Economies won’t be able to recover after shutdowns

Citizens seem to be clamoring for shutdowns to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There is one major difficulty, however. Once an economy has been shut down, it is extremely difficult for the economy to recover back to the level it had reached previously. In fact, the longer the shutdown lasts, the more critical the problem is likely to be. China can shut down its economy for two weeks over the Chinese New Year, each year, without much damage. But, if the outage is longer and more widespread, damaging effects are likely.

A major reason why economies around the world will have difficulty restarting is because the world economy was in very poor shape before COVID-19 hit; shutting down major parts of the economy for a time leads to even more people with low wages or without any job. It will be very difficult and time-consuming to replace the failed businesses that provided these jobs.

When an outbreak of COVID-19 hit, epidemiologists recommended social distancing approaches that seemed to be helpful back in 1918-1919. The issue, however, is that the world economy has changed. Social distancing rules have a much more adverse impact on today’s economy than on the economy of 100 years ago.

Governments that wanted to push back found themselves up against a wall of citizen expectations. A common belief, even among economists, was that any shutdown would be short, and the recovery would be V-shaped. False information (really propaganda) published by China tended to reinforce the expectation that shutdowns could truly be helpful. But if we look at the real situation, Chinese workers are finding themselves newly laid off as they attempt to return to work. This is leading to protests in the Hubei area.

My analysis indicates that now, in 2020, the world economy cannot withstand long shutdowns. One very serious problem is the fact that the prices of many commodities (including oil, copper and lithium) will fall far too low for producers, leading to disruption in supplies. Broken supply chains can be expected to lead to the loss of many products previously available. Ultimately, the world economy may be headed for collapse.

In this post, I explain some of the reasons for my concerns.

[1] An economy is a self-organizing system that can grow only under the right conditions. Removing a large number of businesses and the corresponding jobs for an extended shutdown will clearly have a detrimental effect on the economy. 

Figure 1. Chart by author, using photo of building toy “Leonardo Sticks,” with notes showing a few types of elements the world economy.

An economy is a self-organizing networked system that grows, under the right circumstances. I have attempted to give an idea of how this happens in Figure 1. This is an image of a child’s building toy. The growth of an economy is somewhat like building a structure with many layers using such a toy.

The precise makeup of the economy is constantly changing. New businesses are formed, and new consumers grow up and take jobs. Governments enact laws, partly to collect taxes, and partly to ensure fair treatment of all. Consumers decide which products to buy based on a combination of factors, including their level of wages, the prices being charged for the available goods, the availability of debt, and the interest rate on that debt. Resources of various kinds are used in producing goods and services.

At the same time, some deletions are taking place. Big businesses buy smaller businesses; some customers die or move away. Products that become obsolete are discontinued. The inside of the dome becomes hollow from the deletions.

If a large number of businesses are closed for an extended period, this will have many adverse impacts on the economy:

  • Fewer goods and services, in total, will be made for the economy during the period of the shutdown.
  • Many workers will be laid off, either temporarily or permanently. Goods and services will suddenly be less affordable for these former workers. Many will fall behind on their rent and other obligations.
  • The laid off workers will be unable to pay much in taxes. In the US, state and local governments will need to cut back the size of their programs to match lower revenue because they cannot borrow to offset the deficit.
  • If fewer goods and services are made, demand for commodities will fall. This will push the prices of commodities, such as oil and copper, very low.
  • Commodity producers, airlines and the travel industry are likely to head toward permanent contraction, further adding to layoffs.
  • Broken supply lines become problems. For example:
    • A lack of parts from China has led to the closing of many automobile factories around the world.
    • There is not enough cargo capacity on airplanes because much cargo was carried on passenger flights previously, and passenger flights have been cut back.

These adverse impacts become increasingly destabilizing for the economy, the longer the shutdowns go on. It is as if a huge number of deletions are made simultaneously in Figure 1. Temporary margins, such as storage of spare parts in warehouses, can provide only a temporary buffer. The remaining portions of the economy become less and less able to support themselves. If the economy was already in poor shape, the economy may collapse.

[2] The world economy was approaching resource limits even before the coronavirus epidemic appeared. This is not too different a situation than many earlier economies faced before they collapsed. Coronavirus pushes the world economy further toward collapse. 

Reaching resource limits is sometimes described as, “The population outgrew the carrying capacity of the land.” The group of people living in the area could not grow enough food and firewood using the resources available at the time (such as arable land, energy from the sun, draft animals, and technology of the day) for their expanding populations.

Collapses have been studied by many researchers. The book Secular Cycles by Peter Turchin and Sergey Nefedov analyze eight agricultural economies that collapsed. Figure 2 is a chart I prepared, based on my analysis of the economies described in that book:

Figure 2. Chart by author based on Turchin and Nefedov’s Secular Cycles.

Economies tend to grow for many years before the population becomes high enough that the carrying capacity of the land they occupy is approached. Once the carrying capacity is hit, they enter a stagflation stage, during which population and GDP growth slow. Growing debt becomes an issue, as do both wage and wealth disparity.

