Increased Violence Reflects an Energy Problem

Why are we seeing so much violence recently? One explanation is that people are sympathizing with those in the Minneapolis area who are upset at the death of George Floyd. They believe that a white cop used excessive force in subduing Floyd, leading to his death.

I believe that there is a much deeper story involved. As I wrote in my recent post, Understanding Our Pandemic – Economy Predicament, the problem we are facing is too many people relative to resources, particularly energy resources. This leads to a condition sometimes referred to as “overshoot and collapse.” The economy grows for a while, may stabilize for a time, and then heads in a downward direction, essentially because energy consumption per capita falls too low.

Strangely enough, this energy crisis looks like a crisis of affordability. The young and the poor, especially, cannot afford to buy goods and services that they need, such as a home in which to raise their children and a vehicle to drive. Trying to do so leaves them with excessive debt. If the affordability problem changes for the worse, the young and the poor are likely to protest. In fact, these protests may become violent. 

The pandemic tends to make the affordability problem worse for minorities and young people because they are disproportionately affected by job losses associated with lockdowns. In many cases, the poor catch COVID-19 more frequently because they live and/or work in crowded conditions where the disease spreads easily. In the US, blacks seem to be especially hard hit, both by COVID-19 and through the loss of jobs. These issues, plus the availability of guns, makes the situation particularly explosive in the US.

Let me explain these issues further.

[1] Energy is required for all aspects of the economy.

Energy is required by governments. Energy is required to operate police cars. Energy is required to build schools and to operate their heating and lighting. Energy is needed to build and maintain roads. Tax revenue represents available funds to buy energy products and goods and services made with energy products.

Energy is needed for any type of business. Operating a computer requires electricity, which is a form of energy. Heating or cooling a building requires energy. Growing food requires solar energy from the sun; liquid fuel is used to operate farm machinery and trucks that transport food to the locations where it is sold. Human energy is used for some of these processes. For example, human energy is used to operate computers and farm machinery. Human energy is sometimes used to pick the crops, as well.

Wages paid by governments and businesses indirectly go to buy energy products of many kinds. Food is, of course, an energy product. The heat to cook or bake the food is also an energy product. Metals of all kinds are made using energy products, and lumber is cut and transported using energy products. With sufficient wages, it is possible to buy or rent a home, and to purchase or lease an automobile.

Interest rates indirectly reflect the portion of goods and services produced by energy products that can be transferred to parts of the system that depend on interest earnings. For example, banks, insurance companies and those on pensions depend on interest earnings. If interest rates are high, benefits to pensioners can easily be paid and insurance companies can charge low rates for their products, because their interest earnings will help offset claim costs.

Interest rates are now about as low as they can go, indicating a likely shortage of energy for funding these interest rates. The last time interest rates were close to current levels was during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Figure 1. Ten-year and three-month US Treasury interest rates, in chart made by FRED.

[2] When there is not enough energy to go around, the result can be low commodity prices, low wages and layoffs.

This is not an intuitive result. Most people assume (low energy = high prices), but this is the opposite of what actually happens. The problem is that the amount workers can afford to pay for finished goods and services needs to be high enough to make production of the commodities used in making the finished products profitable. When affordability falls too low, the system tends to collapse.

We are really dealing with a two-sided problem. The prices of commodities such as oil, wholesale electricity, steel, copper and food tend to fluctuate widely. Consumers need these prices to be low, in order for the price of finished goods made with these commodities to be affordable; producers need the prices of these commodities to rise ever-higher, to cover the cost of deeper wells and more batteries, to try to partially offset the intermittency of solar and wind electricity.

Most people assume that the situation will be resolved in the direction of commodity prices rising ever higher. In fact, commodity prices did rise higher, until mid 2008. Then, something snapped; commodity prices have been falling ever-lower since mid 2008. In fact, ever-lower commodity prices have been a world-wide problem, causing huge problems for countries trying to support their economies with export revenues based on commodity production.

Figure 2. CRB Commodity Price Index from 1995 to June 2, 2020. Chart prepared by Trading Economics. Composition is 39% energy, 41% agriculture, 7% precious metals and 13% industrial metals.

Even before the lockdowns, low commodity prices were leading to low wages of those working in commodity industries around the world. These low prices also led to low tax revenue, and this low tax revenue led to an inability of governments to afford the services that citizens expect, such as bus service and subsidized prices for certain essential goods/services. For example, South Africa (an exporter of coal and minerals) was experiencing public protests in September 2019, for reasons such as these. Chile is a major exporter of copper and lithium. Low prices of those commodities led to violent protests in 2019 for similar reasons.

Now, in 2020, lockdowns have led to even lower commodity prices. At times, farmers have been plowing their crops under. Oil companies are laying off workers. The trend toward lower commodity prices had been occurring for a long time; the recent drop in prices was “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” If prices stay this low, there is a danger of falling production of commodities that we depend on, including food, metals, electricity, and oil. Businesses producing these items will fail, and governments with falling tax revenue will be unable to support them.

[3] Historical energy consumption data shows that violence often accompanies periods when energy production is not growing fast enough to meet the needs of the growing population.

Figure 3 shows average annual growth in world energy consumption, for 10-year periods:

Figure 3. Average growth in energy consumption for 10 year periods, based on Vaclav Smil estimates from Energy Transitions: History, Requirements and Prospects (Appendix) together with BP Statistical Data for 1965 and subsequent.

Economic growth encompasses both population growth and rising standards of living. Figure 4 below takes the same information used in Figure 3 and divides it into (a) the portion underlying population growth, and (b) the portion of the energy supply growth available for improved standards of living. During most periods, increased population absorbs over half of increased energy consumption.

Figure 4. Figure similar to Figure 3, except that energy devoted to population growth and growth in living standards are separated. A circle is also added showing the recent growth in energy is primarily the result of China’s temporary growth in coal supplies.

There are three dips in the Living Standards portion of Figure 4. The first one came in the 10 years ended 1860, just before the US Civil War. Most of us would say that was a period of violence.

The second one occurred in the 10 years ended 1930. This is the period when the Great Depression began. It came between World War I and World War II. This was another violent period of our history.

The third dip came in the 10-year period ended 2000. This was not a particularly violent period; instead, it reflects the collapse of the central government of the Soviet Union, leaving the member republics to continue on their own. There was a huge loss of demand (really, affordability) on the part of countries that were part of the Soviet Union or depended on the Soviet Union.

Figure 5. Chart showing the fall in Eastern Europe’s materials production, after the collapse of the central government of the Soviet Union in 1991.

[4] The world is facing a situation in which total energy consumption seems likely to drop by 5% per year, or perhaps more.

If we look back at Figure 3, we see that even in very “bad” times economically, energy consumption was rising. In fact, in one 10-year period, the average increase was more than 5% per year.

If the world economy is reaching a point in which we consumers, in the aggregate, cannot afford the goods and services made with commodities, unless commodity prices are very low, we will likely experience a huge drop in energy consumption. I don’t know exactly how much the annual change will be, but energy consumption growth and GDP growth tend to move together. We might guess that GDP growth is shifting to 5% GDP annual shrinkage, and energy consumption will be shrinking by a similar percentage.

Clearly, shrinkage of 5% per year would be far worse than the world economy has experienced in the last 200 years. In fact, for the 10-year periods shown in Figure 3, there has never been a reduction in energy consumption. Even if I am wrong and the shrinkage in energy consumption is “only” 2% per year, this would be far worse than the experience over any 10-year period. In fact, during the Great Recession, world energy consumption only shrank in one year (2009) and then by 1.4%.

History doesn’t give us much guidance regarding what impact a dramatic reduction in energy consumption would have on the economy, except that population reduction would likely be part of the change that takes place. If half or more of energy consumption growth goes toward rising population (Figure 4), then a shrinkage of energy consumption seems likely to reduce world population.

[5] What the world is really facing is a competition regarding which parts of the economy can stay, and which will need to be eliminated, if there is not enough energy to go around. It should not be surprising if this competition often leads to violence.

As I indicated in Section [1], all parts of the economy depend on energy. If there is not enough, some parts must shrink back. The big question is, “Which parts?”

(a) Do governments, and organizations that bind governments together, collapse? If countries are doing poorly, they will not want to contribute to the World Trade Organization, the United Nations or the European Union. Governments, such as the government of Saudi Arabia, could be overthrown, or may simply stop operating. In fact, any government, when it faces insurmountable problems, could simply stop operating and leave its functions to lower levels of government, such as states, provinces, or cities.

(b) Do pension plans stop operating? Are pensioners left “out in the cold”? How about Social Security recipients?

(c) Can international trade be kept operating? It is a big consumer of energy. Also, competition with low-wage countries tends to keep wages in developed nations low. Without international trade, many imported goods (including imported medicines) become unavailable.

(d) Which companies will collapse, leaving bond holders and stockholders with $0? People who formerly had jobs with these companies will also find themselves without jobs.

(e) If the world economy cannot support as many people as before, which ones will be left out? Is it people in rich countries who find themselves without jobs? Is it people who find themselves without imported medicines? Is it the ones who catch COVID-19? Or is it mostly citizens of very poor countries, whose income will fall so low that starvation becomes a concern?

[6] The violent demonstrations represent an effort to try to push the problems related to the shortfall in energy, and the goods and services that energy can provide, away from the protest groups, toward other segments of the economy.

In an ideal world:

(a) Jobs that pay well would be available to all.

(b) Governments would be able to afford to provide a wide range of services to all, including free health care for all and reimbursement for time off from work for being sick. They would also be able to provide adequate pensions for the elderly and low cost public transit.

(c) Police would treat all citizens well. No group would be so poor that a life of crime would seem to be a solution.

As indicated in Section [2], back in 2019, before COVID-19 hit, protests were already starting because of low commodity prices and the indirect impacts of low commodity prices. One reason why governments were so eager to adopt shutdowns is the fact that when people were required to stay inside because of COVID-19, the problem of protests could be stopped.

It should be no surprise, then, that the protests came back, once the lockdowns have ended. There are now more people out of work and more people who are concerned about not having full healthcare costs reimbursed. Social distancing requirements are making it more difficult for businesses to operate profitably, indirectly leading to fewer available jobs.

[7] Violent protests seem to push problems fueled by an inadequate supply of affordable energy toward (a) governments and (b) insurance companies.

In some cases, insurance companies will pay for damages caused by protesters. Eventually, costs could become too great for insurance companies. Most policies have exclusions for “acts of war.” If protests escalate, this exclusion might become applicable.

