Headed for a Collapsing Debt Bubble

A $1.9 trillion stimulus package was recently signed into law in the United States. Can such a stimulus bill, plus packages passed in other countries, really pull the world economy out of the downturn it has been in since 2020? I don’t think so.

The economy runs on energy, far more than it operates on growing debt. Our energy problems don’t appear to be fixable in the near term, such as six months or a year. Instead, the economy seems to be headed for a collapse of its debt bubble. Eventually, we may see a reset of the world financial system leading to fewer interchangeable currencies, far less international trade and falling production of goods and services. Some governments may collapse.

[1] What Is Debt?

I understand debt to be an indirect promise for future goods and services. These future goods and services can only be created if there are adequate supplies of the right kinds of energy and other materials, in the right places, to make these future goods and services.

I think of debt as being a time-shifting device. Indirectly, it is a promise that the economy will be able to provide as many, or more, goods and services in the future compared to what it does at the time the loan is taken out.

Common sense suggests that it is much easier to repay debt with interest in a growing economy than in a shrinking economy. Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff unexpectedly ran across this phenomenon in their 2008 working paper, This Time Is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises. They reported (p. 15), “It is notable that the non-defaulters, by and large, are all hugely successful growth stories.” In other words, their analysis of 800 years of governmental debt showed that default was almost inevitable if a country stopped growing or started shrinking.

The IMF estimates that the world economy shrank by 3.5% in 2020. There are many areas with even worse indications: Euro Area, -7.2%; United Kingdom, -10.0%; India, -8.0%; Mexico, -8.5%; and South Africa, -7.5%. If these situations cannot be turned around quickly, we should expect to see collapsing debt bubbles. Even the US, which shrank by 3.4%, needs a rapid return to growth if it is to keep its debt bubble inflated.

[2] The Inter-Relationship Among (a) Growing Debt, (b) Growing Energy Consumption and a (c) Growing Economy

When we are far from energy limits, growing debt seems to pull the economy along. This is a graphic I put together in 2018, explaining the situation. A small amount of debt is helpful to the system. But, if there gets to be too much debt, both oil prices and interest rates rise, bringing the braking system into action. The bicycle/economy rapidly slows.

Figure 1. The author’s view of the analogy of a speeding upright bicycle and a speeding economy.

Just as a two-wheeled bicycle needs to be going fast enough to stay upright, the economy needs to be growing rapidly enough for debt to do what it is intended to do. It takes energy supply to create the goods and services that the economy depends on.

If oil and other energy products are cheap to produce, their benefit will be widely available. Employers will be able to add more efficient machines, such as bigger tractors. These more efficient machines will act to leverage the human labor of the workers. The economy can grow rapidly, without the use of much debt. Figure 2 shows that the world oil price was $20 per barrel in 2020$, or even less, prior to 1974.

Figure 2. Oil price in 2020 dollars, based on amounts through 2019 in 2019$ from BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy, the inflationary adjustment from 2019 to 2020 based on CPI Urban prices from the US Department of Labor and the average spot Brent oil price for 2020 based on EIA information.

Figure 3 below shows the historical relationship between the growth in US energy consumption (red line) and the dollar increase in US debt growth required to add a dollar increase in GDP (blue line). This chart calculates ratios for five-year periods because ratios for individual years are unstable.

Figure 3. Comparison of five-year average growth in US energy consumption based on EIA data with five-year average amount of added debt required to add $1 of GDP.

Based on Figure 3, the US average annual growth in energy consumption (red line) generally fell between 1951 and 2020. The quantity of debt that needed to be added to create an additional $1 dollar of GDP (blue line) has generally been rising.

According to Investopedia, Gross domestic product (GDP) is the total monetary or market value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period. Notice that there is no mention of debt in this definition. If businesses or governments can find a way to make large amounts of credit available to borrowers who are not very credit worthy, it becomes easy to sell cars, motorcycles or homes to buyers who may never repay that debt. If the economy hits turbulence, these marginal buyers are likely to default, causing a collapse in a debt bubble.

[3] Analyzing Energy Consumption Growth, Debt Growth and Economic Growth for Broader Groupings of Years

To get a better idea what is happening with respect to energy growth, debt growth, and GDP growth, I created some broader groupings of years, based primarily on patterns in Figure 2, showing inflation-adjusted oil prices. The following groupings of years were chosen:

  • 1950-1973
  • 1974-1980
  • 1981-2000
  • 2001-2014
  • 2015-2020

Using these groupings of years, I put together charts in which it is easier to see trends.

Figure 4. Average annual increase in energy consumption for period shown based on EIA data versus average increase in real (inflation-adjusted) GDP for the period shown based on data of the US Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Figure 4 shows that for the US, there has been a general downward trend in the annual growth of energy consumption. At same time, real (that is, inflation-adjusted) GDP has been trending downward, but not quite as quickly.

We would expect that lower energy consumption would lead to lower growth in real GDP because it takes energy of the appropriate kinds to make goods and services. For example, it takes oil to ship most goods. It takes electricity to operate computers and keep the lights on. According to the World Coal Association, large quantities of coal are used in producing cement and steel. These are important for construction, such as is planned in stimulus projects around the world.

Also, on Figure 4, the period 1981 to 2000 shows an uptick in both energy consumption growth and real GDP growth. This period corresponds to a period of relatively low oil prices (Figure 2). With lower oil prices, businesses found it affordable to add new devices to leverage human labor, making workers more productive. The growing productivity of workers is at least part of what led to the increased growth in real GDP.

Figure 5. Dollars of additional debt required to add $1 dollar of GDP growth (including inflation), based on data of the US Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Figure 5, above, is disturbing. It strongly suggests that the US economy (and probably a lot of other economies) has needed to add an increasing amount of debt to add $1 of GDP in recent years. This pattern started long before President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package in 2021.

To make matters worse, GDP growth in Figure 5 has not been reduced to remove the impact of inflation. On average, removing the impact of inflation reduces the above GDP growth by about half. In the period 2015 to 2020, it took about $4.35 of additional debt to add one dollar of GDP growth, including inflation. It would take about double that amount, or $8.70 worth of debt, to create $1.00 worth of inflation-adjusted growth. With such a low return on added debt, it seems unlikely that the $1.9 trillion stimulus package will increase the growth of the economy very much.

[4] Falling interest rates (Figure 6) are a major part of what allowed the rapid growth in debt after 1981 shown in Figure 5.

Figure 6. 10-Year and 3-Month US Treasury Rates through February 2021, in a chart prepared by the Federal Reserve of St. Louis.

Clearly, debt is more affordable if the interest rate is lower. For example, auto loans and home mortgages have lower monthly payments if the interest rate is lower. It is also clear that governments need to spend less of their tax revenue on interest rate payments if interest rates are lower. Changes made by US President Ronald Reagan when he took office 1981 also encouraged the use of more debt.

A major concern with respect to today’s debt bubble is the fact that interest rates are about as low as they can go without going negative. In fact, the interest rate on 10-year Treasury bonds is now 1.72%, which is higher than the February 2021 average rate shown on the chart. As interest rates rise, it becomes more costly to add more debt. As interest rates rise, businesses will be less likely to take on debt in order to expand and hire more workers.

[5] Interest expense is a major expense of governments, businesses, and homeowners everywhere. Energy costs are another major expense of governments, businesses, and homeowners. It makes sense that falling interest rates can partly hide rising energy prices.

A trend toward lower interest rates was needed starting in 1981 because the US could no longer produce large amounts of crude oil that were profitable to sell at less than $20 per barrel, in inflation-adjusted prices. Lower interest rates made adding debt more feasible. This added debt could smooth the transition to an economy that was less dependent on oil, now that it was high-priced. The lower interest rates helped all segments of the economy adjust to the new higher cost of oil and other fuels.

[6] The US experience shows precisely how helpful having a rapidly growing supply of inexpensive to produce oil could be to an economy.

US oil production, excluding Alaska (blue “remainder” in Figure 7), rose rapidly after 1945 but began to decline not long after hitting a peak in 1970. This growing oil production had temporarily provided a huge boost to the US economy.

Figure 7. US crude oil production, based on data of the US Energy Information Administration.