Eventually, a crisis period is reached. The problems of the stagflation period become worse (wage and wealth disparity; need for debt by those with inadequate income) during the crisis period. Changes tend to take place during the crisis period that lead to substantial drops in GDP and population. For example, we read about some economies entering into wars during the crisis period in the attempt to gain more land and other resources. We also read about economies being attacked from outside in their weakened state.

Also, during the crisis period, with the high level of wage and wealth disparity, it becomes increasingly difficult for governments to collect enough taxes. This problem can lead to governments being overthrown because of unhappiness with high taxes and wage disparity. In some cases, as in the 1991 collapse of the central government of the Soviet Union, the top level government simply collapses, leaving the next lower level of government.

Strangely enough, epidemics also seem to occur within collapse periods. The rising population leads to people living closer to each other, increasing the risk of transmission. People with low wages often find it increasingly difficult to eat an adequate diet. As a result, their immune systems easily succumb to new communicable diseases. Part of the collapse process is often the loss of a significant share of the population to a communicable disease.

Looking back at Figure 2, I believe that the current economic cycle started with the use of fossil fuels back in the 1800s. The world economy hit the stagflation period in the 1970s, when oil supply first became constrained. The Great Recession of 2008-2009 seems to be a marker for the beginning of the crisis period in the current cycle. If I am right in this assessment, the world economy is in the period in which we should expect crises, such as pandemics or wars, to occur.

The world was already pushing up against resource limits before all of the shutdowns took place. The shutdowns can be expected to push the world economy toward a more rapid decline in output per capita. They also appear to increase the likelihood that citizens will try to overthrow their governments, once the quarantine restrictions are removed.

[3] The carrying capacity of the world today is augmented by the world’s energy supply. A major issue since 2014 is that oil prices have been too low for oil producers. The coronavirus problem is pushing oil prices even lower yet.

Strangely enough, the world economy is facing a resource shortage problem, but it manifests itself as low commodity prices and excessive wage and wealth disparity.

Most economists have not figured out that economies are, in physics terms, dissipative structures. These are self-organizing systems that grow, at least for a time. Hurricanes (powered by energy from warm water) and ecosystems (powered by sunlight) are other examples of dissipative structures. Humans are dissipative structures, as well; we are powered by the energy content of foods. Economies require energy for all of the processes that we associate with generating GDP, such as refining metals and transporting goods. Electricity is a form of energy.

Energy can be used to work around shortages of almost any kind of resource. For example, if fresh water is a problem, energy products can be used to build desalination plants. If lack of phosphate rocks is an issue for adequate fertilization, energy products can be used to extract these rocks from less accessible locations. If pollution is a problem, fossil fuels can be used to build so-called renewable energy devices such as wind turbines and solar panels, to try to reduce future CO2 pollution.

The growth in energy consumption correlates quite well with the growth of the world economy. In fact, increases in energy consumption seem to precede growth in GDP, suggesting that it is energy consumption growth that allows the growth of GDP.

Figure 3. World GDP Growth versus Energy Consumption Growth, based on data of 2018 BP Statistical Review of World Energy and GDP data in 2010$ amounts, from the World Bank.

The thing that economists tend to miss is the fact that extracting enough fossil fuels (or commodities of any type) is a two-sided price problem. Prices must be both:

  1. High enough for companies extracting the resources to make an after tax profit.
  2. Low enough for consumers to afford finished goods made with these resources.

Most economists believe that an inadequate supply of energy products will be marked by high prices. In fact, the situation seems to be almost “upside down” in a networked economy. Inadequate energy supplies seem to be marked by excessive wage and wealth disparity. This wage and wealth disparity leads to commodity prices that are too low for producers. Current WTI oil prices are about $20 per barrel, for example (Figure 4).

Figure 4. Daily spot price of West Texas Intermediate oil, based on EIA data.

The low-price commodity price issue is really an affordability problem. The many people with low wages cannot afford goods such as cars, homes with heating and air conditioning, and vacation travel. In fact, they may even have difficulty affording food. Spending by rich people does not make up for the shortfall in spending by the poor because the rich tend to spend their wealth differently. They tend to buy services such as tax planning and expensive private college educations for their children. These services require proportionately less commodity use than goods purchased by the poor.

The problem of low commodity prices becomes especially acute in countries that produce commodities for export. Producers find it difficult to pay workers adequate wages to live on. Also, governments are not able to collect enough taxes for the services workers expect, such as public transit. The combination is likely to lead to protests by citizens whenever the opportunity arises. Once shutdowns end, these countries are especially in danger of having their governments overthrown.

[4] There are limits to what governments and central banks can fix. 

Governments can give citizens checks so that they have enough funds to buy groceries. This may, indeed, keep the price of food products high enough for food producers. There may still be problems with broken supply lines, so there may still be shortages of some products. For example, if there are eggs but no egg cartons, there may be no eggs for sale in grocery stores.