Governments of all kinds are already being stressed by shutdowns because when citizens are not working, there is less tax revenue. If, in addition, governments have been paying COVID-19 related costs, this creates an even bigger budget mismatch. Governments find themselves less and less able to pay their everyday expenses, such as hiring teachers, policemen, and firemen. All of these issues tend to push city governments toward bankruptcy and more layoffs.

[8] Dark skinned people living in America tend to be Vitamin D deficient, making them more prone to getting severe cases of COVID-19. Vitamin supplements may be an inexpensive way of reducing the severity of the COVID-19 epidemic and thus lessening its diversion of energy resources.

There are a number of reports out that suggest that having adequate Vitamin D from sunlight strengthens the immune system and helps reduce the mortality of COVID-19. Adequate Vitamin C is also helpful for the immune system for people in general, not just those with dark skin.

Dark skinned people are adapted to living near the equator. If they live in the United States or Europe, their bodies make less Vitamin D from the slanted rays available in those parts of the world than they would living near the equator. As a result, studies show that Vitamin D deficiency is more common in African Americans than other Americans.

Recent data shows that the COVID-19 mortality rate for black Americans is 2.4 times that of white Americans. COVID-19 hospitalization rates are no doubt higher as well. Encouraging Americans with dark skin to take Vitamin D supplements would seem to be at least a partial solution to the problem of greater disease severity for Blacks. Vitamin C supplements, or more fresh fruit, might be helpful for all people, not just those with low Vitamin D levels.

If the COVID-19 impact can be lessened in a very inexpensive way, this would seem to be helpful for the economy in general. High-cost solutions simply divert available resources toward fighting COVID-19, making the overall resource shortfall for the rest of the economy worse.

[9] Much more equal wages would seem to be a solution for wage disparity, but this doesn’t bring the wages of low earning workers up enough, in practice. 

There are a huge number of low-earning workers in many countries around the world. In order to increase commodity prices enough to make them profitable for producers, we really need wages in all countries to be much higher. For example, wages in Africa and in India need to be much higher, so that people in these parts of the world can afford goods such as cars, air conditioning and vacation travel. There is no way this can be done. Furthermore, such a change would add pollution and climate change issues.

There is a fundamental “not enough to go around” problem that we do not have an answer for. Historically, when there hasn’t been enough to go around, the attempted solution was fighting wars over what was available. In a way, the violence seen in cities around the globe is a new version of this violence. Governments of various kinds may ultimately be casualties of these uprisings. Remaining lower-level governments will be left with the problem of starting over again, issuing new currency and trying to make new alliances. In total, the new economy will be very different; it will probably bear little resemblance to today’s world economy.



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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2,617 Responses to Increased Violence Reflects an Energy Problem

    • It sounds like the woman sort of still sort of had the virus, but received two false negative test results, before testing positive again.

  1. covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    “A shooting Sunday night was the second in less than 48 hours at the edge of the zone, which is named for the Capitol Hill neighborhood near downtown Seattle…”

    CHOP… Commmie Helll On Parade.

    “The mayor did not give an immediate timeline for clearing out the occupation but said “additional steps” would be examined if people don’t leave voluntarily. With scores of people camping in a park in the protest zone, Durkan said peaceful demonstrations could continue, but nighttime disorder had to stop.”
    “At night, however, the atmosphere has become more charged, with demonstrators marching and armed volunteer guards keeping watch.”
    “With not having a police presence here, people are free to do whatever they want to do,” said Bobby Stills, a Seattle resident…

    so it seems that “people are free” to shoot each other…

  2. Kim says:
    Coronavirus has downgraded from ‘tiger to wild cat’ and could die out without vaccine
    Infectious diseases specialist Prof Matteo Bassetti says Covid-19 has been losing its virulence.
    But CV will kill tens of millions! Shut down the world economy! Even one life is too many! Don’t be a denier!

    Just shaking my head.

  3. From Zerohedge: NYC’s Army Of 3,000 COVID-19 ‘Contact Tracers’ Have Accomplished Surprisingly Little

    Interestingly, the biggest ‘obstacle’ to obtaining this information is the patients themselves: Only 35% of the 5,347 city residents who tested positive or were presumed positive for COVID-19 in the program’s first two weeks gave information about close contacts to tracers, the city said.

    A New York Times quote in the Zerohedge article:

    Dr. Halkitis at Rutgers said he thought the low cooperation rate was likely due to several factors, including the inexperience of the tracers; widespread reluctance among Americans to share personal information with the government; and Mayor de Blasio’s decision to shift the program away from the city’s Department of Health.

    “You have taken it away from the people who actually know how to do it,” he said. “The D.O.H. people, they are skilled. They know this stuff.”

    • Robert Firth says:

      I think the article meant to say “unsurprisingly little”. First, rely on technology devised by companies that have a long track record of invading customer privacy. Secondly, create a new organisation staffed by career bureaucrats who couldn’t trace a fox given a dozen hounds to help. Thirdly, ensure that there are the right numbers of “minorities”, hired as usual for their chromosomes not their competencies. Finally, claim it is a “success” when people simply answer their phones, even if they give no useful information.

      In sum: “We are addressing the problem but will do all the wrong things, as usual.”

  4. Chrome Mags says:

    That’s a website dedicated as a Covid-19 vaccine tracker. It lists by date a one or two sentence bit of information about different vaccine updates, that can be clicked on to get more information.

  5. Herbie Ficklestein says:

    BAU BABY rolls on in the future plans in the corporate boardroom….
    American Airlines Expects To Spend $8.4 Billion On New Planes
    byMark FinlayJune 22, 2020
    American Airlines has said that its estimated expenditures for aircraft purchase commitments between 2020 and 2024 would be around $8.4 billion. Regarding how it was going to raise the money, American Airlines says it expects to obtain a binding commitment for a loan under the CARES Act.
    American is also hoping to raise $1.5 billion by selling shares and convertible notes as it continues to battle travel restrictions brought on by the coronavirus. In a statement, the airline said that it expects to use a part of the cash raised from the offering for corporate purposes and to enhance its
    In some long-awaited good news, both American Airlines and Delta have said that they have seen a slight uptick in demand for air travel. While still nowhere near the level we were at before the coronavirus pandemic, the modest recovery is managing to slow down the daily cash burn.
    While now would seem like a wrong time to be spending billions of dollars on new aircraft, American Airlines must look at the overall picture. Commitments were made to Boeing and Airbus long before anyone had heard about COVID-19. Some of them can be delayed, but American Airlines still needs new aircraft to replace planes scheduled for retiremen
    Of the big three United States carriers, American Airlines is leading the way with its fleet renewal and has 53 planes due to be delivered this year.
    American Airlines is thinking long term
    While American Airlines plans to spend $8.4 billion on new planes, other airlines will look at the coronavirus as a way to trim staff and expenses. American though appears to be taking a long-term approach by repacing older planes with new more fuel-efficient jets.

    • covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      “… American Airlines still needs new aircraft to replace planes scheduled for retirement.
      Of the big three United States carriers, American Airlines is leading the way with its fleet renewal and has 53 planes due to be delivered this year.”

      the industry obviously needs less planes, and I bet staying with the same retirement schedule for their planes would still leave them with too many planes.

      or one of the other “big three” could go under, in which case AA would have a bigger slice of a smaller pie.

      but then AA would be in a position to buy the newer planes of the bankrupt company.

      “American Airlines is thinking long term.”

      well, they think they are thinking long term…

      but they are not systems-thinking long term.

    • Adam says:

      I continue to be amazed by the inertia in our system. The weight of the can is starting to become onerous though . . .

  6. Ed says:

    Since any one is free to make a model even if they turn out to be off by three orders of magnitude.
    My back of the envelope model is 1/1000 who can get the CV19 will die. Only half the population can get CV19 due to life long exposures to numerous CVs. So we can tell how close a nation is to being done. For the US 330 million, 165 million infect-able, deaths at end of course 165,000. Current deaths 120,000. Remaining expected deaths in US 45,000.

    Let’s look at Italy 60 million people, 30 million infect-able, deaths at end of course 30,000. Current deaths 35,000. Looking at the histogram Italy is near the end. This is a simple approximate model folks.
    Spain, 47 million, 23.5 million infect-able, deaths at end of course 23,500. Current deaths 28,300 again Spain’s histogram shows they are near done.

    The elephant in the room is China. 1392 million, 696 infect-able, deaths at end of course 696,000. Current deaths 84,600. China still has 611,400 deaths to go.

    Let’s finish off with NZ. 4.8 million 2.4million infect-able, deaths at end of course 2,400. Current deaths 22, death remaining 2378. Or just never open the border or hope for vaccine.

    Yes, it may be the virus keeps mutating and keeps winnowing down the human population. Just have to wait and see.

    • Duncan Idaho says:

      It is either a vaccine or herd immunity.
      And herd immunity may only last a couple of months.
      Both are quite far away.

    • psile says:

      I’m afraid it’s doing a very poor job so far in reducing human numbers. World population growth is still over 200,000 per day! That’s like adding another Germany every year.

      • covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

        yes, the seeeecret plan to reduce population is just not working.

        maybe “they” can tweak their plan a little bit.

        • Minority Of One says:

          >>the seeeecret plan to reduce population is just not working.

          I think it is a bit premature to be sure of that. With the world’s economy in tatters, huge numbers of people out of a job, huge debts that cannot possibly be paid off and growing, and various issues relating to food supplies, not to mention the coming deluge of bankruptcies, I’d speculate the plan is working nicely. Famines are on the way, and with those probably pestilence, the two usually occur together. Patience.

          If you have not watched “Global Health Mafia Protection Racket”, I recommend it.

    • covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      E, thanks for those thoughts.

      science is saying 1 in 200 die, or 0.5%, so this is 5 times your figure, which I have never seen proposed as scientific.

      so USA deaths at end of course would be 5 x 165,000 = 825,000.

      a long way to go.

      perhaps treatment will improve and reduce the current rate of 0.5%, but a 33% improvement would still be 500,000+. or the virus mutates and reinfects vicktims and the totals go higher than 1,000,000.

      a long way to go.

      but anyway, your idea is a good one to keep in mind as the totals head for 200,000 300,000 etc.

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        120,393 deaths
        200,000 is not that far off——

      • brian says:

        the initial death rate will go up as supply lines break down. without that heart medication covid may be more deadly. the collapse of the economy will bring on starvation. those numbers have not been factored in.

        • brian says:

          also if the virus becomes endemic and immunity fades after 2 or 3 years,
          those odds shoot up.