Up until almost 1970, US oil production was rising rapidly. Figure 8 shows that during this period, incomes of both the bottom 90% of workers and the top 10% of workers increased rapidly. Over a period of about 20 years, incomes for both groups grew by about 80%, after adjusting for inflation. On average, workers were about 4% better off each year, with the rapid growth in very inexpensive-to-produce oil, all of which stayed in the US (rather than being exported). US imports of inexpensive-to-produce oil also grew during this period.

Once oil prices were higher, income growth for both the lower 90% and the top 10% slowed. With the changes made starting in 1981, wage disparities quickly started to grow. There suddenly became a need for new, high-tech approaches that used less oil. But these changes were more helpful to the managers and highly educated workers than the bottom 90% of workers.

Figure 8. Chart comparing income gains by the top 10% to income gains by the bottom 90% by economist Emmanuel Saez. Based on an analysis of IRS data, published in Forbes.

[7] Most of the world’s cheap-to-extract oil sources have now been exhausted. Our problem is that the world market cannot get prices to rise high enough for producers to cover all of their expenses, including taxes.

Based on my analysis, the world price of oil would need to be at least $120 per barrel to cover all of the costs it needs to cover. The costs that need to be covered include more items than an oil company would normally include in its costs estimates. The company needs to develop new fields to compensate for the ones that are being exhausted. It needs to pay interest on its debt. It also needs to pay dividends to its shareholders. In the case of shale producers, the price needs to be high enough that production outside of “sweet spots” can be carried on profitably.

For oil exporters, it is especially important that the sales price be high enough so that the government of the oil exporting country can collect adequate tax revenue. Otherwise, the exporting country will not be able to maintain food subsidy programs that the population depends on and public works programs that provide jobs.

[8] The world can add more debt, but it is difficult to see how the debt bubble that is created will really pull the world economy forward rapidly enough to keep the debt bubble from collapsing in the next year or two.

Many models are based on the assumption that the economy can easily go back to the growth rate it had, prior to COVID-19. There are several reasons why this seems unlikely:

  • Many parts of the world economy weren’t really growing very rapidly prior to the pandemic. For example, shopping malls were doing poorly. Many airlines were in financial difficulty. Private passenger auto sales in China reached a peak in 2017 and have declined every year since.
  • At the low oil prices prior to the pandemic, many oil producers (including the US) would need to reduce their production. The 2019 peak in shale production (shown in Figure 7) may prove to be the peak in US oil production because of low prices.
  • Once people became accustomed to working from home, many of them really do not want to go back to a long commute.
  • It is not clear that the pandemic is really going away, now that we have kept it around this long. New mutations keep appearing. Vaccines aren’t 100% effective.
  • As I showed in Figure 5, adding more debt seems to be a very inefficient way of digging the economy out of a hole. What is really needed is a growing supply of oil that can be produced and sold profitably for less than $20 per barrel. Other types of energy need to be similarly inexpensive.

I should note that intermittent wind and solar energy is not an adequate substitute for oil. It is not even an adequate substitute for “dispatchable” electricity production. It is simply an energy product that has been sufficiently subsidized that it can often make money for its producers. It also sounds good, if it is referred to as “clean energy.” Unfortunately, its true value is lower than its cost of production.

[9] What’s Ahead?

I expect that oil prices will rise a bit, but not enough to raise prices to the level producers require. Interest rates will continue to rise as governments around the world attempt more stimulus. With these higher interest rates and higher oil prices, businesses will do less and less well. This will slow the economy enough that debt defaults become a major problem. Within a few months to a year, the worldwide debt bubble will start to collapse, bringing oil prices down by more than 50%. Stock market prices and prices of buildings of all kinds will fall in inflation-adjusted dollars. Many bonds will prove to be worthless. There will be problems with empty shelves in stores and gasoline stations with no products to sell.

People will start to see that while debt is a promise for the equivalent of future goods and services, it is not necessarily the case that those who make the promises will be able to stand behind these promises. Paper wealth generally can be expected to lose its value.

I can imagine a situation, not too many years from now, when countries everywhere will establish new currencies that are not as easily interchangeable with other currencies as today’s currencies are. International trade will dramatically fall. The standard of living of most people will fall precipitously.

I doubt that the new currencies will be electronic currencies. Keeping the electricity on is a difficult task in economies that increasingly need to rely solely on local resources. Electricity may be out for months at a time after an equipment failure or a storm. Having a currency that depends on electricity alone would be a poor idea.

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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3,106 Responses to Headed for a Collapsing Debt Bubble

  1. erwalt says:

    From time to time comments like following (out-of-context) show up here and there:

    “… maybe we can get rid of some of the less cognitive population”
    “… eliminating useless eaters”
    “reducing the population”

    I have no issue that something like this is stated — in the sense that I am not entirely shocked and its a natural way to look at things from an objective non-empathic point of view — I guess “TPTB” discuss similar things and most likely “TPTB” do not think that they themselves belong to the group of “useless eaters”.

    OTOH I personally have no such views (anymore? did I ever have them in the past?) and find such statements disenchanting — no matter who is stating it.

    • erwalt says:

      What I think is very naive is to assume that “TPTB” do not have such thoughts or that whoever has some form of power over others does not have such thoughts.

      That is why I think, the current rollout of mandatory vaccination, normalisation of permanent testing, tighter control of population etc. is very very dangerous.

      It establishes infrastructure, protocols and behavioural control that allows attacks on humans on a scale never known before.

      It even doesn’t mean that those rolling out it today have such intentions, plan to misuse it now or sometime in the future or that current vaccines or tests have adverse effects. (I do not write what I really think about it today.)

      But sooner or later there is a very high probability that it will be exploited like some kind of “backdoor or trojan horse” to harm humans.

      • erwalt says:

        In addition I want to remind of a severe software bug from some years ago — as an allegory. (Don’t some biotech companies proclaim that they are working on “software for life”?)

        It’s

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heartbleed

        A bug introduced in cryptographic software 2011/2012 and then in the wild for over 2 years. And it most likely was exploited by rogue actors before it was fixed.

        It was speculated whether the bug was intentionally introduced.

        But in retrospect it doesn’t even matter whether it was intentional or not — it was exploitable for a long period of time and many people were not aware of it.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      I get tired of so much repetition of these phrases. There are some commenters who endlessly talk about these issues. The point has been made already.

  2. Russian forces are massing in offensive positions.

    “not a shot in the leg, but in the face”

    > Ukraine conflict: Moscow could ‘defend’ Russia-backed rebels

    A top Russian official has warned that Moscow could intervene to help Russian-speaking residents in eastern Ukraine if Ukraine launches an all-out assault on separatists there.

    Russian-backed separatist rebels and Ukrainian troops have been clashing in the east of the country.

    Russia has also been building up troops on the border with Ukraine.

    The official, Dmitry Kozak, said that Russian forces could intervene to “defend” Russian citizens.

    “Everything depends on the scale of the conflagration,” he said. He is deputy head of Russia’s presidential administration.

    He also warned that an escalation could mark the “beginning of the end” for Ukraine – “not a shot in the leg, but in the face”.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-56678665

    • > US considering sending warships to Black Sea amid Russia-Ukraine tensions

      The United States is considering sending warships into the Black Sea in the next few weeks in a show of support for Ukraine amid Russia’s increased military presence on Ukraine’s eastern border, a US defense official told CNN Thursday.

      The US Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea, but a deployment of warships now would send a specific message to Moscow that the US is closely watching, the official said. The US is required to give 14 days notice of its intention to enter the Black Sea under a 1936 treaty giving Turkey control of the straits to enter the sea. It is unclear if a notice has yet been sent.

      The Defense official also said the Navy is continuing to fly reconnaissance aircraft in international airspace over the Black Sea to monitor Russian naval activity and any troops movements in Crimea. On Wednesday, two US B-1 bombers conducted missions over the Aegean Sea.

      Although the US does not see the amassing of Russian forces as posturing for an offensive action, the official told CNN that “if something changes we will be ready to respond.” Their current assessment is that the Russians are conducting training and exercises and intelligence has not indicated military orders for further action, the official said, but noted that they are well-aware that could change at any time.

      https://edition.cnn.com/2021/04/08/politics/ukraine-us-black-sea/index.html

  3. Will Prince ‘Charming’ come back as the genocidal killer that he always wanted to be? C 20?

    “In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, to contribute something to solving overpopulation.”

    Does that include his own family or just the ‘plebs’?

    The posh get away with anything in UK. ‘Wave a flag and kneel before me!’

