminary studies because its lab monkeys all survived and formed antibodies to COVID-19, but data reported later showed that the animals all became infected when challenged, raising serious doubts about the vaccine’s effectiveness. But these concerns have not deterred the HHS, which is proceeding at “Warp Speed” to get the new technologies on the market.

When Profits and Politics Drive Science: The Hazards of Rushing a Vaccine at “Warp Speed”

Posted by: Mao | Jun 7 2020 10:39 utc | 46

NoleVictor @ 11 -- ".... the 1% have had their fortunes restored, no, actually increased...."

Like Wally said some while back on this site, this is about kicking over the table.

And I agree: when the stealing is done, you wipe the fingerprints, right?

The super rich are now locked and loaded with fresh USDs from their FED friends to buy up the land from under our feet, even the air that we breathe.

And the other 99%? We argue about bad air ( virus, anybody? ) and, worse... no air ( can't breathe, anybody? ).

Posted by: kiwiklown | Jun 7 2020 10:48 utc | 47

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jun 7 2020 8:22 utc | 42 And that, right there, is the one and only reason why certain elements of the establishment do not like
President Trump."

Yes, as I said, everyone knows Trump is an asshat. He gives being President an even worse name than George Dubya did...or even Nixon. No one is going to be sad to see him go - not even the Republicans (they know Biden won't last, and the next Prez will probably be another Republican.) Unfortunately for both sides, every President is worse than the last. But the stupid electorate keeps on electing these clowns.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 7 2020 11:57 utc | 48

The children of the Third Reich spouting anti-America bile on the anniversary of D-Day. Get a life! The recovery is real. Trump is the best President since Eisenhower (who led the invasion of the Third Reich).

The anti-democratic, fascist people of Europe are wallowing in poverty and oppression, and so are naturally jealous of America's successful escape from the Depression.

Posted by: bob sykes | Jun 7 2020 12:51 utc | 49

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 7 2020 6:47 utc | 40

If you believe what pharma salesmen are saying, yes.

Should this scenario be the case we need a serious discussion if fear of a virus is worth starvation (or loss of of freedom). Woodstock took place in the midst of a pandemic.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 7 2020 13:33 utc | 50

Trump is the best President since Eisenhower

@Posted by: bob sykes | Jun 7 2020 12:51 utc | 49

Are yo usre? To me this seems like an intend of genocide of certain parts of the US, especially Democrats governed states...and highly likely what largely contributed ( along with the pandemic whose origin I trace to the same sources who moreover willingly acted negligently on their duty to protect US citizens, especially elders and poor ), to the current wave of protests, acting the obviously pre-planned killing of Floyd as spark, or as the drop that overflood the glass of accumulated rage by popular classes...after several months of inaction by this administration except for saving great capitalists while people was dying in the dozens of thousands...

I am astonished that nobody here commented on this great report by Larry Romanoff, linked by Luisa de Vasconcellos at another thread, nobody said a word on it....

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Jun 7 2020 13:33 utc | 51

@Posted by: kiwiklown | Jun 7 2020 10:48 utc | 47

But, expect even further efforts on poluting and poisoning your devalued life...enjoy the far-right program of always...everywhere...

Trump just signed an executive order using emergency powers to gut the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act, waiving the requirement for environmental review for construction projects.

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Jun 7 2020 13:39 utc | 52

Now that the extractive wealthy elite have usurped the "protests" to their end and have framed it in purely racial terms, the REAL crisis deepens and worsens to the point it's pretty much intractable at this point and baked in. Even with the scale down of industrial activity due to the pandemic, CO2 in the atmosphere continues to rise. Of course, scientists said this would be the case — that even if and when we scaled back industrial activity, CO2 would continue to rise for decades if not centuries because the rise is already baked in regardless of what we do.

So, as the "protesters" "protest" for action and feckless reforms are considered, the planet is in its death throes.

Earth’s carbon dioxide levels hit record high, despite coronavirus-related emissions drop

The coronavirus pandemic’s economic downturn may have set off a sudden plunge in global greenhouse gas emissions, but another crucial metric for determining the severity of global warming — the amount of greenhouse gases actually in the air — just hit a record high.

According to readings from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the amount of CO2 in the air in May 2020 hit an average of slightly greater than 417 parts per million (ppm). This is the highest monthly average value ever recorded, and is up from 414.7 ppm in May of last year.