  7. Chrome Mags says:

    “In the Chongqing study, the antibodies generated by three patients failed to suppress the mutated strain, with one sample showing almost zero effect. The researchers then tried to infect host cells with the mutant and normal strains. The mutant’s entry efficiency was 2.4 times higher.”

    • Chrome Mags says:

      Just to put that development in better context, the original viral strain of corona virus from Wuhan later mutated into a strain that had more spikes to better attach to human cells, and that’s the strain that swept through the West, Europe, US, etc. The good people of Wuhan have not been exposed to the mutated strain before and the above article describes their findings, i.e. their antibodies against the original strain do NOTHING against the mutated D614G strain.

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        “The most recent offender is a preprint claiming that SARS-CoV-2 with an amino acid change in the spike glycoprotein (D614G) increases the transmissibility of the virus. The claim that this amino acid change increases viral transmission is unsubstantiated and likely incorrect. There is no doubt that viruses with the D614G change are emerging in different geographical regions of the world. Until proven otherwise, their emergence is likely due to the founder effect. Let’s say a virus with D614G emerges during replication in a person’s respiratory tract. If viruses with that change infect the next person, and the next, and so on, then the D614G change will predominate. The change is simply a single nucleotide polymorphism of little consequence. It is the noise produced by error-prone RNA synthesis by the virus. Viruses with D614S are simply virus isolates. They are not strains of SARS-CoV-2.”

    • This story keeps going from bad to worse. It looks less and less like a vaccine can be found that actually works. And the D614G mutation is more and more of a problem?

      Does anyone have a link to the academic study that this article is based on?

      Also, are there any published studies on where geographically the D614G mutation is being found? For example, is the low death rate and low infection rate in Japan and some other Asian nations mostly because they managed to avoid the D614G mutation, so far?

    • Slow Paul says:

      I doubt there will ever be a “cure” for corona, except for living in a healthy manner and avoiding pollutants. But researchers help keep up demand for goods I guess…

      • Minority Of One says:

        You have to wonder how we managed to increase our numbers from 10,000 to almost 10,000 million over the last 70,000 years. As a species we have been infected with many viruses and bacteria, and yet we survived every one, no antibiotics or vaccines whatsoever (until about a century ago), and our numbers kept growing.

  8. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    The world is getting smaller…

    Jeff Rubin sounded the alarms back in 2008/09…with his book “Why your World is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller”. One of my first reads on Peak Oil back then..😳
    Well, it hasn’t worked out the way he envisioned at all, but seeing the tourist trade collapse as it has, people may not be moving around like they were.
    Here in South Florida, as I drive down 1-95, passing Highrise Hotels around the Airport, the parking lots are virtual empty, as well as, the parking garages at the Airport.
    If it does bounce back, it will be interesting to see the price of Oil and if there is a Spike😂😜👍🤣

  9. Minority Of One says:

    Heard through the grape vine that a popular Victorian hotel in Pitlochry, a touristy town in central Scotland, has shut down permanently. Turns out 6-7 hotels in Scotland owned by the company are shutting down. I think they are all fairly big. Plus several holiday companies owned by The Specialist Leisure Group with the loss of 2,500 jobs across the UK.

    Blow for Pitlochry as hotel in large Victorian building closes for good due to coronavirus (23 May)

    “The Pitlochry Hydro is one of six hotels in Scotland that will not reopen post-lockdown after its owner, the Specialist Leisure Group, fell into administration.
    Other casualties in the Highlands include the Caledonian Hotel in Fort William, the Bay Great Western Hotel in Oban and the Bay Highland Hotel in Strathpeffer.
    Across the UK, some 2,500 people will be made redundant as a result of the demise of the Wigan-based firm.
    A statement from the Specialist Leisure Group said: “All tours, cruises, holidays and hotel breaks booked with the Specialist Leisure Group have been cancelled and will not be rescheduled…”

    Same theme from the BBC:
    Seven tourist hotels across Scotland cease trading

    • The future of the tourist hotel seems especially dire.

      • Minority Of One says:

        What keeps most of the bigger tourist hotels, here anyway, open is the coach tours full of elderly / retired folk. Two of the companies that went under, National Holidays and Shearings, were two of the largest coach companies in the UK. I cannot see any future for coach tours going forward.

        • Xabier says:

          I suspect it keeps the National Trust and many historic sites going as well – always full of pensioners who come in coaches as well as by car.

          A tragedy is unfolding.

      • doomphd says:

        in Waikiki, we have wall-to-wall tourist hotels. most are empty.

  10. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The governor [of the Bank of England] said: “We basically had a pretty near meltdown of some of the core financial markets [in March].

    “”We had a lot of volatility in core markets: the core exchange rate, core government bond markets.

    “”We were seeing things that were pretty unprecedented, certainly in recent times. And we were facing serious disorder.

    “Asked what would have happened had the Bank not intervened, Mr Bailey said: “I think the prospects would have been very bad. It would have been very serious.”

    • The write-up says:

      In an exclusive interview, Andrew Bailey said that in the early stages of the virus, Britain came within a whisker of not being able to sell its debt – something many would characterise as effective insolvency.

      So, a major issue seems to be “Not being able to sell governmental debt.”

  11. Harry McGibbs says:

    “German tower block residents have clashed with police in a failed attempt to escape quarantine as the country battles a new spike in coronavirus cases.”

  12. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Sudan has warned against escalation and urged further negotiations with Egypt and Ethiopia over the construction of a controversial dam on the Blue Nile river by Addis Ababa.”

  13. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Beijing’s latest coronavirus outbreak shows the threat the pathogen poses to food supply after it forced the closure of the city’s largest wholesale market for meat, fish, fruit and vegetables…

    “In Europe, South America and the United States, meat processing plants have been hotspots for the spread of the virus, infecting thousands of workers and causing food security jitters.”

  14. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Central banks have unleashed trillions of dollars in stimulus, using their full recession toolkits to fight what could be the worst peacetime downturn in 100 years. Governments have followed suit with trillions of additional dollars. In the face of an uncertain future, what’s left for policymakers to do?

    “It’s a question economists and investors are asking with increased urgency…”

  15. Harry McGibbs says:

    “One of the surest signs of the financialization of everything and the growing disconnect of finance from reality is the credit default swap (CDS). The CDS is essentially insurance for loans and bonds. The buyer pays the seller a premium every month. If the instrument insured defaults, the seller provides a predetermined payment to reimburse the CDS buyer.

    “Now here’s the weird thing: An investor doesn’t even have to own the loan or bond to insure it. It’s like me taking out an insurance policy on your home against fire when I have no ownership or interest in the home. In fact, I have every incentive to make sure your house burns down. Do you see any problem with that?”

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “It’s the banking world’s version of the rich getting richer. A record $2 trillion surge in cash hit the deposit accounts of U.S. banks since the coronavirus first struck the U.S. in January, according to FDIC data.

      “The wall of money flowing into banks has no precedent in history.”

    • HDUK says:

      This is exactly what Nicole Foss said in this video in 2015…. Another big picture thinker. She has reappeared lately with some interviews on Middleville.

      • I listened to the first part of the first Audio. Nicole gives a very good description of our problem in this section of the video.

      • GBV says:

        Huge fan of Nicole, and have been trying to push some of her works / videos here for some time now (even emailed George Gammon to try to see if he might consider interviewing her, rather than continuing to bring back gold salesmen like Peter Schiff… though I never did get a response to that email, so I’m not holding my breath). However, I did notice in her new interviews at Local Future that she seems to have become quite politically opinionated since her 2015 / 2016 interviews… basically, she’s very anti-Trump.

        It is difficult for me to watch someone who I thought to be so intelligent and a “systems thinker” be so one-sided in their assessment of an individual – not because I’m a big fan of Trump, but because I think it is naive to assume that the alternative option (Biden / Democrats) are any less corrupt or will cause substantially less suffering / misery for everyone (if I’m wrong and she does recognize that either option isn’t a very good choice and that the political class is indeed compromised, I will say that she certainly hasn’t expressed that viewpoint clearly in the last half-dozen Local Future interviews I’ve watched).

        If Nicole can be so transparently one-sided in her assessment of the current POTUS, it makes me worry that I might have missed other biases in her earlier works that I was so much in agreement with. Perhaps I need to go back over it with a more critical eye, but from what I remember, she was always very good about keeping biased opinion (particularly that which was politicized) out of her assessments of our energy and financial predicaments…

        At least Gail continues to remain tight-lipped about her political views (I don’t think I’ve ever heard her suggest a preference for any political group, though perhaps I’ve missed it?). It would be nice if Nicole could emulate Gail in that sense (again, which she seemed to be capable of up until Trump was elected), though its probably doubtful, as Nicole doesn’t strike me as someone who would bite her tongue on something she believes passionately.


        • Nicole also follows a lot of the EROEI stuff as well. Unfortunately, it is only “sort of” right. It doesn’t tell you anything about when or why the system comes to an end. It mostly is being used to justify renewable energy.

          • GBV says:

            To be fair, Gail, I’m not sure even your analysis provides an accurate “when” in terms of system collapse… 🙂

            What I’ve always liked about the message Nicole and The Automatic Earth put out is that we don’t really know when collapse will occur, but that history (and perhaps physics?) shows us that it is unavoidable, and thus we should take action NOW as a result. In other words: if you know something is coming, but don’t know exactly when it will arrive, it seems very prudent to prepare now so that you are ready for it when it comes.

            The other big difference between TAE and OFW, at least from what I’ve seen, is that TAE always seemed to put more stock in ideas such as permaculture, preparedness, small-scale renewable energy applied practically (not necessarily just wind and solar either; I think I came across the idea of a water trompe in the comments section of the Automatic Earth), investment in one’s self (e.g. affordable education on practical skills / trades), small-scale communities (e.g. transition towns / eco-villages / etc.), increasing local resiliency and implementing local currencies. I suppose if you have a collapse mindset where you see complete chaos and a mass die-off of the human species, these ideas may not prove to be very helpful… but for an individual, I think they could have the potential to help cushion our fall and make life slightly more tolerable when collapse finally arrives.


    • This is a nice essay by Kurt Cobb. One thing Kurt says that I had not realized:

      The latest reading of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s GDPNow indicator, which is frequently updated as new data becomes available, now predicts that U.S. GDP will contract by 45.5 percent in the current quarter. (The number is annualized and seasonally adjusted.)