  4. Kowalainen says:

    I knew it, the Sumerian/Egyptian (mankind) history is child play with technowizardry gadgets. Just look at those, the cartoony and “pedantic” nature. Once I observed those statues and silly hand bags, it was obviously child’s play that turned into the ego obsession of youth, the pain of becoming an adult and ultimately self (maybe)

    https://youtu.be/ix68oRfI5Gw

    How cute isn’t that? If it wasn’t for the tragedy and suffering.
    But hey, nobody’s perfect.

  5. erwalt says:

    What happens since the beginning of this century or at least since 2009 reminds me more and more to what has happened in the 20th century and which culminated back then in dictatorships in European nations before WW2 and after WW2 especially in the East.

    People, power structures, cults and ideologies behind this “mess” never really vanished. Also the scientists and philantropists willfully working for and providing ideas for those in power existed
    in many places in the world and did not just vanish after WW2. E.g. think about eugenics and its influence before/after 1945. (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenik)

    That is why I do not wonder that our next target seems to be a “worldwide scientific dictatorship” and of course, you know, it is all for the common good.

    And most likely those responsible — at top of the c(h)ain of command — for atrocities in our history often might have thought of themselves as friends of human beings, as philantropists.

    [φιλανθρωπία philanthrōpía, von φίλος phílos „Freund“ “friend” und ἄνθρωπος ánthrōpos „Mensch“ “human being”]

    (BTW, who are self-proclaimed philantropists these days?)

    In light of these developments I want to remind of Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was murdered April 9th 1945. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietrich_Bonhoeffer)

    Maybe all that is left for me, and average Joe, and average Jane to do these days is “erwarten wir getrost, was kommen mag”:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Von_guten_M%C3%A4chten
    (“Von guten Mächten” (By good forces))

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      “Worldwide scientific dictatorship”

      That is a good description of our problem

  6. Mrs S says:

    This analysis of German mortality data is interesting.

    ‘Dramatic increase in deaths among seniors since “corona vaccinations” began’

    https://telegra.ph/Dramatic-increase-in-deaths-among-seniors-since-corona-vaccinations-began-03-30

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      Interesting!

  7. Yorchichan says:

    Last night I watched this Hugo talks video:

    What about the other families?

    In it Hugo talks about how all the people seen on the news who have lost a close relative to the vaccines continue to urge everybody to get vaccinated. Always seems obscene to me.

    The reason I am posting the clip, is that last night I took a couple whose fathers had BOTH died this year shortly after receiving the vaccine. Were they urging me to get vaccinated? No! Both were angry about what had happened and said they wouldn’t take the vaccine for a million pounds. As Hugo noted, people holding such a view almost certainly make up the vast majority of the bereaved, yet we never hear their stories in the news.

    I didn’t ask what the fathers had died of, or how long after taking the vaccine, or whether the deaths were reported to our adverse events database, called Yellow Card. I’d make a terrible investigative journalist. But what are the odds, eh? There are currently less than 800 deaths in the UK recorded on Yellow Card i.e. possible vaccine deaths The odds that the children of two of those dead were married to each other would be minute. Almost certainly, the number of victims is far greater than we are being told.

    • Xabier says:

      The propaganda is now surreal in the UK – ‘Vaccines may kill, but Covid is worse!’- and it seems that most have no idea that a Yellow Card reporting system exists. It’s well worth looking at the comments under videos by UK Column, where people offer their experiences.

      A recent letter in the BMJ indicated that whole teams in the NHS are being knocked out by heavy side-effects,some for weeks, if not usually killed.

      People dying of strokes a week or two later can be plausibly denied by the government, just as Holocaust deniers assert that all Jews and other camp prisoners died of over-work or the bombing of railway lines by the Allies.

      What’s that in the air? The stench of evil.

      • Yorchichan says:

        One statistic I came across today is that 95% of the over 50s have now been vaccinated in the UK. The die off of the vaccinated had better start happening quickly, because otherwise I am not liking our odds when the covid cult members come looking for us.

        • 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.
          Gail Tverberg says:

          Wow! The number of deaths is way down recently in the UK, as is the number of cases. The number of deaths is reported to be .05 per 100,000 over the last seven days. This compares to .54 per 100,000 for the EU, so the rate is only about one-tenth as high.

  8. Fast Eddy says:

    There was a CG protest in Christchurch today … students marching about making noise… I observed a group of these clowns tapping away on mobile phones afterwards… I said to M Fast… ‘look at these f789ing id iots… I guess they think the phones grow on trees’…. M Fast said – don’t you dare say anything.

    So I let the MOREons (many with purple and green hair) be MORE ons…

    What does it matter — they’ll all soon be dead anyway.

    • Xabier says:

      The emperor Marcus Aurelius came to that conclusion 2,000 yrs ago:

      ‘If you can teach them, do so; but if they are not worth the trouble, let them be and proceed untroubled in mind.’

      • kulmthestatusquo
        kulmthestatusquo says:

        And he did NOT teach his son and heir Commodus which led to the decline of Roman Empire for good.

        If he found his son was unteachable, he should have gotten rid of the rot

        • It’s a bit more complicated on his son , Commodus, as the story unfolds. True, Commodus was deranged as time went on, several assassin’s attacks, including one by Sister, Lucilla, pushed him further to extremes. One assassin unwisely took a moment to utter the words, “This is from the Senate!” After Commodus was killed he was deified by the Emperor and Senate under the reign of Septimus Severus.
          Commodus was very well like by the Army and it was prudent to associate oneself with the family.
          Actually, when Commodus was designated “Prince of Youth” by his Father, Marcus Aurelius, the Empire was split into two , co ruler, Lucius Verus, who was younger and expected to succeed Marcus as Senior Emperor was in charge of the East. Unfortunately, the great plaque swept the Empire from returning legions after a Persia campaign, one victim was Verus himself.
          In the later Empire it was a common title of Our Lord “Dominus Nostro”, which began under Diocletian to further the divine nature of rulership.
          So, can’t judge Marcus Aurelius too harshly for his son.

      • nikoB says:

        If a man is starving you can give him a fish and he can eat for a day. But if you teach him to fish he will fish out your lake or sea and kill you by taking all your food. Best just to let a starving man die. Resource depletion is a bitch.

        • 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.
          Gail Tverberg says:

          Unfortunately, we are now finding that you are correct.

  9. Fast Eddy says:

    In 1935, Stalin invited his trusted senior advisors and some media henchmen to a meeting with intent to make a point using the most evocative of methods.

    When everyone was gathered at the barnyard, he called for a live chicken and vigorously clenched it in one hand. With the other hand, he then began to pluck out the chicken’s feathers in handfuls. The poor bird squawked under the torment but Stalin kept at denuding the chicken until it convulsed with agony.

    Remarkably unperturbed by the feeling of disgust obvious on the faces of the people too afraid to express their unease to the dictator, he continued until the chicken was completely unfeathered.

    He then put the bird down by a small heap of grain and stood up to finish the last act while the people curiously observed the chicken move towards the grain.

    As the chicken started to peck, Stalin put his hand into his jacket pocket and pulled out another fistful of grain, putting it out in front of the wounded bird. To the utter surprise of the transfixed spectators, the chicken managed a weak-kneed stagger back to Stalin and started to peck the fresh grain right out of the hand that moments ago had inflicted unbearable pain on it. Stalin had made his point — loud and clear.

    He turned to the people and said, “People are like this chicken. It doesn’t matter how much pain you inflict on them. The moment you offer them what they need, they will still follow you and turn to you for their survival.”

    • erwalt says:

      That’s an interesting parable. The illustrated behaviour and corresponding manipulation tactic is much older of course — always known to those in power.

      E.g. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuckerbrot_und_Peitsche

      In my opinion our brain software contains many flaws. Some inherited (and useful in certain situations) some taught and trained when growing up.

      In an open and free thinking society those flaws should be taught to each individual.
      This would mean the end of many bullshit business models like advertising industry and the entire political theatre. That is why it will never happen in today’s societies.
      Only decentralized societies might be able to go this route.

    • erwalt says:

      Another interesting thought: Think about the sentence “It doesn’t matter how much pain you …” and religion — and God. If he exists does he (intentional) inflict pain? Does he provide what’s needed?

      And if so: Is there a difference to Stalin, Hitler, or other wanna-be-good-doers of the past or the present like Gates, Soros, Fauci, Merkel, Macron, Biden, Xi and many more?