450 is straight ahead. In sight. Bill McKibben is an imposter. A huckster. A prick. A dirtbag. A liar. A shill. A whore. You name it.

Posted by: | Jun 7 2020 13:47 utc | 53

The US do not have the workforce for large infrastructure programs. For that they would need a lot of immigration added to the existing illegal immigration (or contract foreign companies).

@Posted by: somebody | Jun 7 2020 6:38 utc | 39

Indeed, large infrastructures in the US were built by foreign labor force, many Chinese amongst them.

This is why I can not understand claims by the likes of Pat Lang, The Saker, and Andrei Martyanov on their wish for exclusively likeminded full white communities or states.

In these theoric white reserves, who are they will be doing, roads buidling, home cleaning, and even changing elders diapers in the nursing homes or in the own homes of the promoters of this idilic societies?
It would need to be necessarily white people, sicne there would not e any other keep them doing those disagreable jobs, they would need to be kept aside of culture, education or any kind of association of peers where they can share their grievances or learn how to defend their interests by fighting for adding value to such disagreable jobs...

It is my impression that all these people claiming for uniform race formed societies, only will dispense the presence of other races for the goal of fullfilling these disagreable jobs, not dign, in their racist eyes, of a white person to do them. Thus, what they claim is for reconstructing the old society of the US South, of privileged whites and slavery conditions for other races. If for that they need to beat the hell out of brown and black people protesting arbitrary summary murder, and any white leftist who support them, to death, they seem willing to do it. This is what the conversation at deplorable sites like SST and The Saker has been about during this past week.

If I do not recall bad Pat Lang has Latino people doing his house works...And I bet you that mean-spirited of The Saker has too...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Jun 7 2020 14:05 utc | 54

@Posted by: vk | Jun 7 2020 2:38 utc | 38

Also attend to the hijacking and seizing of protective and health material during the months the pandemic ahs been active, still at full work in the US, for private profit also in the report linked at my...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Jun 7 2020 13:33 utc | 51

Thi is the price for having NYC moguls and psychos from West Point without any scruples to make money in charge....

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Jun 7 2020 14:15 utc | 56

" ..we need a serious discussion if fear of a virus is worth starvation (or loss of of freedom)."somebody @50
The two things are unrelated. There is no reason why food production cannot continue, even increase enormously, while we are taking sensible measures to prevent the spread of the virus. The threat is to capitalism-a system in which food production depends upon the profitability of supply chains and the industrialisation of agriculture.
People like you who advance the argument that the status quo economically must be preserved and that a few hundred thousand, mainly weak or old, dead is a small price to pay for its preservation, are apologists for capitalism and the arguments you use are the foundations of fascism.

"The super rich are now locked and loaded with fresh USDs from their FED friends to buy up the land from under our feet, even the air that we breathe." kiwiklown@47

This is another faux left apology for the status quo. You argue that because the 1% have taken advantage of their control of the state to award themselves large sums of money, it can be seen that they concocted a false alarm in order to facilitate their larceny. In reality what has happened is that the ruling class have seized an opportunity to improve their position. But whether they succeed depends entirely on society's decision- if the capitalist system is maintained and government bonds retain their value and if the people are prepared to commit themselves for an eternity to paying interest on debts incurred to make the rich richer the ruling class will have benefited.
Provided, that is, that there are no consequences from the actual crisis itself. That nobody notices how the ruling class is ready to sacrifice public health for profit, that it was content to allow the pandemic to rage unchecked while it protected itself by using its wealth and the working class was forced to work in dangerous conditions or starve. Provided that nobody notices that while there is a trillion dollar annual budget to 'defend' the United States from a threat that doesn't exist-and never did- there is no money for training nurses or paying them living wages, providing ICU beds, stockpiling PEP equipment and ventilators. Or even carrying out pharmaceutical research into preventive measures. None of these things is profitable-there is more money to be made from skin creams, plastic surgery and sex aids than there is from taking measures to mitigate the effects of viral outbreaks.
You suggest that the capitalist class has deliberately exposed its weaknesses and the deadly flaws in its ideology in order to facilitate a robbery which means nothing if a popular government repudiates the odious debts which have been run up. It means nothing if the net result of this crisis is to awaken the population to the necessity for revolutionary change.
Your arguments are all of a piece with the similar suggestions that the current protests against police violence are in fact planned by the ruling class in order to justify repression.
And what all this nonsense has in common is the underlying belief that the masses have no power and that the ruling elites are so confident in their positions that they will take the most enormous risks, shut down their economy, mobilise opposition to their bodyguards, reveal the underlying evil in their ideology, simply in order to transfer a few trillion dollars of fiat money into their accounts.
I take a different view: that a conjunction of events has revealed the weakness of the system and the fragility of the security afforded to most people, who live on the brink of economic ruin and are increasingly indebted to the oligarchy. And that it will be very easy to force changes on the ruling class. It would be helpful, however, if those who want change worked for it rather than lamented that it can never come, that all reformers are traitors, that everything that occurs is planned and scripted by all powerful elites.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 7 2020 14:20 utc | 57