      According to the website:

      GDPNow is not an official forecast of the Atlanta Fed. Rather, it is best viewed as a running estimate of real GDP growth based on available data for the current measured quarter. There are no subjective adjustments made to GDPNow—the estimate is based solely on the mathematical results of the model. In particular, it does not capture the impact of COVID-19 beyond its impact on GDP source data and relevant economic reports that have already been released. It does not anticipate the impact of COVID-19 on forthcoming economic reports beyond the standard internal dynamics of the model.

  16. Harry McGibbs says:

    “US shale companies could be forced to write down at least $300bn of their assets in the second quarter, as operators begin to account for the oil-price collapse on their balance sheets, according to a new study.

    “The huge impairments [are equivalent to] about half the net value of the companies’ property, plant and equipment…”

  17. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Oslo-listed MPC Container Ships has warned it could go bankrupt and will face severe liquidity strains from as early as next month.

    “In a presentation to bondholders on Friday, the company, one of the fastest growing boxship tonnage providers in recent years, said it will need to sell ships or risk going bankrupt unless it can seal a $200m loan soon.”

    • We very badly need container ships to stay in business. They need to operate, even if the ships aren’t full of containers.

    • Hubbs says:

      Which is why I have been buying solar panels, inverters, and mppt charge controlers. Merely to put into storage for now. They’re made in China and supposedly there is a supply glut right now. I don’t know whether to spend my money on this stuff now instead of waiting because the currency may inflate away by the time I need them in a few years, or whether these will be unavailable at any price simply due to supply disruptions, or whether they will be considered a non-critical item unlike food and will be able to be purchased at steep discounts. HQST 100 watt solar panels after shipping and taxes now below $1 a watt. Took 6 weeks to get the first batch. The good thing about solar panels is that the FF energy imputs to build them have been [aid. The downside of batteries like Battleborn 100AH lithium batteries is of course their shelf life if they sit in climate controled storage for 5 years.
      I am concerned that gasoline, whose price is deceptively cheap and is plentiful, could run into some drilling, refining, or distribution problems- whether by shippers, truckers, civil unrest, or breakdown of the credit system.

      • Think about where you will live as well. If you install solar panels, inverters, and batteries, you may not be able to move them. Food and fresh water are a whole lot more important that intermittent electrical energy which you somewhat smooth out with batteries. What do you plan to use this intermittent electricity for? Make certain that you have the devices you need as well. Let’s hope you aren’t planning on using intermittent electricity for heat in the winter or for planting your crops.

        I would not count on any oil supply at all being available.

      • Pintada says:

        I just finished upgrading my system: New batteries, and a nice modern inverter.

        The old inverter was 20 years old, and working fine still, but the battery bank and inverter were not properly sized, and not wired for stand alone power.

        I purchased the batteries that I just installed from Rolls/Surrette. They are ordinary lead acid batteries (12 – 4KS27) purchased as dry batteries, and carboys of acid. The shelf life of batteries purchased that way is measured in decades.

        At my place Maslow’s hierarchy of needs starts with power. The well is nominally artisan, but needs power to produce enough water for the garden, etc. No power, no water, no water, no food.

        • Pintada says:

          BTW My heat is solar thermal. So, for DHW, and house heat, we must have electricity to recirculate the hot water through the solar panels.

          • Dennis L. says:

            Do you use a solar panel adjacent to the solar thermal and allow the sun to cycle the pump?


            Dennis L.

            • Pintada says:

              “sun to cycle the pump?”
              No. Using DC anything is expensive and unreliable. I use standard TACO recirculating pumps.

          • Good luck on the electricity!

          • Robert Firth says:

            Pintada, did you consider siting the solar panels a half storey below grade level? The hot water would then rise, and the cold water sink, entirely of they own accord. You would just need a manual valve to control the rate of flow.

      • Dennis L. says:


        Are you importing them directly from China?

        Dennis L.

        • Hubbs says:

          No. I ordered them from the Amazon monster. I’m here in western NC mountains. Plenty of water from mountain streams. Any set up would be strictly provisional hence extra panels in the smaller 100Watt size to account for lack ack of capture efficiency on the ground. I think for now, better strategy is to store stuff in climate control storage, buy relatively cheap, undeveloped land, and NOT build anything permanent. Things too uncertain. I live in apartment for now.

          One of the 8 panels from HQST was lost by the US Postal Service. Ordered 4 from Renergy, the exact same panel, cost $20 more. I don’t know if shipping time has improved, but will find out if/when the 8th replacement from HQST ever arrives, and placed another order for 2 more from Renergy. The Epever 80 A MPPT controller (China) arrived in two weeks. Still waiting on the 5,000 watt inverter, 48V to 120 V AC converter. The 4 Battleborn batteries come from Nevada, but took three weeks, but there, they stated delay was due to factory Covid shut down and have reopened.

          This time “interval” between this so-called “second wave” and any further disruptions may be the “sweet spot” opportunity. I just don’t know. This imay be a case of just buy something, anything, that you may need in 5 years and hope you’ve got it right. As an amateur extra HAM, if I ever needed 1500 watts power for the legal limit amplifier power this power may come in handy, maybe to run my chest small freezer. Better off with freeze dried food, or learning to can. Even the 521 Pressure canners are hard to get a hold of. But with canning, again, all your FF energy imputs have been paid for once you screw the lid on the jars after they have left the water bath.
          My next most “idiotic” purchase will be 1/4 inch 48″ x 100 feet rolls of wire cloth. (chicken coops). Those will also get thrown into storage. Concerned that these have been in short supply too.

          • GBV says:

            Sometimes I hate Canada 🙁

            A Renogy 100 watt starter system is $150 USD on, but is $260 CAD on 😐

            If any OFW’ers are Canadians and have a lead on well-priced solar solutions here in our northern socialist paradise, please post some links!


  18. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Protesters demanding jobs in Tunisia’s energy sector blocked roads with blazing tyres on Sunday after the arrest of an activist, as security forces responded with tear gas.

    “For weeks, demonstrators have erected a protest camp in the southern Tataouine region demanding authorities make good on a 2017 promise to provide jobs in the gas and oil sectors to thousands of unemployed.”

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Algeria has intensified a crackdown on an anti-government protest movement, targeting social media users in a bid to stop demonstrations resuming once coronavirus restrictions end…

      “Said Salhi, vice president of the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights.called the moves “an irresponsible attack, verging on provocation, against fundamental human rights.””

    • With low oil and gas prices, the companies in this sector need to be laying off workers or paying them less. They cannot afford to higher more!

    • Bobby says:

      Send in the droids ?

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        Funnily enough, Bobby, several scenes on Tatooine were filmed in Tunisia. I assume the name inspired George Lucas and friends!

        I recall that a few of the characters’ names had an Arabic flavour, too. Admiral Ackbar springs to mind!

        • Robert Firth says:

          Harry, the conventional roman transliteration is “akbar”, and it is not a noun; it is a modifier. As for instance in the name of the third Mogul emperor, Jalal-ud-Din Mohammed Akbar (“Mohammed is the greater”). His title, by the way, means “majesty of the faith”.

  19. Herbie Ficklestein says:

    Like I didn’t see this coming….
    Scott Horsley
    June 21, 2020 8:05 a.m.
    Banks around the country are running low on nickels, dimes, quarters and even pennies due to a change shortage that experts say is being exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
    Just as supplies of toilet paper are finally getting back to normal, the coronavirus has triggered another shortage of something we typically take for granted: pocket change.
    Banks around the country are running low on nickels, dimes, quarters and even pennies. And the Federal Reserve, which supplies banks, has been forced to ration scarce supplies.
    “It was just a surprise,” said Gay Dempsey, who runs the Bank of Lincoln County in Tennessee when she learned of the rationing order. “Nobody was expecting it.”
    Dempsey’s bank typically dispenses 400 to 500 rolls of pennies each week. Under the rationing order, her allotment was cut down to just 100 rolls, with similar cutbacks in nickels, dimes
    That spells trouble for Dempsey’s business customers, who need the coins to stock cash registers all around Lincoln County, Tenn.
    “You think about all your grocery stores and convenience stores and a lot of people that still operate with cash,” Dempsey said. “They have to have that just to make change.”
    Rural banks in particular seem to be getting shortchanged, according to Colin Barrett, CEO of the Tennessee Bankers Association.
    “My fear is that customers who use these banks will react very poorly,” Rose said. “And I know that we all don’t want to wake up to headlines in the near future such as ‘Banks Out Of Money.'”
    The congressman warned that if businesses are unable to make exact change, they’ll be forced to round up or round down, “in a time in a time when pennies are the difference between profitability and loss.”
    Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell assured Rose that the central bank is monitoring the situation closely.
    Had a pile of change accumulated and just try to deposit in a bank nowadays….ugh🤑
    Go to one of those counting machines in grocery stores and they clip you up to 13% or just get a gift card to some store like Home Depot or for Amazon
    With the Digital Fed $ coming soon to a wallet near you this shortage will be another reason to go to a cashless transaction society….
    Yes Sir….the plan is right on schedule….I say they easily go to 50 trillion on the national debt without blinking😃….
    How much does a trillion dollars weigh? Well, one dollar bill weighs about one gram. So, one trillion dollar bills weigh one trillion grams. Convert grams to pounds and you’re looking at about 2.2 billion pounds or over 630,000 mid-sized cars, of which you could purchase quite a few. (If the cars were an average price — say $20,000 each — you could buy all of them…385 times

  20. JMS says:

    Nothing new here, but very well explained how collapse is the only way now (unless of course TPTB can implement the techno-totalitarian plan)

    • VFatalis says:

      Yes, perfect video to introduce your non-doomer relatives. Covers concisely the basics of our overshoot predicament. Arthur Keller is also working on a tv series about the collapse: Twice as bright. Hopefully he’ll have the time to release it before the end of IC.

  21. brian says:

    looks like death rates will rise as medication becomes harder to come by

    Generic drug supply could be at risk
    “Our worst fears are coming true,” agreed Madhukar Pai, Canada Research Chair in Translational Epidemiology and Global Health at McGill University in Montreal, who follows public health in India.

    “We were all worried about what happens when the epidemic starts hitting low-income countries, and it’s happening now.”

    • I was surprised to read,

      While the largest drug companies are European- and American-owned, they rely heavily on production facilities in India, which supply roughly 20 per cent (by volume) of the world’s exports of generic drugs.

      I was expecting more than 20% of exports to be affected.