      I think, there are fundamental differences but the wanna-be-good-doers won’t see it, often don’t even believe in a God at all, or they fight believers.

      • Kowalainen says:

        Pain is obligatory, it is an undesirable state of the (biological) mind-body. It is the greatest teacher that exists.

        Suffering, however, that is perpetual pain caused by a lack of lucidity and obnoxious ego, blindly following the dictates of the reptilian.

        Nothing wrong with the ego, however, obviously we need goals in the myopia of the ordinary (MOAR and all that). But when the ego is overpowering the silent observer, the self, suck and muppetry ensues.

        On the other end, all self, no ego. Well, didn’t Buddha, Nietzsche and Wittgenstein try to figure that one out? Arriving in nothingness and menta disorders. Rejecting the drama and comedy of the ordinary seems rather wasteful.

        Now how does one form a self? It is easy really, observe yourself and figuring out others becomes trivial. Now, who observes the observer? The ego obviously. The perpetual game of ego reductionism and self holism constantly rages in between your deaf ears, myopic eyes and thick forehead with the cookie hole constantly flapping trite drivel.

        • Tim Groves says:

          Excellent comment, but my old master would have disagreed with you about the ego and the observer.

          “Master,” I asked him. Does the ego exist?

          “No, Grasshopper”, he replied, “the ego is merely a Freudian psychological construct, useful to the developing human being, certainly, but a pain in the ass in our mature years, and in any case no more substantial than a paper tiger.”

          “Well, then,” I asked, “What about the observer? Surely that exists? Isn’t observing a dualistic practice?” Because when we are observing, something is observing something else.”

          “In fact, Grasshopper, it’s not dualistic. The observer is empty. Instead of a separate observer, we should say there is just observing. There is no one that hears, there is just hearing. There is no one that sees, there is just seeing. But we don’t quite grasp that. If we practice hard enough, however, we learn that not only is the observer empty, but that which is observed is also empty. At this point the observer (or witness) collapses. This is the final stage of practice; we don’t need to worry about it. Why does the observer finally collapse? When nothing sees nothing, what do we have? Just the wonder of life. There is no one who is separated from anything. There is just life living itself: hearing, touching, seeing, smelling, thinking. That is the state of love or compassion: not “It is I,” but “It is Thou.”

          Then I asked, “Master, why do all the veteran monks refer to you as the Dull-eyed Lama?”

          Exasperated and angered by this impious remark, he beat me with his whacking cane and had me thrown out of the Monastery.

          • Kowalainen says:

            The drama and comedy with the OFW egos and selfs are much more entertaining than reveling in nothingness and pure sensory input.

            The amusing an cynical cackle from the court jesters of IC.

      • rufustiresias999
        rufustiresias999 says:

        No matter the pain in this world for the sons of God will have an eternity of joy in His presence?
        I couldn’t understand how God could inflict to Him, to His son, the horror of the crucifixion, just to be free from evil. What does it tell to His creatures? The Ennemy is such powerful you have to go through that, through all this pain and misery, to be free?
        I prefer the Buddhist way, despite you have to reincarnate until you really get it right….

        • lidiaseventeen
          lidiaseventeen says:

          Well, it gets better, rufus, since most Christians accept the notion of the Trinity, afaik. So what you really have is a god-man (if we are made in his image, is he not *our* image?) sacrificing himself to himself: quite a neat trick! But then even back in the OT, he was rather self-absorbed.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      Not a parable many of us would like to think about.

    • The bird was obviously to the point of starving …suppose with UBI that will be the grain of Stalin’s hand of the PTB to keep the starving rabble at bay from pecking them to death.
      Oh, is the Stock Market set to have another record high?

  10. MG says:

    “Intelligent brains are characterised by a slim but efficient network of their neurons,” says neurologist Erhan Genç from Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany.
    “This makes it possible to achieve a high level of thinking with the least possible neural activity.”

    https://www.sciencealert.com/high-iq-correlation-lower-neuron-dendrite-density

    • Kowalainen says:

      Yup, my hypothesis of cheap IQ seem to hold true. Gotta massage those dimwit brain cells real good, specially if you got more of them.

      Full tilt industrious combinatorics, hypothesis, trials and mostly errors until the forehead tingles, sleep, repeat.

      Imagine the horrors; “dumb” people eventually turning out smarter than the cringe inducing cheap ass “elites” being wired up optimally for hobby eugenics, trite banalities and frippery.

      Ah, the irony.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      The article says,

      “Matching the imaging data with the test scores, the researchers found that those with higher analytical skills not only had more brain cells, they also tended to have fewer branches between the neurons in their cerebral cortex.”

      I know that while I am good at analytical tasks, there are other things I am terrible at. I have a hard time remembering plots in plays, for example. Novels don’t interest me. Politics is mostly beyond me, because there are so many players whose names I can’t remember.

      There seem to be others who can remember lots and lots of details and can’t see the forest for the trees. I know a woman can remember the names of people she only very briefly encountered, even years ago. Or details a person might have told her about the lives of their children. I can’t do this. But she complains about attention deficit disorder.

  11. MG says:

    Today, when the passive house becomes a new standard of construction, building a house becomes a task that can not be handled by the people with lower intellectual skills.

    That way the rising complexity becomes the hurdle of population growth, as the self-help does not work anymore.

    • Kowalainen says:

      Since when did carpenters become low-skilled labor? For sure, they might not be able to cite Plato and Nietzsche, but I rather crack a few jokes with craftsmen than listen to self important pomp and literary regalia.

      The drama and comedy of the ordinary is all that matters. The tragedy and suffering is in self entitled and self important people.

      As i have stated: I don’t view myself as any better or worse than a stone or ant. Merely different. However, compared with those spiritually impaired “elites”, a stone any day. Because I can fling it and watch it bounce on water. I have fun with objective reality and the stone wouldn’t care less. As for the ant: *shoo little guy, off you go*.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      I understand the problem you are describing.

      People who are in musical groups find that operating the sound equipment has become a higher and higher skilled task because of changes in the complexity in the sound equipment. Not just any volunteer can handle the task. Churches working with volunteer labor have to work around this issue.

      We might deduce that mixing vaccine is a task that requires a moderately high level of understanding of the processes going on. The firm Emergent BoiSolutions was supposed to be the main US locations for manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines for Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, under a US government contract. Yet, the firm’s production has been a comedy of errors.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/06/us/covid-vaccines-emergent-biosolutions.html
      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9442287/At-10-MILLION-AstraZenaca-vaccine-doses-tossed-Baltimore-production-plant.html

      We find that 15 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been ruined, and 10 million AstraZenaca doses were ruined at the plant. One of the ingredients for the AstraZeneca vaccine was mixed in to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. In fact, none of the 150 million does prepared at the site has actually been used, because of quality control problems.

  12. suttercraven
    Michael L'Merchant says:

    Vaccine passports can ‘drive forced consent, standardization’ of digital identity schemes: WEF summit

    The Global Blockchain Business Council CEO tells the Davos crowd that she hopes the rise of vaccine passports will help “drive forced consent and standardization” of global digital identity schemes.

    “I’m hoping with the desire and global demand for some sort of vaccine passport — so that people can get traveling and working again — will drive forced consent, standardization, and frankly, cooperation across the world” — Sandra Ro, CEO at Global Blockchain Business Council

    A digital identity encompasses everything that makes you unique in the digital realm, and it is a system that can consolidate all of your online activity data, including which websites you visit, your online purchases, health records, financial accounts, and who you’re friends with on social media.

    It is also a scheme that, when used by authoritarians like in Communist China, enables a dystopian social crediting system where freedom is granted and restricted based on how citizens behave and who they associate with in both the physical and digital worlds.
    https://sociable.co/government-and-policy/vaccine-passports-drive-forced-consent-standardization-digital-identity-schemes-wef-summit/

    • jj says:

      So you build a social credit score like you build a credit score? Likes to trans++good GOTVAX? and BLM? Will the credit score co be handling the social score?

      • 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.
        Gail Tverberg says:

        My guess is that the result of the “social credit score” and the “credit score” will not be too different.

        It is the people who are low on the economic hierarchy that are likely to find themselves in trouble with both scores. The people with “not enough” will try to cheat insurance companies, at the same time that they are defaulting on their loans and not paying their rent.