Central banks can act as buyers for many kinds of assets such as bonds and even shares of stock. In this way, they can perhaps keep stock market prices reasonably high. If enough gimmicks are used, perhaps they can even keep the prices of homes and farms reasonably high.

Central banks can also keep interest rates paid by governments low. In fact, interest rates can even be negative, especially for the short term. Businesses whose profitability has been reduced and workers who have been laid off are likely to discover that their credit ratings have been downgraded. This is likely to lead to higher interest costs for these borrowers, even if interest rates for the most creditworthy are kept low.

One area where governments and central banks seem to be fairly helpless is with respect to low prices for commodities used by industry, such as oil, natural gas, coal, copper and lithium. These commodities are traded internationally, so it is not just their own producers that need to be propped up; the market intervention needs to affect the entire world market.

One approach to raising world commodity prices would be to buy up large quantities of the commodities and store them somewhere. This is impractical, because no one has adequate storage for the huge quantities involved.

Another approach for raising world commodity prices would be to try to raise worldwide demand for finished goods and services. (Making more finished goods and services will use more commodities, and thus will tend to raise commodity prices.) To do this, checks would somehow need to go to the many poor people in the world, including those in India, Bangladesh and Nigeria, allowing these people to buy cars, homes, and other finished goods. Sending out checks only to people in one’s own economy would not be sufficient. It is unlikely that the US or the European Union would undertake a task such as this.

A major problem after many people have been out of work for a quite a while is the fact that many of these people will be behind on their regular payments, such as rent and car payments. They will be in no mood to buy a new vehicle or a new cell phone, simply because they have been offered a check that covers groceries and not much more. They will remain in a mode of cutting back on purchases, not adding more. Demand for most kinds of goods will remain low.

This lack of demand will make it difficult for business to have enough sales to make it profitable to reopen at the level of output that they had previously. Thus, employment and sales are likely to remain depressed even after the economy seems to be reopening. China seems to be having this problem. The Wall Street Journal reports China Is Open for Business, but the Postcoronavirus Reboot Looks Slow and Rocky. It also reports, Another Shortage in China’s Virus-Hit Economy: Jobs for College Grads.

[5] There is a significant likelihood that the COVID-19 problem is not going away, even if economies can “bend the trend line” with respect to new cases.

Bending the trend line has to do with trying to keep hospitals and medical providers from being overwhelmed. It is likely to mean that herd immunity is built up slowly, making repeat outbreaks more likely. Thus, if social isolation is stopped, COVID-19 illnesses can be expected to revisit prior locations. We know that this has been an issue in the past. The Spanish Flu epidemic came in three waves, over the years 1918-1919. The second wave was the most deadly.

A recent study by members of the Harvard School of Public Health says that the COVID-19 epidemic may appear in waves until into 2022. In fact, it could be back on a seasonal basis thereafter. It also indicates that more than one period of social distancing is likely to be required:

“A single period of social distancing will not be sufficient to prevent critical care capacities from being overwhelmed by the COVID-19 epidemic, because under any scenario considered it leaves enough of the population susceptible that a rebound in transmission after the end of the period will lead to an epidemic that exceeds this capacity.”

Thus, even if the COVID-19 problem seems to be fixed in a few weeks, it likely will be back again within a few months. With this level of uncertainty, businesses will not be willing to set up new operations. They will not hire many additional employees. The retired population will not run out and buy more tickets on cruise ships for next year. In fact, citizens are likely to continue to be worried about airplane flights being a place for transmitting illnesses, making the longer term prospects for the airline industry less optimistic.

Conclusion 

The economy was already near the edge before COVID-19 hit. Wage and wealth disparity were big problems. Local populations of many areas objected to immigrants, fearing that the added population would reduce job opportunities for people who already lived there, among other things. As a result, many areas were experiencing protests because of unhappiness with the current economic situation.

The shutdowns temporarily cut back the protests, but they certainly do not fix the underlying situations. Instead, the shutdowns add to the number of people with very low wages or no income at all. The shutdowns also reduce the total quantity of goods and services available to purchase, regardless of how much money is added to the system. Many people will end up poorer, in some real sense.

As soon as the shutdowns end, it will be obvious that the world economy is in worse condition than it was before the shutdown. The longer the shutdowns last, the worse shape the world economy will be in. Thus, when businesses are restarted, we can expect even more protests and more divisive politics. Some governments may be overthrown, or they may collapse without being pushed. I fear that the world economy will be further down the road toward overall collapse.

 

 

 

About Gail Tverberg

My name is Gail Tverberg. I am an actuary interested in finite world issues - oil depletion, natural gas depletion, water shortages, and climate change. Oil limits look very different from what most expect, with high prices leading to recession, and low prices leading to financial problems for oil producers and for oil exporting countries. We are really dealing with a physics problem that affects many parts of the economy at once, including wages and the financial system. I try to look at the overall problem.
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4,744 Responses to Economies won’t be able to recover after shutdowns

    • The people who plan to homestead in the future and raise animals on their own especially need to be aware of these issues. The closer we are to animals, the bigger the problem becomes. And if medical care goes downhill, there is less chance of good treatment.