      • Marco Bruciati says:

        I’m stocking up on acetaminophen syringes, you have all the parapharmacy situations

  22. Herbie Ficklestein says:

    Hey, Dude, got like Six million to buy this old qiutar. Yep, no problem, my Uncle Jerome will give me an interest free loan😎
    When the 1959 Martin D-18E acoustic guitar that Kurt Cobain played at Nirvana’s legendary MTV Unplugged performance went up for auction this week, Martin J. Nolan, the executive director/chief financial officer of Julien’s Auctions, predicted it would fetch a massive sum and perhaps even set a new Julien’s record. But the auction surpassed expectations Saturday, when the final bid was more than $6 million — officially making it most expensive guitar ever sold. The previous record was $3.975 million, for a Black Stratocaster owned by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd.
    Cobain purchased the Martin D-18E, the seventh of only 302 ever manufactured, in the early ‘90s at Voltage Guitars in Los Angeles, and he had it modified for his left-handed playing style, which made it even more of a rarity. It was the only guitar that Cobain, who died on April 5, 1994, played for all 14 songs of Nirvana’s Unplugged show taped at Sony Music Studios in New York City on Nov. 18, 1993. The auction also came with the guitar’s original hard-shell case decorated with an Alaska Airlines sticker and a duct-taped flier for one of Cobain’s favorite punk bands, Poison Idea; a half-used pack of Martin & Co. guitar strings; three Dunlop guitar picks; and, most interestingly, a suede “stash bag” with miniature knife, fork, and spoon.
    From Yahoo News
    Crazy sh#t happening by rich spoiled brats ….
    Never mind Kurt was basically BROKE his entire life and lived like a paupet

  23. Herbie Ficklestein says:

    Yes. Harry, I Am under Stress
    Wreckage of Global Economy Now Looks Even Worse to IMF: Eco Week
    Craig Stirling
    June 20, 2020, 10:00 PM EDT
    Bloomberg) — Two months after its dire predictions of the steepest recession in almost a century, the International Monetary Fund will release new global economic forecasts this week that will probably look even worse.
    Officials at the Washington-based Fund have warned that a revised outlook due on Wednesday may feature a more pessimistic view than in April. Back then, they said the “Great Lockdown” caused by the coronavirus would force a global contraction of 3% this year.
    A gloomier forecast might reflect their assessment of the severity of damage caused by the widespread shutdown in activity. The U.K. economy, for example, instantly shrank by a fifth in April alone.
    ……..IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath, who is compiling the forecasts, noted last week that both advanced and emerging market economies will endure a recession this year — the first time both have suffered in tandem since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

    Boy. Have gotten ourselves in a fine mess…

    • No kidding! We have gotten ourselves into a mess.

      • Dan says:

        We were in a mess (a huge one) well before COVID arrived. Let’s not forget the repo injections to the tune of 50-100 billion (with a B) / day. Banks were in bad shape. Shale drillers had never made a profit and were in debt in the collective of 100’s of billions. Before the virus 20% of corporations were zombies. Buybacks could be attributed to most gains.
        We were screwed yesterday and we are screwed today. This pandemic may accelerate our decline but the cake was already baked.

    • Chrome Mags says:

      Nothing’s changed really, it’s still a horse race between the medical effects of the corona virus from shelter in place, illness, death, fear and long term effects on those recovered, etc on the world economy. versus development of a viable vaccine. No way around the virus causing havoc on BAU, and no way around needing to eliminate the source of the problem. But it’s a timed event, with only so much time to greatly reduce its effect by mostly eliminating it’s negative effects on the human body. Who will win? There’s no way to know for sure at this point.

      In a way, it’s like putting sand in an engine and until that sand can mostly be removed, the engine of commerce will move slower, i.e. won’t run fast enough to keep BAU running smoothly. So all we can do is try to hold on long enough to buy time for development of a viable vaccine to get the speed of the economy back up again.

      Once that occurs there will be a ‘tale of the tape’ as the metrics of BAU ratchet up again and an assessment of how well the economy can do will be realized. All other efforts to know where the economy is going are speculative.

      • War says:

        Hold on to what – ineffectual shutdowns? At some point proper risk assessments need to be done that actually point out that shutdowns cause more harm than good. The show must go on…we can take precautions for the vulnerable but shelter in place for the masses of healthy people is utter nonsense. Business is not dependent on a questionable injection (driven by profit), it’s dependent on purging the irrational fear we’ve stumbled into. Holistic thinking in regards to health & diet needs to be deployed but it won’t since the profit-seeking system isn’t wired that way, thus we need to take more responsibility for our own health.

      • covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

        okay, but there is also a perspective that doesn’t factor in any vaccine.

        the world just lives with it the best it can. business takes on some added expense to minimize the spread within business operations. the velocity of money decreases since some or many persons will cut back on their activities to minimize their personal chances of getting the virus.

        in this scenario, most every business/industry will have to have a significant % reduction in the number of companies/stores/workers. unprofitable companies go away and the remainder at least have a bigger % of a smaller pie.

        so we will see less auto manufacturers, less airlines, less neighborhood pubs and restaurants etc.

        this is the way the economy will self-organize as it shrinks.

        yes, the metrics of this new normal bAU are speculative, but Q2 should be the bottom (unless another black swan flies in) though there is the idea that Q2 is being propped up massively by gov programs, and these programs will end and likely not be replaced for Q3.

        I see most everything reopening already or soon, but with business operations that cannot be as profitable as in 2019, so though Q3 Q4 and 2021 etc are unknowns, the obvious (to me) conclusion is that life/business/economy moves on but at a reset (unknown) lower level of economic activity, without any vaccine(s).

      • doomphd says:

        i couldn’t disagree any more with the points raised in this post. the “sand in the engine” analogy? that would cause an immediate engine seizure.

    • I am afraid we are going to see a dramatic decline in oil consumption, because prices stay too low for producers. The decline will push the world economy downward, dramatically.

  24. Xabier says:

    Important statistic gleaned from the MSM: over the next year at least, global food supply estimated to fall by some 20-25% as a result of lock-downs and supply-chain disruption.

    Prepare accordingly!

  25. Harry McGibbs says:

    “As they wait to see whether they’ll ever get back in the cockpit, pilots have turned to a mishmash of odd jobs and second-choice careers…

    ““We will do anything we can by problem solving and managing risks to protect our families,” said Chris Riggins, a pilot for Delta Air Lines Inc. and a spokesman for the Air Line Pilots Association. “If that means working in a grocery store, pilots will do it.””

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      ““While the recovery of the active fleet is a positive development, the average utilization for those aircraft that are back in service is still more than 35% down over the start of 2019,” according to Peter Morris of Cirium, speaking to Flightglobal. He, however, cautions that other operational metrics must be considered.

      “Even as airlines are at the course of establishing a “confidence factor” to win over more of the travelling public, they are faced with government lockdowns and advice on social distancing which also has an impact on the recovery of the industry. Convincing the public that air travel is back may be easier said than done.

      “According to Morris, “If airlines started charging ticket prices at a level to make profit, with load factors that may be only 40 percent, they would have to double the fares. They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. If they sat tight and fly no flights, eventually, they would go bankrupt anyway.””

      • You need welcoming tourist destinations, as well. Hard to see how airlines can make a comeback.

        • Herbie Ficklestein says:

          Gail, I agree. Especially now with the new normal of Social distancing and the likelihood of a second outbreak wave of this virus.
          Becoming an Airline Pilot is very expensive and one has to pay their died first by flying regional planes and move up to Mainline jets. Tiny planes. Tiny Paycheck!
          This from the above article
          Ultimately, the upheaval may put travellers in the hands of less-experienced pilots, according to Mark Charman, chief executive officer and founder of aviation and pilot-hiring company Goose Recruitment. As the crisis pushes veterans out, it also dissuades others from joining up — especially when they typically pay $150 000 to get qualified for commercial flying.
          “A brain drain of experienced talent leaving at the top and not enough new talent joining at the bottom will drive big future skills shortages,” Charman said. “Becoming a pilot is not as attractive as it once was.”
          © 2020 Bloomberg

          Just a little while ago predictions of massive shortage of both Pilots and Mechanics,
          Noe this event, how the winds of fortune turn…
          Here in Florida we will know soon enough by the Winter Snow bird season from October through April., If that goes well it will be a miracle 🙏

          • Duncan Idaho says:

            I had a flight where they needed my fare to get enough fuel to fly once.
            (to Mammoth Lakes)

            • Dan says:

              I was in a bush plane with a pilot that showed me not one but three different places he had crashed.

            • Duncan Idaho says:

              I was in one emergency landing.
              Being in the tuck position, foamed runway, agents taking us off, and all those interviews.
              For about 5 minutes life was not given.
              Lost a engine on a 150 once—

  26. Harry McGibbs says:

    “This month’s outbreak of coronavirus in Beijing has prompted concerns that a second wave of the pandemic could upset China’s nascent economic recovery.

    “Analysts say the development is a reminder that the road back to normality will be a bumpy one for the world’s second-biggest economy.

    ““The economic recovery will be much more uneven compared to what we thought a few weeks ago,” said Hao Zhou, an economist at Commerzbank in Singapore. “Things will be much more complicated.”

    “…Some point to a steep drop in passenger numbers on Beijing’s train network in recent days as evidence of how quickly outbreaks can hit economic activity.

    ““Even without a Wuhan-style shutdown, the local economy will suffer and fears of contagion will propagate,” said Aidan Yao, an economist at Axa Investment Managers in Hong Kong. Daniel Shane.”

  27. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The science is screaming: Americans are in turmoil.

    “More than 80% of U.S. adults report the nation’s future is a significant source of stress, according to a report Thursday from the American Psychological Association.

    “Americans are the unhappiest they’ve been in 50 years, according to a COVID Response Tracking Study released Monday.

    “And a survey published this month in the medical journal JAMA found three times as many U.S. adults reporting symptoms of serious psychological distress in April as they did two years earlier.”

  28. Harry McGibbs says:

    “We [in the UK] are in a jobs crisis… The Bank of England expects almost one in 10 of the workforce to be unemployed… But will unemployment fall as swiftly as it has surged?

    “Yes initially, but, beyond the immediate boost of shops reopening, history has some painful lessons for us. New US research tracking recessions and recoveries finds a consistent pattern: unemployment rockets in the crisis, but falls like a feather in the recovery (averaging falls of just 0.55% a year).”

  29. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The southwestern German city of Stuttgart has seen a night of rioting and looting, with several police officers injured as hundreds of people took to the city center. “The situation is completely out of control,” the police said.”