        There may be a few well off people who get in trouble for a new-found problem such as men in high positions chasing after women in their work environment who will come out worse on the “social credit score,” but these people will be the exceptions. Men who cannot keep a job are likely to jump from woman to woman and not support their families adequately. They will come out badly, no matter how the score is constructed.

  13. Slow Paul says:

    Seven residents of a nursing home in Norway tests positive for COVID-19, even though they have received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine 2 months ago. Some are hospitalized.

    https://www.tv2.no/nyheter/13932323/

    This might make people start asking questions…

      • 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.
        Gail Tverberg says:

        These could be infections by chance. We don’t know how many were fully vaccinated to compare these numbers to.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      The article says:

      “The municipal chief confirms that three of the seven infected residents have been diagnosed with either the South African or Brazilian virus variant.”

      Perhaps we will hear more later.

      Regarding the number infected, the article says, “In addition, five employees and two close contacts were infected in the ongoing outbreak.” Presumably these people were not vaccinated and brought the virus with them to the nursing home.

    • Bobby says:

      Can we get the article translated please

      • FEAR: Municipal chief physician Laurence Jary-Vattøy in Ullensaker fears more positive tests than the 14 who have so far been proven infected in the outbreak at the nursing home.
        FEAR: Municipal chief physician Laurence Jary-Vattøy in Ullensaker fears more positive tests than the 14 who have so far been proven infected in the outbreak at the nursing home. Photo: Gorm Røseth / TV 2
        Seven fully vaccinated infected:
        – This is very surprising

        JESSHEIM (TV 2): The municipal doctor is very surprised that seven fully vaccinated elderly people have been diagnosed with infection. A total of 14 people were infected in the outbreak. It is feared that the outbreak will increase in scope.
        Ingvill Drægni Stein Akre
        Published 20 hours ago, updated 19 hours ago.

        Seven fully vaccinated residents at Gystadmyr residential and activity center at Jessheim have been diagnosed with corona. In addition, five employees and two close contacts were infected in the ongoing outbreak.

        Municipal chief physician Laurence Jary-Vattøy in Ullensaker is surprised that so many fully vaccinated people have been diagnosed with the infection.

        – It is surprising that so many have been diagnosed with infection, when they have already been fully vaccinated, says Jary-Vattøy to TV 2.
        South African or Brazilian

        The municipal chief confirms that three of the seven infected residents have been diagnosed with either the South African or Brazilian virus variant.

        – Can this indicate that the vaccine does not work on these variants?

        – I can not answer that, says Jary-Vattøy.

        The outbreak of infection, and the generally high infection pressure in the municipality, leads to a ban on visiting all nursing homes in Ullensaker.

        In addition, all residents and employees at Gystadmyr residential and activity center have now been tested, but the municipality has not yet received an answer to these tests.

        – This means that we can get more positive test results than the 14 we have so far, says the municipal chief.

        FHI is connected

        The National Institute of Public Health has been involved after an outbreak of infection was detected at the Gystadmyr residential and activity center.

        Two of the seven infected residents were hospitalized, one of whom is now back in the nursing home.

        The first case of infection was revealed on Easter evening. Since then, the outbreak has grown in scope.

        – The residents were diagnosed with the virus two months after they were vaccinated with the second dose, says Jary-Vattøy.

        The route of infection has not been identified and the infection tracking team in Ullensaker is continuing to work to try to find out.
        – Never happened before

        The National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) says they have not registered an outbreak among vaccinated people to the same extent as in Ullensaker.

        FHI is now working closely with the municipal chief to find out how the seven residents, who in the first place should be well protected, have nevertheless become ill.

        – That so many fully vaccinated people become infected and ill, has not happened before, says chief physician Preben Aavitsland in FHI.

        On Tuesday, FHI sent a team to Ullensaker to go through the details of the outbreak together with the municipal council

      • rufustiresias999
        rufustiresias999 says:

        Google does it very well

    • Kowalainen says:

      Same in Sweden it seems. Double AZ jabs and yet they (elderly) are getting carried out in bags.

  14. Dennis L. says:

    Observation:

    Some here and elsewhere have proposed repurposing past items, goods. JMG wrote a book on this. Issue is this, it is already being done on a fairly advanced scale.

    e.g. trucks – those made before 2010 and DEF command a $20-30K premium over newer trucks, the newer ones don’t work without expensive maintenance. It is the same with farm tractors. Old stuff is being dragged out of the fence rows and put to work.

    Electronics at auction commands damn near nothing, it costs more to transport it than purchase it. On the other hand I have seen old, scruffy guys pull up with a U-haul to a manufacturing plant and take out a load of motors, transformers, etc. Cu, this old stuff is stripped and recycled, the plant itself is laid bare. There are no motors to recycle and repurpose, CU, iron went to China and was repurposed as in melted. Those of you who have been to a salvage yard know it is a different world, not many questions are asked, eyes down.

    Mention has been made of lithium and recycling batteries, it is being done, Tesla and Leaf batteries are recycled into battery walls – many times only a few cells fail, replace those and good as new, sort of. Issue is one of fire, stack several Teslas’ worth of batteries in one place, charge them up with solar and it is a heck of a lot of energy – should become more exciting with capacitor storage.

    Dennis L.

  15. Duncan Idaho says:

    Five reasons why COVID herd immunity is probably impossible
    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00728-2

    Even more likely with anti vax movement.
    Nothing has been eliminated without vaccines.
    But maybe we can get rid of some of the less cognitive population?

    • lidiaseventeen
      lidiaseventeen says:

      Like the majority of people on this commenting stream?

      • Kowalainen says:

        Right, who in their right mind wouldn’t want to be heckled by the court jesters of OFW? That would take some obscene amounts of self entitled ego, self obsession and importance.

        Nah, kill em all so that we can continue our merry way with the dullard elitist eugenics therapy sessions.

        Everybody with half a brain understands that the drama and comedy of ordinary is real.

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      Great article! I have been thinking along the lines of the Nature article for a long time.

      Back in March 2020, I wrote an article It is easy to overdo COVID-19 quarantines

      In it I said, “The aim of coronavirus quarantines is mostly to slow down the spread of the virus, not to stop its spread.”

      Given the extensive geographic spread of COVID-19, there is no chance that quarantines will stop COVID-19 completely. COVID-19 causes some wage loss, but adding quarantines greatly increases wage loss and reduces the total goods and services produced by economies.

      My second March 2020 post was Economies won’t be able to recover after shutdowns

      In it I said, “There is a significant likelihood that the COVID-19 problem is not going away, even if economies can “bend the trend line” with respect to new cases.” We have seen this time and time again. Early thinking was amazingly naive.

      In April 2020, I wrote a post called COVID-19 and oil at $1: Is there a way forward?

      In it I said, The COVID-19 problem, and in fact epidemic problems in general, are not going away.

      The publicity recently has been with respect to the COVID-19 virus and the need to “flatten the curve” of infected individuals, so that the health care system is not overwhelmed. The solutions offered revolve around social distancing. This includes reduced air travel and fewer large gatherings.

      The problem with these solutions is that they make the world’s problems related to slow economic growth and too much debt a great deal worse. Growing businesses are built on economies of scale. Social distancing requirements lead to less efficient use of buildings and furnishings. For example, if a restaurant can only serve 25% as many customers as previously, its overhead quickly becomes too high, relative to the customers it can serve. It needs to lay off workers. Laid off workers add to the problem of low demand for goods like new homes, vehicles and gasoline. Indirectly, they push commodity prices of all kinds down, including oil prices.

      In May 2020, I wrote Understanding Our Pandemic – Economy Predicament.

      In it, I said, We are probably kidding ourselves about ever being able to contain the virus that causes COVID-19.

      We are gradually learning that the virus causing COVID-19 is easily spread, even by people who do not show any symptoms of the disease. The virus can spread long distances through the air. Tests to see if people are ill tend to produce a lot of false negatives; because of this, it is close to impossible to know whether a particular person has the illness or not.

      In June 2020, I wrote COVID-19 and the economy: Where do we go from here?

      The strategy I recommended at that time was

      The only approach that seems to keep the system going a little longer would seem to be to try to muddle along, despite COVID-19. Open up economies, even if the number of COVID-19 cases is higher and keeps rising. Tell people about the approaches they can use to limit their exposure to the virus, and how they can make their immune systems stronger. Get people started raising their vitamin D levels, so that they perhaps have a better chance of fighting the disease if they get COVID-19.