      • It can be done safely, but not on cement lot in urbanized areas (without gigantic inputs).. Hence again going back to the overpop / land ratio. Serious depop would solve the issue, are we going to get it though (fast and large scale)?

  1. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    Brother, can you spare some dollars for a meal?
    ‘Never Seen Anything Like It’: Cars Line Up for Miles at Food Banks
    Nicholas Kulish
    The New York TimesApril 9, 2020, 3:13 PM EDT
    Close to 10 million Americans reported losing their jobs in the second half of March. The true number of newly unemployed is almost certainly higher, and many have little or no buffer against the sudden loss in income. Even before the current economic crisis, the Federal Reserve found that 4 in 10 American adults did not have the savings or other resources to cover an unexpected $400 expense.

    While Congress passed a sweeping economic recovery package last month that promised payments of up to $1,200 to most American adults, it remains unclear when the funds will arrive.

    Adding to the problem, school closings across the country mean that many families who relied on free or subsidized school breakfasts and lunches to keep their children fed are facing even greater need
    I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Stacy Dean, vice president for food assistance policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning research organization in Washington, D.C. She has studied food security for more than a quarter-century. “People love the phrase ‘the perfect storm,’” she added, “but nothing is built for this.”

    Feeding America, the nation’s largest network of food banks, with more than 200 affiliates, has projected a $1.4 billion shortfall in the next six months alone. Last week, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, announced that he was donating $100 million to the group — the largest single donation in its history but still less than one-tenth of what it needs

    Boy, is this a cluster. Whammy and today at the Grocery Store was in line for a lotto ticket.
    The guy in front took a stack of seemed to buy out the paper roll. Waiting, like I always do, a woman with a mask points to her phone claiming EVERYONE HAS TO wear a MASK and I’m breaking the law.
    Looking around, I point out many others breaking the new order and laugh at her. The manager is alerted by her and he tries to reason with her, while I keep pointing. He pleads for me not to as I bid her goodbye. Not that I have to keep 6 feet away from people and tried to purchase mask, so Suppose an old T shirt will be converted!
    The Sheeple are being played to the hilt on this manufactured crisis.
    The CB s and Wall Street have found the perfect out for the Collapse
    I’m impressed how easy it all was to undertake.
    Now Im watching TV commercial on religion praying to Jesus over the China virus.
    Next, GrubHub to save restaurants…..

  2. Hubbs says:

    A new deal reached between Russia and Saudi to cut oil production by combined 12 million bpd. Kind of a moot point since there would be no place to store it anyway now that even storage capacity reaching peak against demand destruction of nearly twice that.

  3. Artleads says:

    Something I haven’t heard so far…

  4. Artleads says:

    A lot of people aren’t paying rent. Wouldn’t paying rent help the system wobble on longer? But with such an uncertain economic future, SHOULD we be paying large credit card bills?

    • Depends on whether you want to buy more things on credit, for example, on Amazon or at the grocery store.

      • Artleads says:

        There’s the rub. *I’m* not the least interested in shopping. My wife, though, that’s another thing. She has great strengths where I’m weak, but she listens only to MSM, and can’t believe the system is as screwed as it is widely held to be on OFW. She can’t understand why I’m bothering her about paying off her credit card debt.

        • Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

          how screwed is the system?

          if it’s totally, then why bother paying off any debt?

          these ideas have come up before, and each person has to decide what to do if they have debt…

          I don’t go by the MSM messaging, but I still think there’s a small chance that a wounded limping bleeding IC makes it into 2021 with quasi bAU…

          that might be too optimistic…

          • Bei Dawei says:

            You have to prepare for the worst–what if the system doesn’t fall, and you still have to pay the bills?

            • Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

              or roll the dice and don’t make any monthly payments… which I would advise against… though millions will be unable to make such payments anyway…

              maybe look at it as “prepare for the best”…

              it makes sense to me to assume some kind of quasi bAU going forward…

              which means there would still be a banking (sub)system…

              so debt payments should be decided based on that assumption, if a person still wants to participate in the banking (sub)system…

            • psile says:

              Just make the minimum payment, whilst you build up savings. Don’t use the credit card for any unnecessary purchases. Whether BAU continues past 2020-21, you’ll still be well placed, if that’s the right word, moving forward, to either pay down debt or have some money lying around. Because if this IS the end, by God, you’ll need cash.

        • Xabier says:

          We have to bear in mind that, in favourable – and stable – climates and ecological systems, our ancestors have lived an essentially unchanging for thousands of years.

          This gives us a natural predisposition to think and feel quite deeply that things must go on as usual, or that some pleasant order can be returned to somehow.

          • As hunter-gatherers, the systems indeed did seem to go on for long periods. But the climates were not very stable. People moved to, or perhaps populations flourished in, locations where climate was suddenly more favorable.

            In settled areas, there seems to be more of an issue of overshoot and collapse. To the extent that the population in an area rose, it would make the resources per capita ratio less favorable. There would be less margin available, if some unfavorable situation came along. Such an unfavorable situation could be an unfavorable trend in weather, or an epidemic of some sort, or an attack by another tribe.