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “The reproduction rate of the novel coronavirus in Germany has jumped to 1.79 after a raft of localised outbreaks, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for public health said on Saturday, far above the level needed to contain it over the longer term.”

      • Norman Pagett says:

        from this it would seem that if everything is seen to be falling to pieces, then the mob will always grab what pieces they can

        especially if the policing system no longer has anything to stop them with.

    • rufustiresias999 says:

      Stuttgart is the capital city of the richest “land” of Germany and richest area of Europe (or maybe one of the top richest) . There are headquarters of MERCEDES-BENZ, Porsche, Audi.
      Wealth disparity?

      • Robert Firth says:

        Predators go where the prey are most abundant. Looters go where the loot is richest. The more you have that can be looted, the more men with guns you need to protect it. Which Germany refuses to admit, which is why their country is burning. As is most of Western Europe.

  30. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Maids have been dumped outside a Beirut embassy, amid an ongoing economic crisis in Lebanon, heightened by the coronavirus pandemic.”

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Eight years ago, Aisha, a Syrian refugee, arrived in Lebanon with her husband and children to escape the horrors of their homeland. They built a small house in Bekaa Valley, and the family finally felt safe…

      “But after the Lebanese economy crashed, causing the lira to tumble, along with the coronavirus crisis a few months later, life has become extremely difficult for the family…

      ““After corona there’s no food anymore. You go to get produce but you come back because you can’t afford it.””

  31. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The giant Dubai-based ports operator DP World is “preparing for the worst” in the months ahead, as coronavirus inflicts the heaviest blow on global trade since World War II…

    “Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said the pandemic has taken a “big toll” on trade, eclipsing the aftermath of the 2007-2008 global financial crisis and drawing similarities with the post-World War II devastation.

    “In those dark times, the global economy collapsed with the destruction of industries and transport infrastructure and as people fled cities, he said.

    “”Today, factories are intact, but nobody can work. The streets are clear and safe, and nobody goes out. Shops are full with all kinds of cargo but nobody buys.”

    “Predictions of a U or V-shaped recovery, with a slump followed by a pick-up, were too optimistic, Bin Sulayem said.”

  32. Harry McGibbs says:

    “While expectations for [oil] demand destruction this quarter are starting to look a little less forbidding than they did a month ago as lockdowns are eased, that was clearly the easy part. The last 10% or so of lost demand is looking more difficult to recover.

    “…the amount of stored oil that needs to be burnt through before there is room for producers to pump more is huge…

    “By the end of this month, global stockpiles are expected to be about 2.7 billion barrels above where they were at the end of 2013. That’s nearly four times the excess seen after the first shale boom in early 2017, when oil prices collapsed toward $25 a barrel.

    “That’s an important point of comparison because it was then that Saudi Arabia and others decided that Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries wouldn’t, or couldn’t, manage the oil market on their own — and the wider OPEC+ group was created, bringing more countries, including Russia, to the table.”

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Under normal circumstances, energy downturns create a perfect opportunity for deep-pocketed oil and gas heavyweights to land prime assets on the cheap… But these are hardly normal circumstances and don’t expect the oil price rout to trigger a wave of M&A activity any time soon.

      “That’s according to Cowen analysts via Barron’s who have said that the majority of Big Oil executives will likely be too gun-shy to pull the trigger on the numerous distressed assets that are becoming available as the downturn drags on.”

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      Btw that must be a typo in the Bloomberg article – it was in early 2016 rather than 2017 that prices collapsed towards $25 p/b.

  33. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Oil revenue, the financial lifeline of Venezuela, is quickly drying up, adding to the growing instability of Nicolas Maduro’s embattled regime.

    “Crude exports that once accounted for 95% of foreign currency inflow to the country tumbled by almost half this month, after hitting a 73-year low in May…

    “Oil storage tanks in the country are nearly full, forcing operators to shut in production to levels not seen since the end of the Second World War.”

  34. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The Iranian rial fell to its lowest ever rate against the U.S. dollar on the unofficial market on Saturday, a day after Tehran’s rebuke by the U.N. nuclear watchdog increased the pressure from U.S. sanctions and the coronavirus outbreak.”

  35. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Let the [Nigerian] Federal Government ease the lockdown and let the economy move because we can’t afford the current lockdown for six months, otherwise the country will collapse.”

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Crude oil production in Nigeria plunged by 185,000 barrels per day to 1.59 million bpd in May, and the operating rig count was cut in half…”

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        “People in northeast Nigeria are no strangers to horror after a decade-long jihadist insurgency that has seen thousands massacred and schoolgirls kidnapped.

        “But a flurry of bloody assaults last week has ramped up fears that a powerful jihadist faction may be opening a grim new chapter by extending its murderous attention from military to civilian targets.”

        • Xabier says:

          Appalling suffering.

          Plenty for BLM to do in Nigeria then: large-scale massacres, rape, torture and enslavement of black people – not 200 yrs ago by long-dead white men.

          We really must encourage BLM to go on some kind of crusade to Africa to end these appalling practices.

    • According to the person being interviewed, Nigeria needs lots of import duties because it has a lot of debt to repay. This is they way the country can get revenue. But how will the people of Nigeria afford high-priced rice? Something doesn’t add up.

      • Artleads says:

        It doesn’t add up at all.

      • Robert Firth says:

        Gail, it adds up for the politicians. In an undeveloped country, import tariffs are almost the only revenue source that can be relied upon. Income tax is no use when few people have cash income. Sales tax is no use when most transactions are by barter. But imports arrive in a controlled manner through a small number of portals, and these can be guarded and managed by government agents. The model for this arrangement is, of course, Britain’s Corn Laws.

        The flaw in the present arrangement is that while Britain could then grow her own corn, Nigeria cannot now grow her own rice. So as revenue falls, famine will rise.

  36. Herbie Ficklestein says:

    Since the coronavirus pandemic unfolded, many Americans have cut their spending. But those earning the highest incomes have curbed their purchases the most, according to a new report, even pop though they were less likely to have lost their jobs or incomes.

    But the frugality from the highest earners could jeopardize the speed of the U.S. economy’s recovery, experts warned, because many lower income jobs depend on that spending.
    In mid-April when consumer spending reached its bottom, the top quartile of earners reduced their spending by 36%, while low-earners shrunk theirs by just 21%, a new paper by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights group found
    Overall, the number of coronavirus cases is a strong predictor of how much spending declines, according to Stepner.
    “But it’s an even stronger predictor for high-income Americans than for low-income Americans,” he said.
    As long as the health risk remains real, high-income earners won’t resume their pre-pandemic level of spending, no matter if their state reopens, Baker said.

    If you are dead, what good is it to be very rich?

    • The top quartile go on a lot of trips; these trips were cut off. There is little point in having many houses around the world, if transportation won’t get you to them. Buying a new dress for the next party you are going to doesn’t make much sense, if there is no party coming along.

      The bottom quartile is more concerned about necessities. These continue. The problem is paying for them.

  37. Tim Groves says:

    “More and more people understand that we don’t always have a global reset—as some are calling it—whenever there’s a touch of the flu around. Governments, however, want a second wave. Everything that’s happened is about control, power and money.”

    International best-selling author, Dr Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc FRSA, explains why ”They’ want a second wave and how they’ll arrange it.

    • Minority Of One says:

      I see that Dr. Coleman also thinks we are becoming a fascist society, and states various reasons for that being so.
      A pretty good summary of our current predicament but the one thing he is missing is that downfall was inevitable. The CV hoax is just speeding things up, quite considerably.

  38. psile says:

    I don’t know if anything was planned, any more than death is planned. The economy blew up, it was always going to blow up. CV-19 was the catalyst.

    Report: 30% Of Americans Missed Their Housing Payments In June Due To Lockdown

    “WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the United States of America continues to face record unemployment due to the imposed coronavirus plandemic lockdown, 30% of Americans are reported to have missed their housing payments in June, according to a survey by Apartment List, an online rental platform.

    It’s up from 24% who missed their payment just two months earlier in April and about on par with the 31% who missed payments in May. Renters, younger and lower-income households and urban dwellers were the groups most likely to miss their housing payments, Apartment List found, according to CNBC.

    At the same time that this “historically high” rate of Americans are missing their housing payments, eviction protections put in place at the beginning of the lockdown measures in the US are beginning to expire. Additionally, the current 30 million unemployed Americans will lose the extra $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits at the end of July…”

    • covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      I agree… no seeeecret plan, just CV-19 as a catalyst to an inevitable economic downturn…

      even as most of the economy begins to reopen, there is a second wave of economic consequences coming…

      those young renters will be packing up and moving back in with Mom and Dad… good luck finding a job back in their old hometown…

      I think I remember that statistics say that the average house in the USA has only 2 or 3 persons living there… that number surely will be rising…

      I’m not sure what happens with low income urban families… if they are evicted, where do they go? cram into a big old urban house with relatives?

      booming prosperity allowed many/most young adults to “live on their own”…. this major downturn in prosperity will mean that there will be a huge overstock of vacant apartments… and maybe vacant houses also…

      it’s hard to imagine that governments can put plans in place to mitigate this coming housing crisis…

      • Minority Of One says:

        Covid-19 is real, but the global reaction to it is an organised scam. Have you watched this video yet?

        “Global Health Mafia Protection Racket” on Youtube.

        The first 4 minutes should do the trick.

    • Kim says:

      The economy was blowing up well before CV was heard of. CV was not a catalyst. It was a pretext.

      We were threatened with a biblical catalclysm, a plague for the ages, a world-roiling viral threat to all human life…and what did we get?

      We got a bad flu year that killed the elderly ill just as it always does and a landscape littered with ill-used props, empty emergency hospital ships, useless ventilators, masks you should wear yet shouldn’t wear, a blizzard of contradictory advice from armies of 100% certain yet always 100% wrong experts, you-can’t-have-a-poltical-rally-or-go-to church but it’s fine to gather to riot and burn down city centers and department stores, people should stay two meters apart but can’t take their kids to play on swings or ride a bicycle , and such a hurricane of uttery moronic, impertinent, propagandistic rubbish – CORPSES ARE PILED IN THE STREETS! – that my head spins and I despair to think that I am surrounded by so many obedient, unquestioning, empty-headed fools.

      It was a HOAX! It was a FRAUD! Millions upon millions DID NOT die! They were never going to die! It was NOT REAL!

      Phew. Or am I wrong? maybe millions and millions did die? Maybe that got past me? Maybe everything the experts promised did in fact happen? Please someone, direct me to the piled-high corpses if that is so, the 1918-proportions fields of death. Otherwise, why can’t we all agree that it was just a hoax?