      Cutting off trade and keeping people in their homes seems to lead directly to collapse, as does attempting a transition to renewables.

      In August 2020, I wrote We Need to Change Our COVID-19 Strategy

      This article starts out,

      We would like to think that we can eliminate COVID-19, but doing so is far from certain. The medical system has not been successful in eliminating HIV/AIDS or influenza; the situation with COVID-19 may be similar.

      We are discovering that people with COVID-19 are extremely hard to identify because a significant share of infections are very mild or completely without symptoms. Testing everyone to find the huge number of hidden cases cannot possibly work worldwide. As long as there is hidden COVID-19 elsewhere in the world, the benefit of identifying everyone with the illness in a particular area is limited. The disease simply bounces back, as soon as there is a reduction in containment efforts.

      I also said, We Are Kidding Ourselves if We Think a Vaccine Will Make the Worldwide COVID-19 Problem Disappear. This was based on our lack of success at eliminating other diseases, using vaccines.

      Regarding changing course, I said:

      Somehow, expectations need to be lowered regarding what containment efforts can do. The economy can perhaps protect a few high-risk people, but it cannot protect everyone. Unless COVID-19 stops by itself, a significant share of the world’s population can be expected to catch COVID-19. In fact, some people may get the disease multiple times over their lifetimes.

      If we are forced to live with some level of COVID-19 (just as we are forced to live with some level of forest fires), we need to make this situation as painless as possible. [I then gave some ideas how.]

      We cannot continue to post articles which seem to say that a spike in COVID-19 cases is necessarily “bad.” It is simply the way the situation has to be, if we don’t really have an effective way of containing the coronavirus. The fact that young adults build up immunity, at least for a while, needs to be viewed as a plus.

      Looking back, I wrote six different COVID-19 articles.

      • jj says:

        And everyone of those was a well thought out piece. The trouble is the same trouble with everything Gail. The collective delusion. They dont believe their is anything that can significantly effect BAU. They dont believe that any problem can not be solved with money and or technological means.

        Their is no risk seen to shutting down the world economy

        You want to live longer. eat right and exercise. You still might get a bad hand genetically.

        And every one of us will still die.

        Dieing doesnt ever seem much fun to me.

        We do have intellect. The trouble is their are taboo subjects.

        A patient controlled morphine drip is very compassionate thing if they are in a bad way and checking out.

        So I say. As i have from the first.

        LET HER RIP MORPHINE DRIP

        If the truth is this is a horrible killer and my choice to not take the VAX results in my death my wish would be to be hooked up to a morphine drip in my home.

        Ill pay for it. Not a problem.

        Im in good health. I exercise. I dont drink or smoke.

        I may have already had the thing. I usually get a nasty bug in the winter that moves onto my chest. Both 2019 and 2020 were no exception. a week down time a year. Thats not bad maintenance in my book.

        Never been tested. Never will be. Part of the horror movie fear porn.

        Did i have it? The horrible dreaded wuhan dragon monster that lurks in the dark? Who cares? It didnt kill me. Same as the flu every year. Maybe ill get it and it will kill me. Maybe not. Hasnt yet. I keep up with active kids half my age. most kids unacustomed to labor cant do half what i do. Time is catching up. I like my life I like my body. My guess is I will be around a bit longer. If not duncan can add a checkmark to his stupid person death list. Im OK with it one way or the other. People want to live in fear porn world fir the flu their choice. The time i got left… Dont want to spend it that way.

        What the fear porn mob is saying is just living your life is a bad decision like smoking or weighing 400lbs from not controlling your taste buds. I think their nuts. If just living your life kills you oh well. Im not immortal.

    • jj says:

      Duncan;
      Since you have stated on many occasions you have no problem with stupid people dieing because of over population wouldnt the logical course of action for you and your microbiologist friends to create a virus to implement your stated goals? Or to get them to accept a injection that would implement your stated goals?

      I am reminded of that tobacco company executive being secretly recorded. Patting himself on the back for eliminating useless eaters.

      • “But maybe we can get rid of some of the less cognitive population?”

        Dunc surely knows that most of the people who the virus did “get rid of” were way over the age range for reproduction.

        so the “less cognitive” gene pool was barely affected.

        “Or to get them to accept a injection that would implement your stated goals?”

        yes, “get rid of” by vaccine would indeed target those of reproductive age, but as of now there is no evidence that the vaccines are killing more than a very miniscule % of people.

        • jj says:

          What really happened in wuhan? Was it really a death plague with people drowning in a pink froth, the crematoriums overwhelmed?

          Cause thats sure as hell not what we are seeing.

          What we are seeing is a flu. A nasty bug. That kills older overweight and people with comorbidities. And a occaisonal outlier.

          The VAX. Time will tell. Will the deaths or impairment be correctly attributed to the VAX? Perhaps the VAX deaths will be attributed to a “variant”?

          Just hypothising.

          As far as my question to duncan it is a legitimate question and doesnt nessesarily apply to this current “covid virus” or the MRNA “vaccine”.

          I dont think its a unreasonable question. Its a completely simple and logical progression. His statements are not out of line with VAX heavy Gates. I respect duncans honesty. Im curious. Why wouldnt somone who believes “i have no problem with stupid people dieing the world is overpopulated” not take measures to make it happen since they possess the means to do so. Lets just say I am taking this out of context. Duncan after all was talking about people who refused the VAX as being stupid and their death being OK. Lets assume thats as far as it goes in spite of his radical politics. Because in all likelihood thats the truth. duncan believes in the VAX and his expressed lack of concern for the deaths of the unvaxinated was a extreme expression of that belief. There are hundreds of thousands of people in gain of function research. What are the chances of just one of them having similar feelings about overpopulation as duncan and acting on that belief?

          At this point in time Biological weapons are largely considered as powerful as nuclear weapons. How can we control individuals access to this technology? Is it even possible worldwide? No one is going to sneak out a nuclear weapon in their underwear. They can sneak out a biological weapon by exposing themselves to it.

          Is my question unreasonable?

          “Duncan;
          Since you have stated on many occasions you have no problem with stupid people dieing because of over population wouldnt the logical course of action for you and your microbiologist friends to create a virus to implement your stated goals? Or to get them to accept a injection that would implement your stated goals?”

    • Kowalainen says:

      Right, why even try if it can be combatted the Taiwanese way. Relentless contact tracing, testing and self quarantine.

      Add in some proper PPE’s (FFP3-masks) and PVP-I antiseptics instead of pretending with surgical masks and cheap ass, useless, alcohol sanitizers.

      It was obvious already a year ago, but oh no, the dullard muppets went full bore with their halfwit eugenics project inevitably bound to spectacular failure.

    • All is Dust says:

      Reducing the population? With a survival rate of 99.95% for the under 70s? What on earth are you on about? Surely you’d save move lives if you directed this much attention and resources on actually improving public health? The level of delusion is worrying…

  16. suttercraven
    Michael L'Merchant says:

    Dentists, Optometrists, Podiatrists Can Now Administer COVID-19 Vaccines in the U.S.

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that the agency is amending an emergency declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) to authorize additional medical professionals to administer experimental COVID-19 vaccines being distributed under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

    This announcement was made after President Biden stated that he intends to provide directives to all the states and territories to make all adults over the age of 18 eligible for the experimental COVID-19 vaccines by May 1, 2021.

    Acting HHS Secretary Norris Cochran said:

    As President Biden said last night, the key to getting us back to our lives is increasing vaccinations, and in order to do that, we need more vaccinators. … As vaccine supply ramps up, we want to be sure communities have the help they need to get shots into arms for anyone in the U.S. who wants to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

    Expanding List of Professionals Qualified to Administer COVID-19 Vaccines Under the PREP Act

    The expanded COVID-19 vaccine administration workforce includes the following health professionals, who are currently or previously active within the last five years (retired or non-practicing health providers): dentists, emergency medical technicians (EMT), midwives, nurses, optometrists, paramedics, pharmacists, pharmacy interns, pharmacy technicians, physicians, physician assistant, podiatrist, respiratory therapists and veterinarians.