            Climate has changed a lot over the years. The fertile crescent around the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in Iraq, for example, seems to have been a warm, wet area in Old Testament times.

            The standard work-around for inadequate resources per capita is more specialization. This works for a while, but it leaves the low-income people more vulnerable to epidemics, because with their lower incomes, they often cannot afford an adequate diet. I understand that in the US, black citizens (who are often low income) are disproportionately dying from the fle.

  5. Hide-away says:

    There is an aspect about all the cons.piracy theories that is relevant to the current Coronavirus situation. An underlying theme in all cons.spiracies that if we just stop XYZ then we go back to normal. Therefore these wacky theories offer a level of comfort to all the proponents.

    It is much more scary that there is no plan, there is no group behind any aspect of the large self organised system. The reality is truly more scary than any con.spiracy theory, because there is no easy answer, nor is there any guaranteed outcome should we do ABC as an attempt to fix the problem.

    It might not even be a problem as such, more a predicament of which only bad outcomes are available to us all on average.

    How does the ancient Chinese curse go?(according to the British Diplomatic Service of 1936) May you live in interesting times…

    Unfortunately it is not Go.ds wrath, nor anyone’s plan, but it just is, so better to plan how to live long and prosper instead of being wrapped up in trying to figure out who’s fault it is.

    • JMS says:

      “An underlying theme in all cons.spiracies that if we just stop XYZ then we go back to normal. Therefore these wacky theories offer a level of comfort to all the proponents.”

      You are completely wrong about this. I for example never assumed that if we managed to stop XYZ everything would return to normal and human beings would dance forever hand in hand around bonfires. This is just an unfounded assumption you make, an assunption btw that could also be labeled as comforting for you (it works in both directions, y’ know), since discovering that in the political theater the real play takes place behind the scenes is anything but comforting. In fact, it is so unsettling that most people back away in horror if they accidentally run into it. Naked reality is too strong a drink for most people.

      • Hide-away says:

        JMS…
        “since discovering that in the political theater the real play takes place behind the scenes is anything but comforting. In fact, it is so unsettling that most people back away in horror if they accidentally run into it. Naked reality is too strong a drink for most people.”

        Yes I’ve been there, been involved with ‘planning’ at the highest level of government, to see chaos at work. Yes people have preconceived plans or notions of how they want various aspects to turn out, but throw a spanner in their works, and watch mayhem happen.

        People all have their own belief system, based on who knows what, though often based on the beliefs of those around them. For instance religion and money are both belief systems, based upon other people believing they are real to keep the social acceptance/cohesion going. If you are in a group of people that believe in all the cons.piracies out there, then you only see what you want to see.

        Believing in anything does not make it real, it is just a comfort zone for the participants, no matter what the belief.
        The world makes a lot more sense when viewed as a chaotic self organised system of lots of different ‘beliefs’ all mashed together.

        It is scary that there is no plan, no-one is guiding the current crisis, all the politicians and bankers are fumbling with what they hope works, so lots of people try to cling to whatever belief they have to gain comfort. It is what it is, no more and no less.

        • JMS says:

          Who said I or anyone believe in “all the cons.piracies out there”? Mere unfounded assumption again. Sorry, i will not waste my time with you.

          • Tim Groves says:

            Very wise. People who make unfounded assumptions about other people’s beliefs are a pain in the rectal area to talk to. When I come across them in real life, I tend to nod politely while smiling at them, and then move quickly out of range.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              They’d be useful for knife fighting practice

              Or better still — put an apple on their head and see if you can it with a 7mm round from 200m.

              At least then they are not totally useless

        • Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

          thanks, Hide away…

          “… there is no plan, no-one is guiding the current crisis, all the politicians and bankers are fumbling with what they hope works…”

          that nicely sums up the reality of 2020…

          • JMS says:

            David, I sort of like your approach of bau tonight baby. since an optimistic side is always necessary, even in the direst situations. But let me assert this, do you really believe W.T.C.-7 collapsed that way because of fire offices?

            • Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

              I have not studied it…

              my impression is that the falling twin towers had a tremendous sideways force… obviously the force was not totally downward…

              if you can give me calculations of the force of each building… the mass times the sideways velocity, then I might be interested…

              if you can’t, then I don’t think I’m interested…

              bAU tonight, baby!

            • JMS says:

              Thanks. I studied it. Spent months on it, back in 2007.
              Bau tonight and tomorrow and even in June, i hope!

            • JMS, few days ago “David in decade/million years” as others haven been (reminded of by FE) shown pic of violent streams of pyroclastic clouds on that “2001 thing”, so to claim “not studied it” is either sheer cowardliness or intellectual laziness. Which is kind of unfortunate and common to many people facing difficult and inconvenient choice, otherwise David seems having realistic approach on many things, incl. the possible ~BAU can kicking effort till the very last moment, which is a kind of minority view in itself in certain “must be” phase shift over night only circles.