      And please, let’s not all sign onto yet another vaccine containing god knows what but certainly something not to our benefit.

  39. covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    Edward de Vere did not write the Shakespearean plays…

    1. it was common in Bill’s time for two men to co-write plays… “Like most playwrights of his period, Shakespeare did not always write alone, and a number of his plays were collaborative, although the exact number is open to debate.”

    2. de Vere died in 1604, and some of the best plays were after his death… but obviously, Bill could have had a backlog of Ed’s plays that he didn’t get around to producing until after Ed died.

    3. the plays contain segments that very likely would have come from de Vere’s life and travel, and not from Bill’s experience, while there are segments that definitely came from Bill’s life and experience.


    they co-wrote the plays!

    I mean, really, the evidence fits like a glove… (get it? Bill’s father etc…)

  40. Jarvis says:

    I just heard that the big rally in Tulsa didn’t go quite as planned. Turns out some people went online to register for the rally bringing demand up to 800,000 but only about 9,000 showed up and the poor president was so disappointed! Apparently he was in a foul mood before he set out so I can’t image the flight home was very pleasant. Have to say that made me smile and I can’t wait for the details! Who would have thought those BLM folks could be so devious?

    • covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      “R.I.P Chris Beaty Was great guy, we had some good times at IU. You will be truly missed bro.”

      “Beaty was shot and killed by robbers who were attempting to steal the purses of two women during riots happening in Indianapolis over the death of George Floyd. Beaty had tried to stop the robbers from stealing from the women and was fatally shot as a result, according to eyewitnesses.
      One eyewitness told police that Beaty had said to the robbers, “You don’t need to do this. There’s a better way” before he was killed.

      “There’s a better way” were his last words, before another black man shot him dead…

      B L M….

  41. Lastcall says:

    Forget your expensive university lectures on politics and social Darwinism; get on over to CHAZ’s place and do some on the ground and up close lab work instead. Clowns.

    • covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      let’s see…

      CHAZ has existed for two weeks and now there is one murder…

      so their annual murder rate is about 26…

      but I hear it’s all peace and love… in the daytime…

  42. covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:–abc-news-topstories.html

    “A 19-year-old man is dead and another person has been hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after an overnight shooting inside the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone in Seattle, police said.
    The shooting occurred early Saturday, around 2:30 a.m. local time, inside the zone, which is also referred to as CHOP, according to a statement from the Seattle Police Department.”

    CHOP is also know as Commmie Helll On Parade…

    oh, but wait, there’s more!

    “Police said a “violent crowd” prevented them accessing to the victims. They said they were later informed that both victims had been transported to Harborview Medical Center by CHOP medics.
    The 19-year-old later died and the other victim, who was only identified as male, remained in the hospital.”

    wow, good job by those CHOP medics!

    oh, but wait, there’s more!

    “The protesters seized a roughly six-block area, including the east precinct, to create an “autonomous police-free zone.”…
    Sealed off from outsiders by barricades and patrolled by armed residents, police aren’t allowed inside.”

    they don’t want any police, but they want it “patrolled by armed residents”…

    • covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:


      “Chaos erupted early Saturday morning in Seattle’s ‘Capitol Hill Occupied Protest’ zone. The Seattle Police Department responded to calls of a shooting incident on 10th Avenue and East Pine Street at approximately 2:30 a.m.

      Upon arrival, officers were unable to enter the designated area due to barricades, which blocked the main roads to the street. Police presence is currently unwelcome in the ‘CHOP’ zone.

      To make matters worse, officers were met with resistance, making it an unsafe environment for an investigation to take place.”

      so there were multiple calls to the police… some people obviously wanted the police to come, while many others were obstructing justice…

      • Xabier says:

        So, Seattle is a kind of municipal ‘failed state’, unable to enforce law and order and allowing territory to be usurped by a mob?

        Will the authorities ever get a grip?

        • battaboom says:

          That area of Seattle is the flakiest. No big loss. Seattle central community college is there i wonder if it will ever reopen? There was a nefarious bathhouse about half a block from 10th and pine that reportedly caused a lot of deaths in the 80s from HIV. There was a bar across the street and patrons would ride up on harleys dressed in thongs and peacock feathers. Pretty impressive actually – fashion. That was back in the day. That was a more respectable time for capital hill. Now its more junkies and violence. Let them have it. Put a wall up. Say about 8th and pine to the madrona. Leave the Z bar on the north outside tho please.

  43. Marco Bruciati says:

    People ate they drank they got married and I won’t warn you about anything, but when I get there, the flood wipes them all away.

    • Marco Bruciati says:

      Matteo 24 . 37. Only bible can explaine how Is possible. He are near extinction only few months. For 6 reasons different. And 99 per cent of population of world even dont Know what happening in the artic. In supply chain. Whit virus in Brazil. In stock market soon in Wall street. Failed crops. Hyperflaction. All Is very close .

      • covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

        yes, there is that ancient fayke news that Godd had a bit of a temmper tanntrum and literally killled all humans except for Noah and family…

        if “He” had killled everyone, there would be much less human suffering now…

        2020 and 2021 might see some mass starvation in the third world, but you should be okay in Italy…

        mass starvation is not the end of the world…

      • Robert Firth says:

        36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
        37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
        38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
        39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
        40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
        41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

        (Matthew xxiv: 36 to 41)

        • Norman Pagett says:

          In this lockdown, I kinda miss being saved on my doorstep on a Sunday morning

    • Ed says:


      • brian says:

        we are not nearing an extinction event. we are headed towards a reset, what that means is we are in overshoot. just as in the forest when there are too many rabbits the wolf population will explode until the rabbit population decreases below the carrying capacity. what the carrying capacity will be for humans depends on energy. the more we have the higher our capacity can be.
        a good article on overshoot and oil

        • Marco Bruciati says:

          You are right if you not Know clima change 5 degree . Supply chain broken in the world Total interconnetted.

        • covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

          “what the carrying capacity will be for humans depends on energy.”

          and yet a large portion of energy resources now are directed at producing gadgets of various degrees of fun or utility…

          the human population might grow by more billions if the energy directed at non-essentials is redirected towards food production and distribution…

          in this way, even as net (surplus) energy keeps declining, there could be enough food to keep the 200,000 per day population increase at the current level or even higher in the coming decade(s)…

          a population of 10 billion is possible even with the downward slope of energy resources…

          • brian says:

            would be hard to think of a world where we used energy to maximum efficiency and nobody wasted anything. it seems to me more would do without as fewer and fewer had access to surplus energy.

          • we can produce enough food for 10 bn people

            but that is only one quarter of the problem.

            the other three quarters are:

            getting the food to where the starving people are

            persuading the people who grow the food to GIVE it to those who need it

            preventing the people who receive it from reproducing themselves into another famine 20 years from now.

            • Robert Firth says:

              Thank you, Norman. You cannot solve poverty by giving people money, and you cannot solve famine by giving people food. For precisely the reasons you enumerate. Then why do we do it? “We” don’t; certain well funded charities do, except they first skim a hefty cut off the top for themselves, because of course charity begins at home. And the employees of these charities have another big perk when they pass out their largesse in the third world: as many underage sex toys as they want, courtesy of the local administration. Oxfam were finally exposed after their exploitation of Haiti in 2010. We had seen it happening in Africa years earlier.

        • The world’s carrying capacity depends on the amount of oil we can extract. The oil we can extract depends on how high the oil price is. Our big problem is that the shutdown in demand makes low oil prices even lower. This is what cuts off the supply of oil and collapses the world economy.

          We don’t know how low the reset goes to. It might be an extinction event, but we don’t know.

          • i would have thought the world’s carrying capacity depended on the amount a fuel(s) we can use—ie convert into other ‘stuff’

            • At this point, oil looks like it is more important for carrying capacity than just fuel in general. Oil is the transportation fuel; oil is the primary fuel used in food production; oil is what enables the tourist trade. If we were an economy without access to oil, then coal would be the big deciding factor. The primary fuel may change over time, as society adapts to what is available.

  44. Herbie Ficklestein says:

    It’s not easy being BAU…..
    The reality is the chances of oil going toward $100 at this point are higher than three months ago,” JP Morgan’s head of oil and gas research for EMEA, Christyan Malek, said as quoted by CNN.
    The forecast is not without a logical basis. The way cyclical industries work is that the industry produces a lot of the commodity when there is high demand for it. Eventually, supply begins to outpace demand for one reason or another. Prices then fall, the industry retreats and shrinks production to limit supply and stimulate higher prices. This brings a deficit of the commodity, which pushes prices up. This cycle repeats once every few years.
    The current situation is fundamentally no different, according to JP Morgan’s analyst, who expects the oil market to swing into a deficit sometime in 2022, which would push Brent to $60. This, in turn, will motivate producers to start pumping more crude. The deficit, Malek estimates, could reach 6.8 million bpd by 2025. This is what could cause prices to climb to $100 or more.
    “The deficit speaks for itself. That implies oil prices will go through the roof,” Malek told CNN. “Do we think it’s sustainable? No. But could it get to those levels? Yes.”
    By Irina Slav for

    That should prove very interesting….

    • covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      “The current situation is fundamentally no different…”

      no… this situation is different…

      there is a permanent one way direction to net (surplus) energy in the world today… of course that direction is downward… this means that demand destruction cannot reverse… demand might creep up a bit now and then (like in the second half of 2020), but overall the bumpy slope is down…

      oil producers OPEC+ etc want to maximize their sales and will try to produce at the upper range of what the market will buy… too bad the demand will never grow to exceed production…

      what is more abbsurd is that they think there will be a return to growth from 2022 to 2025…

      look at those lofty predictions!

      $60 oil in a couple of years… wow, almost up to 2019 prices…

    • Slow Paul says:

      There will probably be another spike, but I think that demand is so far down the drain, it will take years before we see this.

  45. Herbie Ficklestein says:

    Right on, I, myself, am richer and the zgovernmentnis providing my wage under the scared Act until Oct 1st, happiness is positive cash flow..