    Students are also allowed to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to people if they are studying in the following fields: dental, emergency medical technicians (EMT), medical, midwifery, nursing, optometry, paramedic, pharmacy and pharmacy intern, physician assistant, podiatry, respiratory therapy and veterinary.
    https://thevaccinereaction.org/2021/04/dentists-optometrists-podiatrists-can-now-administer-covid-19-vaccines-in-the-u-s/

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      There is currently a big mess with respect to how to get immunizations. Each state has its own rules and priorities. Sign up here, sign up there, somebody might get back to you sometime. People sign up several places, and take the first opportunity that comes up. They don’t cancel the other signups, so there end up being a lot of “No shows.”

      I cannot imagine this change will make the situation any better.

      It is hard to believe that anyone really knows who is vaccinated and who is not. I expect that fake vaccine cards will be available, if someone is looking for them.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        I suspect the organizers of the extermination are just pell-mell pumping the lethal injections into the global community on purpose.. and now they are just waiting for Devil Covid to emerge….

  17. suttercraven
    Michael L'Merchant says:

    Medicare to Double Payment to Administer Vaccines

    Medicare will pay physicians and practices that administer COVID-19 vaccines $40 per dose – nearly double the current payment, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has announced.

    Practices and physicians are required to administer vaccines to eligible recipients free of charge.

    Medicare will pay the associated costs for administering COVID-19 vaccines using three separate current procedural codes (CPT) for doses administered after March 15, 2021:

    91300 for Pfizer/BioNTech
    91301 for Moderna
    91303 for Janssen
    https://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=56000

    • Duncan Idaho says:

      Medicare will pay physicians and practices that administer COVID-19 vaccines $40 per dose –

      Gee, $40 or $100K for a hospitalization?

      Math? Medicine? Or just mentally challenged?

      • 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.
        Gail Tverberg says:

        A lot of people will never be hospitalized, so they are better off making $40 for five minutes work.

      • Fast Eddy says:

        $40 to lethally injection someone? I suppose if you can hire people for minimum wage and get them to act as executioners… you could make a tidy sum… lets say each person can manage 30 per hour x 8 hours… and you have 20 executioners… you are talking SERIOUS cash.

        • Xabier says:

          The docs should hold out for more: the gypsies here will get rid of someone for about £1,000 – and then there, I suppose, is the blackmail hush money to pay.

  18. suttercraven
    Michael L'Merchant says:

    Dr. Michael Yeadon – ‘Your government is lying to you in a way that could lead to your death.’

    ‘Look out the window, and think, “why is my government lying to me about something so fundamental?” Because, I think the answer is, they are going to kill you using this method. They’re going to kill you and your family.’

    Dr. Michael Yeadon, Pfizer’s former Vice President and Chief Scientist for Allergy & Respiratory who spent 32 years in the industry leading new medicines research and retired from the pharmaceutical giant with “the most senior research position” in his field, spoke with LifeSiteNews.

    He addressed the “demonstrably false” propaganda from governments in response to COVID-19, including the “lie” of dangerous variants, the totalitarian potential for “vaccine passports,” and the strong possibility we are dealing with a “conspiracy” which could lead to something far beyond the carnage experienced in the wars and massacres of the 20th century.

    His main points included:

    There is “no possibility” current variants of COVID-19 will escape immunity. It is “just a lie.”

    Yet, governments around the world are repeating this lie, indicating that we are witnessing not just “convergent opportunism,” but a “conspiracy.” Meanwhile media outlets and Big Tech platforms are committed to the same propaganda and the censorship of the truth.

    Pharmaceutical companies have already begun to develop unneeded “top-up” (“booster”) vaccines for the “variants.” The companies are planning to manufacture billions of vials, in addition to the current experimental COVID-19 “vaccine” campaign.

    Regulatory agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency, have announced that since these “top-up” vaccines will be so similar to the prior injections which were approved for emergency use authorization, drug companies will not be required to “perform any clinical safety studies.”

    Thus, this virtually means that design and implementation of repeated and coerced mRNA vaccines “go from the computer screen of a pharmaceutical company into the arms of hundreds of millions of people, [injecting] some superfluous genetic sequence for which there is absolutely no need or justification.”

    Why are they doing this? Since no benign reason is apparent, the use of vaccine passports along with a “banking reset” could issue in a totalitarianism unlike the world has ever seen. Recalling the evil of Stalin, Mao, and Hitler, “mass depopulation” remains a logical outcome.

    The fact that this at least could be true means everyone must “fight like crazy to make sure that system never forms.”
    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/exclusive-former-pfizer-vp-your-government-is-lying-to-you-in-a-way-that-could-lead-to-your-death?utm_source=top_news&utm_campaign=standard

    • Fast Eddy says:

      I am reminded of the series Utopia… a small group works out that there is a depopulation agenda using a vaccine to sterilize most people…

      Initially they try to fight back… but then some of them turn on their cohorts because they realize that reducing population is a good thing…

      Mike is only half way to the finish line… it’s about depopulation … total depopulation … extinction.

      But that is actually a good thing… in light of the energy situation

      • Kowalainen says:

        Assume a vicious alien species comes flying with their stereotypical saucers, in need a new “home”. Or sentient level AGI arises.

        Right after the last bunch of muppets botched themselves to extinction, finding some traces of past “glory” and gunk in the humanoid shenanigan genome and general shitty ass mobley business.

        Now, what would you have done? Shown pity and remorse? Specially when plenty of people in the species in question barely can hold back contempt for their own kin.

        I say,

        LET. IT. BURN.

        Watch me.

        NOT. CARE.

  19. vbaker
    vbaker says:

    Untested Covid-19 Vaccinations – A Recent Example of How Things can go Wrong [r6]

    All present Covid-19 vaccines (including Johnson & Johnson’s modified adenovirus DNA) utilize mRNA at some point to produce spike proteins, which in turn fight the SARS COV 2 virus.

    Despite being in development for over 20 years, no company has ever applied for, let alone been approved to use mRNA vaccine for use in animals, which are the testing grounds before human trails can begin.

    All four of the Covid-19 vaccines have been ‘temporarily’ authorized under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) measures to battle this ‘crisis’. The pharmaceutical companies involved have not provided any data (1) on their experimental progress. As stipulated under EUA, pharmaceutical companies cannot be held responsible for any repercussions that may arise from taking their vaccines. The patient takes 100% responsibility for the risk involved with being vaccinated.

    Currently, over 56,000 medical doctors and practitioners (2) oppose using the mRNA vaccines until human trials have successfully concluded.

    Similar to the Vioxx cover-up (3), which was rushed to market in 1999 due to relaxed oversight and resulted in over 7,000 deaths in Canada alone, we are beginning to see the first unintended consequences of the untested mRNA Covid vaccines (4).

    If you are thinking of receiving the experimental vaccine, now would be a very good time to hold off, as new information is coming to light from doctors who are not involved with the pharmaceutical companies. As with Vioxx, which was on the market for many months before patients started dying, we may be seeing the first cases indicating another dangerous scenario playing out (5)

    Well after the dust had cleared from the Vioxx tragedy, it was estimated that a half million American had lost their lives, or had them dramatically shortened (6). This road has been travelled down before, but this time it involves the entire population.

    :JavaJournalism55

    References:

    1. https://www.nature.com/articles/nbt.3488
    — “Moderna’s scientists have yet to publish a single paper describing its therapeutic platform.”

    2. https://gbdeclaration.org/view-signatures/

    3. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/vioxx-took-deadly-toll-study/article1113848/
    — Paywall archive: https://archive.ph/hlyNo
    — “…an FDA scientist has said his employer silenced his earlier warnings about the drug’s safety.”

    4. https://sorendreier.com/46-residents-in-spanish-nursing-home-die-after-receiving-covid-19-vaccine/
    — “46 Residents in Spanish Nursing Home Die After Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine”

    5. Email JavaJournalism@

    6. https://www.creators.com/read/alexander-cockburn/04/12/when-half-a-million-americans-died-and-nobody-noticed

    Suspected cases of Viral Priming:

    a. https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/covid-19-nine-die-in-trim-nursing-home-despite-having-had-first-vaccination-1.4508545

    • NomadicBeer says:

      This is a great summary. Did you write it or is it from an article? I would like to reference the correct source.

      Thanks!

      • vbaker
        vbaker says:

        Thank you for the encouraging words. This is the first place Ive shared it, as everyone here is considerate and constructive. Ive been working on this for days in an effort to convince people to hold off a bit. Shared under Creative Commons.