            • Tim Groves says:

              I agree with worldofhanumanotg. And David, it’s been eighteen and a half years since the events of nine eleven. That’s plenty of of studying time. If you haven’t studied it yet, you haven’t been paying attention and this is a strong indication that you aren’t interested in it.

              The perps counted on the vast majority of the population not being interested enough to do anything about uncovering the truth about nine eleven and it seems they were correct to do so, The vast majority of the population will fall for anything time after time after time.

              The idea that the people in charge of society at the highest levels have no plans for running things including guiding current events and are merely reacting to events as they occur and doing nothing to shape events or make them happen on purpose seems ridiculously naive to me. That would make them less prudent than the average housewife, farmer, corporate executive, local government administrator or investment fund manager.

              People at all levels of society formulate and implement plans for the future, but the people at the top are clueless and wait until events come at them like a wrecking ball before giving them a second thought? If so, it’s a wonder they are still at the top.

            • Fast Eddy says:

              e.g?

              https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/national-strategy/index.html

              https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/archived/business-planning.html

              Click to access gr-pan-flu-work-set.pdf

              Click to access gr-pan-flu-ed-set.pdf

              Here is the master plan – if you open this you will see many PDF subfiles….

              https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/planning-preparedness/national-strategy-planning.html

              This ONE alone is 233 pages!!!

              Click to access pandemic-influenza-implementation.pdf

              Strange how they seem to be making stuff on the fly when they have such detailed contingency plans.

              Oh BTW – I’ve called Elmherst 3x now …. ‘you won’t have to wait long to be seen’ – I’ve been calling at different times of the day including yesterday 6pm….

            • Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

              thanks T G…

              to me, my time is better used not studying rabbit trails about 2001 that would do nothing to enhance my life… though I do value knowledge…

              I suppose I could visit other sites and find the “truth” about those “perps”… funny that they were too incompetent to cover their tracks…

              the less said about that on OFW, the better, in my opinion…

              “The idea that the people in charge of society at the highest levels have no plans for running things including guiding current events and are merely reacting to events as they occur and doing nothing to shape events or make them happen on purpose seems ridiculously naive to me.”

              okay, but this is a black swan… by definition, not even those at the highest levels knew this was coming, and yes they are trying to guide current events, and are failing ie lockdowns…

              why are so many of the world’s billionaires businesses being destroyed?

              they aren’t doing a good job of “guiding current events” to their benefit…

            • JMS says:

              Even my dog ​​plans ahead sometimes when he buries bones for a later day. And I’ve strong reasons to believe he’s not the smartest dog alive.
              And of course many birds do it too.

            • Tim Groves says:

              Thanks David. Interestingly, the grandfather of black swans, Nassim Taleb, disagrees with the idea that Covid-19 is a “black swan”.

              Nassim Taleb, the former options trader who predicted the 2008 financial crisis in his bestseller “The Black Swan”, has described the coronavirus pandemic as a “white swan”.
              In an interview Monday, March 30 on Bloomberg Television, Taleb criticized the $2 trillion economic relief package signed into law in the United States as a bailout for investors and for companies that drained cash or levered up to buy back stock.

              What irks Taleb most of all is the suggestion that the virus pandemic is a “black swan” event, a statistical outlier so rare no one could have predicted or prevented it. His 2007 book of the same name flagged globalisation as reason enough to anticipate a “very strange acute virus spreading throughout the planet.”

              “We’ve had black swans — September 11 [2001] was definitely a black swan,” he said. “This was a white swan.”

              http://www.panarmenian.net/eng/news/279691/

              In my opinion, any big disruptive event is a black swan for the mass of people who it hits unawares. But the same thing is not a black swan for the people who engineer or orchestrate it. Or for the people, like Bill Gates and friends, who anticipate it.

              I anticipated the current pandemic pandemonium and also I anticipated that special interests would pervert public perception of it in their own interests. It is going to be used to change society in ways that the globalists and the bankers have long been attempting.

              I’m also anticipating that normal life is not going to return; it’s not going to be allowed to return and it’s not going to be able to return in accordance with the Leonardo sticks theory. As I’ve said before, the lights are going out all over and I fear we will not see them relit in our lifetimes.

              I further anticipate that in Europe and America people are being led into a dystopia comparable to that into which Lenin led the Russians, Mao led the Chinese, Hit-ler led the Germans and Pol Pot led the Cambodians. If and when we reach that stage, it will not come as a black swan to me. In my imagination, I see that as clearly as Greta sees molecules of C-O2 floating in the air.

              As I’ve also mentioned before Deagel’s forecast for 2025, which has been public for a decade now, is for a massive crash in population and per capita GDP. This is based on computer modeling of various data inputs that are not disclosed, and so there is no way it can be verified. But I am going out on a limb by declaring that I think the people who produced it are not simply passing the time of day but they know something important that most of the world doesn’t know. In any case, a collapse will not come as a black swan event to them.

              http://www.deagel.com/country/forecast.aspx

            • DJ says:

              “computer modeling of various data inputs that are not disclosed”

              And LTG has a bad reputation in some circles.