    White men, higher earners and the better-educated — are more likely to have jobs. Not only have they kept their incomes, they’ve also increased savings and are more likely to be able to borrow at dirt-cheap rates.
    “You have this very targeted pain to certain people, but a broader group of people who are feeling nothing,” said Jay Shambaugh, an economist and director of the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution.
    The recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic is playing out across stark — and widening — fault lines in America.
    Lower earners, those with less schooling, women and minority groups have borne the brunt of the economic pain driven by soaring unemployment
    That recessions often hit vulnerable populations hardest isn’t new. But this crisis is unique, experts said.
    For one, there’s a divide even among those who are employed. Lower earners, who are more likely to be on the front lines, are at higher risk of Covid-19 infection and its resulting health and financial consequences.
    Rich and middle-class Americans have also largely avoided a hit to their household wealth since stock and home prices haven’t collapsed as they often do during recessions, experts said

    Got to keep those who VOTE Happy…election year and all that

  46. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Global action is being urged to stop a humanitarian crisis unfolding at sea. Crew changes on merchant ships have been stopped for months, putting those onboard at risk of depression and injury.

    “Industry leaders are calling for stranded seafarers to be recognized as key workers, have visas waived and given access to flights to return home.

    “Supply systems and the global economic recovery are also at stake, as shipping is the lifeblood of the global economy, transporting 90% of global trade.”

  47. Harry McGibbs says:

    “As shortages become more acute in the communist-run country, some Cubans fear a return to the Special Period of the 1990s, after the Soviet Union collapsed…

    “Cuba’s economy, like other countries around the world, has been hit by the pandemic. The World Bank has projected Latin America’s GDP will contract by 7.2 percent this year. But in Cuba’s case, the economy was already fragile before the pandemic.”

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “…the Caribbean is the most tourism-dependent region in the world. In real terms, our undiversified economies rely so heavily on this industry that a major disruption to travel caused by the current health crisis has resulted in its collapse.

      “In The Bahamas, 70 per cent of the islands’ gross domestic product (GDP) is generated from tourism. And the World Economic Forum assessed that Barbados, Belize and The Bahamas are among the most exposed in the world to the sudden pause in global tourism.

      “Economic analysts with the ratings agency Standard & Poor’s forecast that tourism in the Caribbean will decline by about 60 and 70 per cent between now and year-end. They have noted that “this pandemic shock is unlike any shock that these sovereigns have seen in their history”.”

    • Island nations are terribly susceptible to problems. Their high cost of electricity makes it difficult to make anything for export to the world market. Also they need to import many raw materials, and the transport cost of these imports makes it difficult to make much of anything. These countries become very dependent on tourism, and tourism is disappearing. Most of the countries cannot really support themselves. Cuban’s communist form of government seems to make the problem worse.

  48. Harry McGibbs says:

    “European Union leaders found that a quick deal on the bloc’s future long-term budget and a multibillion-euro post-pandemic recovery plan remained beyond their reach on Friday as the coronavirus ravages their economies.

    “A long-term budget has been proposed by European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, but failed to win approval from the ‘Frugal Four’ – the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria and Sweden. There were also disagreements over how best to distribute the funds.”

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “European Central Bank head Christine Lagarde urged European Union leaders on Friday to quickly agree on a recovery package…

      ““(The) EU economy is experiencing a dramatic fall,” she told the gathering, according to officials.”

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        “For mine, government debt is biggest long term risk as the probability of default is underestimated and the recovery rates are typically very low. The doom loop risk for European banks with substantial exposures to Greek and Italian government debt is substantially underestimated.

        “We could be one change of government, in either of two countries with notoriously volatile political systems, away from the pin being pulled on this hand grenade.”

        • Robert Firth says:

          “The doom loop risk for European banks …”

          Yes, of course. No concern for the indebted countries, or for the people there who are facing dire poverty. Concern only for the banks. Madame Ursula, here is a better plan: nationalise the banks, hang the bankers, and give their hoarded money back to he community.

          • not necessarily saying that redistribution of wealth is a bad idea, but let’s take that fantasy a stage further:

            if the community receives the money that the banks are hoarding, then find that there is little or nothing within the ‘sphere’ of the community which they can spend that money on, what then?

            as an example, if everyone received enough money to buy a house, and rushed out to buy houses, the asking price for houses would go through the roof (so to speak). The same would apply to all energy-dense products. We would quickly reach the point where there was insufficient energy available to physically deliver any products at all.

            which would leave people with lots of money in the bank, being hit by the flash of reality that money has no value until it is exchanged for energy.

            Wheelbarrow time!!

            It seems to me that it is money itself that has locked us into the mess we are in. The distribution of it is down to the relative intellect (and luck) of individuals.

            If by some magical sleight of finance it was redistributed equally, within 2 or 3 generations (barring even bigger disasters) it would be back in the same hands of inequality as today.

            • Robert Firth says:

              Thank you, Norman, for a most cogent response to my (semi satirical) proposal. yes, money can indeed y a problem, but I believe the current banking system greatly exacerbates that problem. Solutions, however, probably could not be implemented, even f agreed upon. As the current EU chaos illustrates.

            • Kowalainen says:

              Money as with any technology is generally a good idea. The crucial thing to consider is how it is implemented. I.e. nuclear power plants vs nuclear bombs.

            • nuclear energy vs bomb energy is comparing one form of energy release with another

              whereas spending money is exchanging a token received for one form of energy expended (eg I pay you to dig my garden) to buy another form of energy (eg a steak dinner) which provides the energy necessary for you to go dig my neighbours garden.

              If I paid you in American $$ you would accept those tokens (no matter where you live)

              if I paid you in Zimbabwe $$ you would be very annoyed, and wouldnt accept them

              A unit of currency’s value is directly and specifically related to the energy you can buy with it. it has nothing to do with the production of energy itself.

              I related banks to hoarding money as a form of shorthand, to avoid going on about debt and fiat money and all that stuff

            • Kowalainen says:

              A bit of pedantry, the banks are not hoarding capital. They are hoarding debt. Would you like to have that debt? Really? Nah, let them sink with it and that property which supposedly has value.

              Otherwise, spot on. Redistribution of wealth is a good idea as long as it is coupled to productivity and know-how.

            • GBV says:

              While I’m not totally in agreement, Steve Keen’s debt jubilee might be a better idea for how to deploy all that expropriated wealth – i.e. the distributed money would need to be put towards paying down debt before it could be used to purchase more goods / services.

              Of course, I don’t think I’ve ever heard Steve talk about how deflationary it would be to pay off all the debts this way (one person’s debt is another person’s asset). Perhaps he has discussed it, but I haven’t seen / heard him do so as of yet…


            • DJ says:

              Every person would get same amount but those in debt forced paying debts, the rest consume or save?

              In one country/currency?

            • Kowalainen says:

              DJ, yes, the money given or taken should be debt minus the savings multiplied by a constant. If the debtee cannot pay, it should be added to the debt.

    • COVID-19 makes it harder for the EU to stick together. Everyone is doing poorly.

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        “A little wake up call for all of you not wearing masks:

        My cousin checked into the hospital Tuesday morning for body aches and chills. They tested her for COVID-19 and her results came back positive. She died yesterday morning around 4 a.m. of kidney failure. She was 23.”

        • Kim says:

          I would be willing to bet that either 1) the story simply isn’t true or 2) the deceased already had a severe pre-existing condition.

          A healthy 23 year old contracts the flu and in just a few days dies of internal organ failure?

          As they used to say, pull the other one, it plays Jingle Bells.

        • Minority Of One says:

          I am pretty sure that Gail has posted a graph recently (could have been someone else) that shows the death rate for various age groups from Covid-19, in the USA. Relatively high death rates for the really old, very, very low death rates for the young, anyone below about 30 y.o. Sorry to hear that your cousin died but she must have been really unlucky. Kim lists the alternatives.

          • These death rates are generally falling, as doctors learn more about how to treat COVID-19. Also, all of the charts are relative to “reported” cases. These reported cases very much understate the total cases. So these death rates are far higher than is actually the case.

        • Ed says:

          Hi Duncan, from reading your comments over the years I know you are not a joker. I am sorry you lost your cousin.

          It would be helpful for us to know if she had any preexisting medical conditions.

        • JesseJames says:

          My daughter-in-law caught it at age 42. She has asthma so it was quite worrying. She got over it, staying in her bedroom for a number of weeks. Her husband and kids never got it.

        • battaboom says:

          Duncan I disagree with about 99 out of a 100 of your posts but that is very sad and I am sorry for your loss.

        • Tim Groves says:

          Duncan, that was rotten luck for your young cousin.

          Hospitals are very dangerous places. No doubt about it. And the kidneys are vital organs. My mother died of kidney failure brought on by chemotherapy given in treatment for breast cancer.

          Would a mask have prevented your cousin from catching COVID-19? I know they make their wearers feel safer, and I know a lot of people get irate if you point out that they aren’t as effective as advertised. But people who wear masks do go down with COVID-19 too. Basically, if you are not living in a bunker, you are taking an awful risk

          According to this kidney site I found near the top of the Google ratings:

          What causes kidney failure?

          In most cases, kidney failure is caused by other health problems that have done permanent damage (harm) to your kidneys little by little, over time.

          When your kidneys are damaged, they may not work as well as they should. If the damage to your kidneys continues to get worse and your kidneys are less and less able to do their job, you have chronic kidney disease. Kidney failure is the last (most severe) stage of chronic kidney disease. This is why kidney failure is also called end-stage renal disease, or ESRD for short.

          Diabetes is the most common cause of ESRD. High blood pressure is the second most common cause of ESRD. Other problems that can cause kidney failure include:

          Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and IgA nephropathy
          Genetic diseases (diseases you are born with), such as polycystic kidney disease
          Nephrotic syndrome
          Urinary tract problems

          Sometimes the kidneys can stop working very suddenly (within two days). This type of kidney failure is called acute kidney injury or acute renal failure. Common causes of acute renal failure include:

          Heart attack
          Illegal drug use and drug abuse
          Not enough blood flowing to the kidneys
          Urinary tract problems

          On the other hand, it has been reported that up to 30% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in China and New York developed moderate or severe kidney injury. Reports from doctors in New York are saying the percentage could be higher. C. John Sperati, M.D., M.H.S., an expert in kidney health, discussed this issue here:

          Signs of kidney problems in patients with COVID-19 include high levels of protein in the urine and abnormal blood work.

          The kidney damage is, in some cases, severe enough to require dialysis. Some hospitals experiencing surges of patients who are very ill with COVID-19 have reported they are running short on the machines and sterile fluids needed to perform these kidney procedures.

          “Many patients with severe COVID-19 are those with co-existing, chronic conditions, including high blood pressure and diabetes. Both of these increase the risk of kidney disease,” Sperati says.

          But Sperati and other doctors are also seeing kidney damage in people who did not have kidney problems before they got infected with the virus.

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