Great post Bevin

Posted by: arby | Jun 7 2020 14:38 utc | 58


The Apple data does not show that "requests in directions for driving and walking had nearly recovered to pre-pandemic levels by June 1". Apple does not provide the absolute numbers. It only says how the number of requests have changed. The graph shows that the absolute number of requests had been falling rapidly since early March but has now stopped falling further. The absolute numbers have not yet increased above the low pandemic level.

This is wrong. The chart is titled “Change in requests…”, but the subtitle explicitly specifies “Compared to January 13, 2020 baseline”. So the chart does show absolute numbers, not the rate of change, and driving requests did recover to pre-pandemic levels (for iPhone users).

Posted by: S | Jun 7 2020 15:12 utc | 59

45 Mina

There will be a spike if they increase testing for some reason. No tests no spike.

Iran says virus uptick due to increased testing

Posted by: somebody | Jun 7 2020 15:18 utc | 60

Mao @ 46 nice article by eb

Some of the financial parts

'The profits will go to the companies and their shareholders, while the liabilities will be borne by the public.

the stage is already being set for mandatory vaccinations that will be “deployed” by the US military as soon as the end of the year. The HHS in conjunction with the Department of Defense has awarded a $138 million contract for 600 million syringes prefilled with coronavirus vaccine,individually marked with trackable RFID chips.

The argument originally advanced for fast-tracking a COVID-19 vaccine was that the magnitude of the pandemic required shutting down the whole economy until a vaccine was found. But earlier dire projections have now been heavily revised downward. The 3.4% coronavirus mortality rate put forward by the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at the start of the pandemic was downgraded by the CDC in May to between 0.2% and 0.3%, less than one-tenth the original estimates.

before the public discovers that the fundamentals of these stocks do not support the hype. If we need seven billion doses of the vaccine before life can return to normal, as Bill Gates contends, the profit bonanza is enormous'

Posted by: financial matters | Jun 7 2020 15:24 utc | 61


Yes indeed bevin, well done!

Posted by: Copeland | Jun 7 2020 15:30 utc | 62

@ 57 bevin... you talk a good line and say a lot of things that i would like to see happen, but as i note, all the talk around corbyn amounted to a big nothing burger... is it the same deal here?? it is easy to agree with you, but getting beyond the status quo into a new paradigm is not as easy..

i feel these riots are just a precursor to 2021 where i think we will see a lot more of it.. just how it gets processed will be a deciding factor... there is a lot of friction between the status quo and those seeking change and it is not going to resolve easily, if at all..

Posted by: james | Jun 7 2020 16:38 utc | 63

Talking about a V-shaped recovery vs a Pear-shaped recovery, I'm waiting to hear about a B-shaped recovery - funded by non-greedy Billionaires. I'm not holding my breath. The Billionaires who bought all the West's politicians in order to get tax breaks, and legalise Tax Havens, probably feel Entitled to their Scrooge McDuck-ish piles of spare cash and are unlikely to feel sympathy for the squalor which their entrenched swindling has imposed on their impoverished victims.

Nevertheless it would be interesting to start, and regularly update, a list of the Billionaires who have stepped up to the Recovery plate to demonstrate that SOME Billionaires have a conscience and are eager to prove that not all Billionaires are Greedy, merciless, Entitled Assholes.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 7 2020 19:44 utc | 64

Protesters in Bristol, England, have torn down the bronze statue of a 17th Century slave-trader/philanthropist and tossed it into a nearby river.