          • Pintada says:

            ++++

  6. JMS says:

    Open Letter from Professor Sucharit Bhakdi to German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel

    Open Letter

    Dear Chancellor,

    As Emeritus of the Johannes-Gutenberg-University in Mainz and longtime director of the Institute for Medical Microbiology, I feel obliged to critically question the far-reaching restrictions on public life that we are currently taking on ourselves in order to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

    It is expressly not my intention to play down the dangers of the virus or to spread a political message. However, I feel it is my duty to make a scientific contribution to putting the current data and facts into perspective – and, in addition, to ask questions that are in danger of being lost in the heated debate.

    The reason for my concern lies above all in the truly unforeseeable socio-economic consequences of the drastic containment measures which are currently being applied in large parts of Europe and which are also already being practiced on a large scale in Germany.

    My wish is to discuss critically – and with the necessary foresight – the advantages and disadvantages of restricting public life and the resulting long-term effects.

    To this end, I am confronted with five questions which have not been answered sufficiently so far, but which are indispensable for a balanced analysis.

    I would like to ask you to comment quickly and, at the same time, appeal to the Federal Government to develop strategies that effectively protect risk groups without restricting public life across the board and sow the seeds for an even more intensive polarization of society than is already taking place.
    With the utmost respect,
    Prof. em. Dr. med. Sucharit Bhakdi

    1. Statistics
    In infectiology – founded by Robert Koch himself – a traditional distinction is made between infection and disease. An illness requires a clinical manifestation. [1] Therefore, only patients with symptoms such as fever or cough should be included in the statistics as new cases.
    In other words, a new infection – as measured by the COVID-19 test – does not necessarily mean that we are dealing with a newly ill patient who needs a hospital bed. However, it is currently assumed that five percent of all infected people become seriously ill and require ventilation. Projections based on this estimate suggest that the healthcare system could be overburdened.
    My question: Did the projections make a distinction between symptom-free infected people and actual, sick patients – i.e. people who develop symptoms?

    2. Dangerousness
    A number of coronaviruses have been circulating for a long time – largely unnoticed by the media. [2] If it should turn out that the COVID-19 virus should not be ascribed a significantly higher risk potential than the already circulating corona viruses, all countermeasures would obviously become unnecessary.
    The internationally recognized International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents will soon publish a paper that addresses exactly this question. Preliminary results of the study can already be seen today and lead to the conclusion that the new virus is NOT different from traditional corona viruses in terms of dangerousness. The authors express this in the title of their paper „SARS-CoV-2: Fear versus Data“. [3]
    My question: How does the current workload of intensive care units with patients with diagnosed COVID-19 compare to other coronavirus infections, and to what extent will this data be taken into account in further decision-making by the federal government? In addition: Has the above study been taken into account in the planning so far? Here too, of course, „diagnosed“ means that the virus plays a decisive role in the patient’s state of illness, and not that previous illnesses play a greater role.

    3. Dissemination
    According to a report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, not even the much-cited Robert Koch Institute knows exactly how much is tested for COVID-19. It is a fact, however, that a rapid increase in the number of cases has recently been observed in Germany as the volume of tests increases. [4]
    It is therefore reasonable to suspect that the virus has already spread unnoticed in the healthy population. This would have two consequences: firstly, it would mean that the official death rate – on 26 March 2020, for example, there were 206 deaths from around 37,300 infections, or 0.55 percent [5] – is too high; and secondly, it would mean that it would hardly be possible to prevent the virus from spreading in the healthy population.
    My question: Has there already been a random sample of the healthy general population to validate the real spread of the virus, or is this planned in the near future?

    4. Mortality
    The fear of a rise in the death rate in Germany (currently 0.55 percent) is currently the subject of particularly intense media attention. Many people are worried that it could shoot up like in Italy (10 percent) and Spain (7 percent) if action is not taken in time.
    At the same time, the mistake is being made worldwide to report virus-related deaths as soon as it is established that the virus was present at the time of death – regardless of other factors. This violates a basic principle of infectiology: only when it is certain that an agent has played a significant role in the disease or death may a diagnosis be made. The Association of the Scientific Medical Societies of Germany expressly writes in its guidelines: „In addition to the cause of death, a causal chain must be stated, with the corresponding underlying disease in third place on the death certificate. Occasionally, four-linked causal chains must also be stated.“ [6]
    At present there is no official information on whether, at least in retrospect, more critical analyses of medical records have been undertaken to determine how many deaths were actually caused by the virus.
    My question: Has Germany simply followed this trend of a COVID-19 general suspicion? And: is it intended to continue this categorisation uncritically as in other countries? How, then, is a distinction to be made between genuine corona-related deaths and accidental virus presence at the time of death?
    […]
    https://swprs.org/open-letter-from-professor-sucharit-bhakdi-to-german-chancellor-dr-angela-merkel/

    • Thanks for posting this. I expect that leaders are listening to worried voters, who don’t understand that the number who are infected is far higher than the number who have tested positive on COVID-19 tests.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      The Dream Team is not only comedians and thinkers… there are the special black opps guys …. they spend most of their time in our gym… so I don’t have a lot of interaction with them…

      But I knew I heard the name Bhakdi before… and then it came to me…..one of the guys was mentioned ‘doing something about this Bhakdi if he doesn’t shut the Fook up’

      I’m actually not supposed to post that sort of thing here … it’s also like I am not supposed to give financial advice like ‘take on as much debt as possible and go nuts’ cuz you won’t have to pay it back….. that’s just an example – don’t get me in trouble and actually do that because if everyone does that then we’ll descend into anarchy prematurely….