"The longest journey begins with a single step."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 7 2020 20:15 utc | 65

@ Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 7 2020 19:44 utc | 64

Nevertheless it would be interesting to start, and regularly update, a list of the Billionaires who have stepped up to the Recovery plate to demonstrate that SOME Billionaires have a conscience and are eager to prove that not all Billionaires are Greedy, merciless, Entitled Assholes.

just-world fallacy (wikipedia)

And yes, the West inherited the just-world fallacy from Christianism (Good and Evil fallacy).

Posted by: vk | Jun 7 2020 20:38 utc | 66

@ Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 7 2020 19:44 utc | 64
"SOME Billionaires have a conscience and are eager to prove that not all Billionaires are Greedy, merciless, Entitled Assholes."

The possibility of 'the billionaire' as a social type already indicates structural corruption. Their appearance as a phenomenon in any historical scenario points toward institutionalisation and rehabilitation of an underlying criminality mandated by a hijacked and weakened regulatory authority. I will never be convinced that the obscene coagulation of capital in the hands of one person was achieved by anything other than the manipulation and coercion of a structurally corrupt social formation. The myth of the deserving rich is vile:

"The theory which is also expressed as a law of nature, that population grows faster than the means of subsistence, is the more welcome to the bourgeois as it silences his conscience, makes hard-heartedness into a moral duty and the consequences of society into the consequences of nature, and finally gives him the opportunity to watch the destruction of the proletariat by starvation as calmly as any other natural event without bestirring himself, and, on the other hand, to regard the misery of the proletariat as its own fault and to punish it. To be sure, the proletarian can restrain his natural instinct by reason, and so, by moral supervision, halt the law of nature in its injurious course of development." - Karl Marx, Wages, December 1847"

Posted by: Patroklos | Jun 8 2020 0:08 utc | 67

Hoyeru | Jun 7 2020 2:18 utc | 33

I think a more accurate description of the MSM (than as "liberals") is as "the propaganda arm of the ruling class". Does that explain it ?

Posted by: foolisholdman | Jun 8 2020 17:51 utc | 68

H.Schmatz | Jun 7 2020 13:33 utc | 51

Thank you for the reference. It is a very valuable report.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Jun 8 2020 18:54 utc | 69

Reuters: MAY 21, 2020 / 4:16 PM / 18 DAYS AGO
U.S. prepared to spend Russia, China 'into oblivion' to win nuclear arms race: U.S. envoy

Apart from everything, is it a timely idea for USA? Unfortunately, Democrats are too stupid to make it an issue.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 8 2020 21:22 utc | 70

I have a question that I would really like it answered. According to everybody's narrative, the media is mostly liberals who DESPISE Trump. Yet they are willing to lie as much as him.
SO WHY are they supporting him if they are Liberals who lie about everything? THis is an open question to everyone here.
THis is a serious question by a NON-American.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Jun 7 2020 2:18 utc | 33


I do not understand "yet" in this post. They hate Trump YET they lie. These are two separate issues, and if anything, hatred is conducive to self-delusion and lies.

IMHO, Trump is erratic and obnoxious. Being erratic, he had some statements that were interpreted as breaking with misbegotten bipartisan consensus on the necessity to dominate, confront, and additionally, the devotion to free trade. However, Trump loves to dominate and confront, and his trade policies can be summarized as unproductive chaos and additional cause use in demonization of the "others".

Democrats also observed, on the receiving side, that the most stupid reasons are best if you want to demonize opponents. Enter Russia gate. Being novices, they did not do it well.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 8 2020 21:39 utc | 71

But the stupid electorate keeps on electing these clowns.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 7 2020 11:57 utc | 48

IMHO, Biden is not near as funny as Trump. Some videos featuring Biden should be watch far from beverages or keyboards, but Trump is a veritable volcano of bizarre. Russian-influenced media reported that last week he exceeded 200 twits and broke his personal record. Biden focuses on making few mind-boggling inputs to the national debate. And who says that Clown-Americans do not deserve a shot for the highest office?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 8 2020 21:46 utc | 72

Do I need to clarify that Trump exceeded 200 twits within a 24 hour period, not in a record week or a record month.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 8 2020 21:48 utc | 73

B-shaped recovery (a hypothetical)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 7 2020 19:44 utc | 64

Mental overheating here. "Give me boobs or give me death"? After all, who wants flat economy. But who aims for growth plots in the shape of a calligraphic M (or a calligraphic B if you rotate them)?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 8 2020 21:55 utc | 74

The comments to this entry are closed.