      Oh what have I done… Don will be so mad….

      • doomphd says:

        “it’s also like I am not supposed to give financial advice like ‘take on as much debt as possible and go nuts’ cuz you won’t have to pay it back….. that’s just an example – don’t get me in trouble and actually do that because if everyone does that then we’ll descend into anarchy prematurely….”

        that was also Nate Hagens suggestion, made many years ago. the only reason i can see to pay down debt is anticipation of many more years of interest payments or, as Nicole Foss used to warn, a visit by “Vinne the Knee Breaker” if payments are not being made.

  7. Ed says:

    Former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson has been challenging narratives on the response to the coronavirus crisis. (Alex Berenson)

    “In February I was worried about the virus. By mid-March I was more scared about the economy. But now I’m starting to get genuinely nervous,” he tweeted this week. “This isn’t complicated. The models don’t work. The hospitals are empty. WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT INDEFINITE LOCKDOWNS?”

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/ex-nyt-reporter-challenging-the-coronavirus-narrative

    • Ed says:

      “I went to Yale and I worked for the New York Times, the people on the left hold themselves out as being science-driven, as being smarter, they think they’re smarter but they won’t look at facts that won’t meet their narratives,” he said.

    • Fast Eddy says:

      And now masks are good – you don’t even need a med mask — just something to hold your spew and prevent you from touching your face…. funny how all these ideas are coming out after the horse left the barn…. That’s cuz the 3 Stooges are in charge? Or because….

      https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-04-08/coronavirus-los-angeles-mandatory-face-covering-rules

      • Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

        because the Center for Disease Control, based in Atlanta by the way, who all Americans somewhat depend on to keep the country safe from things like pandemics, finally decided at the beginning of April that Americans indeed should be wearing masks in public…

        the horse left the barn in February…

        laughing at the Americans may be appropriate here…

        not that masks in February would have lowered the ultimate amount of infections, just slowed it down until the second wave coming by Autumn or Winter…

        but masks in February might have meant that we could have avoided the lockdown… the lockdowns are stooooopid… (that’s not sarc)…

        • Hide-away says:

          Stopping the infections from coming into the country in January to early February would have been how most countries could have stopped this pandemic, but instead governments were to concerned with the hit the economy would take. A poor decision always comes back to bite, but with imperfect information, the politicians went with the money.

          Of course none will admit getting a big decision wrong, that costs lives, so next step blame someone or something else.
          This whole Coronavirus debacle was easy to see for those paying attention. This virus was far worse than those from before in terms of ease of spread, yet the politicians were playing the last SARS/MERS game plan.
          Dr Michael Ryan from the WHO was correct back in early February (and over the years), about how to deal with this, ‘go hard, go early, don’t wait for perfect decision making, because by then it will be too late’.
          Of course the pre-eminent pandemic expert in the world was ignored..

          • Covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

            “Dr Michael Ryan from the WHO was correct back in early February (and over the years), about how to deal with this, ‘go hard, go early, don’t wait for perfect decision making, because by then it will be too late’.”

            and to think that go hard go early meant everyone should wear a mask in public…

            in retrospect… that’s 20/20 hindsight…

            early February: everyone wears masks everywhere all the time… said no one…

            and no lockdowns… but too late now…

            • Xabier says:

              And yet the Irishman never protested in public while the ghastly Ethiopian Tedros was advocating no restrictions at all on international travel.

              ‘Go fast, go hard?’

              Oh come on!!!

          • Hide-away says:

            Whoops wrong video, try the one in here..

            It is harder to find this video now, must be a con…. to hide it (insert bang head on wall emoji)
            https://www.independent.ie/videos/be-fast-have-no-regrets-dr-michael-ryan-on-whats-been-learned-from-ebola-39051117.html

          • As far as I can see, the virus keeps coming back, whenever you take your foot off the brakes of the economy. You end up with a choice: (a) Sort of keeping COVID levels down, using brakes on the economy, (b) Keeping enough of the economy going so you can jobs for most people and can make the goods we expect in a complex society (computers, cars, internet, electricity for most homes).

            You can never, ever, get the virus to zero.

    • Sceller@gmail.com says:

      If I had a nickel for every Yale graduate that has to announce that as part of their credibility I would be rich!!! Ivy Leaguers are the most ignorant people on the planet! That it’s why they become presidents!! Look at the past 4😭. It only takes money to get into these schools

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