        Its the preamble to a series I am writing.

        • Xabier says:

          Excellent, thank you.

          An interesting historical parallel which has more or less disappeared down the memory hole.

          Alas, I’ve noticed that many of those who are eager to get injected are not reasoning at all.

          But the suspensions in the UK and Europe are getting more attention, and are hard for governments to spin positively -except for the very lame ‘But getting Covid is worse, so get jabbed!’

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      It is indeed strange that Moderna and other small drug manufacturers can get away without ever documenting what they are doing and what the results of the analysis are.

      With respect to the many deaths and side effects, I wonder if excessive blood clotting may underlie a lot of them. Blood clots seem to be a fairly common side effect. They would seem to be able to express themselves in different ways, including heart attacks, blindness, and known blood clots. Of course, there could be “bad batches” of vaccine as well.

      I am just a lay person looking at this. It would seem like medical people should have looked at this issue long ago. At a minimum, they should be considering giving all shot recipients a baby aspirin before getting the shots. Perhaps there is a better way, but just ignoring the issue is very strange.

      • vbaker
        vbaker says:

        These are the notes I made from a recent interview provided by someone I consider a whistle blower. The outcomes are in line with what Mike Yeadon is suggesting. I will post the full interview here once I have found a little bit more supporting evidence. It’s challenging to find viable sources.

        <>

        45:30 Vaccination Causes Blood Clots
        * Clots have started to occur due to vaccine following exposure to virus
        * This can be the virus first and then have the vaccine
        * 2012 During testing a CV vaccine for first SARS, mice were at first, but then after exposure to SARS a few months later, clotting occurred in the lungs

        47:30 Pathology is well known
        * Everything that is occurring was expected by the scientists and doctors who followed the 2012/13 SARS study
        * Clotting in the lungs is exactly the expected reaction to viral priming

  20. suttercraven
    Michael L'Merchant says:

    Who remembers all those mystery seeds from China arriving in the United States a year ago?

    Unexpected Merbecovirus discoveries in agricultural sequencing datasets from Wuhan China
    https://arxiv.org/pdf/2104.01533.pdf

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      Sounds like the Wuhan labs let viruses escape into the environment.

      The presence of contaminating reads of potentially human pathogenic MERS-r CoVs within agricultural research datasets, which do not have the same high biosafety standards or protocols as BSL3 laboratories (Klein, 2012; Heckert and Kozlovac, 2014), presents evidence of potential significant public health hazards associated with biosafety laboratories in Wuhan, China. Furthermore, the discovery of the unexpected Merbecovirus sequences, which were actively researched by WIV (Yang et al. 205, Luo et al. 2018), in HZAU datasets indicates potential cross-contamination between WIV and HZAU, both between samples and within multiplexed runs.

      At this point, this PDF is simply an unpublished document, as far as I can see.

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        Sounds like the Wuhan labs let viruses escape into the environment.

        To those who had been infected weeks before, and never been to Wuhan?

        • Kowalainen says:

          Damn right, came down with covid August 2019 after returning from Suzhou, China. Have I done the antibody test? No. Still 99% sure it was the coof. At least the symptoms were.

          So, yeah, I became part of the “eugenics” experiment. There was some “interesting” coincidences with that job that I won’t mention here. (Not biotech related)

          F^}*<€\£# c*nts with their amateur hour halfwit eugenics projects.

          I hope I am wrong. I could have killed my parents…

        • “To those who had been infected weeks before, and never been to Wuhan?”

          dam right.

          obviously people travel FROM Wuhan TO elsewhere, so an escape from the Wuhan Lab in mid 2019 is still a reasonable guess.

          and the fact that Wuhan was the epicenter is enough info to infer that the virus began its spread there and then spread to other places via human movement out of Wuhan.

          this is beginning to feel like ancient history.

  21. suttercraven
    Michael L'Merchant says:

    What did the site leader see in 13 reactions from the J&J drug that necessitated shutting down early, sending 640 people home, and then announce that those who were sent home would be given the Pfizer drug on another day?

    Dick’s Sporting Goods Park vaccine site closes early after 11 patients experience adverse reactions

    COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (KDVR) – UPDATE: Eleven patients experienced adverse reactions to the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine during Wednesday’s mass vaccination event at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, according to a Centura Health representative.

    Medical staff on site determined two individuals required additional observation and out of an abundance of caution, they were transported to nearby hospitals.

    Centura Health said some patients were experiencing symptoms like nausea and dizziness after receiving the vaccine. The patients who were not transported to hospitals were treated with juice and water.
    https://kdvr.com/news/dicks-sporting-goods-park-vaccine-site-shut-down-after-patients-experience-adverse-reactions-to-vaccine/

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      Is this a “batch” problem or a fundamental problem? If it is a batch problem, what does Johnson & Johnson’s quality control look like? We know that 15 million doses were thrown out, because the emergency contractor that the US government set up was so inept that it combined some ingredients of Johnson & Johnson with some of those of AstroZeneca. Are there smaller problems that slip through the quality control process?

      • Xabier says:

        If we recall the testimony of one of the expert witnesses cited by that German lawyer, cited earlier here, she stated that in addition to about 8 yrs of trials, it it generally acknowledged that a year (at least) is required to set up production facilities of high quality and reliability.

        Instead, we are being urged to accept vaccines which have taken less than one year from start to finish – so such batch problems should be no surprise!

    • Fast Eddy says:

      And the CovIDIOTS .. are so frightened… they immediately searched for other lethal injection venues!!!

  22. suttercraven
    Michael L'Merchant says:

    Universal basic income among policies to be debated at Liberal policy convention

    The federal Liberals are poised to debate a wide range of policy ideas, including proposals for universal basic income and national standards for long-term care, at a convention this week that will lay out direction for the party ahead of a possible federal election.

    The convention is taking place at a critical moment for the Liberals, who are preparing for the prospect of a forthcoming campaign less than two years into their minority mandate. The Trudeau government is also in the midst of grappling with challenges including a third wave of COVID-19, questions about the speed of inoculations and plans to boost the economy now in a recession. The Liberals maintain they do not want an election and are focused on their pandemic response.
    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-universal-basic-income-among-policies-to-be-debated-at-liberal-policy/

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      It would be nice if Liberals could print goods as well as payment certificates.

    • NomadicBeer says:

      If UBI becomes a reality in Canada, the chances of the leak being real go to 90%.
      Even the fact that UBI is talked about exactly on schedule is scary.

      • and the talk will continue.

        but UBI is a reediculous MMT-ish type of concept, and a nationwide implementation is highly unlikely.

        then again, the concept of UBI has been around for MANY years, and other strange economics have been implemented already, so the future could get even stranger.

        but the talk will continue.

      • JMS says:

        In fact a basic income has been in place for many years in several European countries. In PT it is called Minimum Guaranteed Income and benefits unemployed families, especially if they have children.

        And with the covidemic, thousands of workers whose job has disappeared or been suspended are now receiving an emergency grant.

        I believe that some kind of UBI will be implemented, but not that it can go on for many years, of course, since it’s sheer nonsense to pay people for nothing.

        • yes it is sheer nonnsense.

          “In fact a basic income has been in place for many years in several European countries.”

          the Leak is certainly not a profound document with original amazing ideas.

          it’s a concoction of past ideas and actions, predicting UBI that as you say already exists elsewhere.

          the Leak also predicted that the virus would mutate in 2021, wow!

          as if viruses never mutated before now!

          and the Leak “predicts” supply chain disruptions, which actually have been ongoing in the world since early 2020.

          wow!

          • JMS says:

            The canadian leak rings true and seems plausible to anyone who is convinced, like me, that this crisis was fabricated.
            For people who can believe the “2-planes-razed-3-towers” type of narrative, any idea of conspiracy seems almost by definition prepostorous and totally unacceptable.
            Personally, I find a waste of time to discuss politics with anyone who believes in Official Versions about pivotal historical events.

            • yes, it rings true because it can hardly fail because it keeps on “predicting the past”.

              it “predicted” UBI, viruses mutating, and supply chain disruptions.

              ALL things that have happened previous to 2021.

              it’s no wonder that it “rings true”.

        • There is no “Leak”.
          It’s just another fake document that paranoid conspirators get exited about.

          • lidiaseventeen
            lidiaseventeen says:

            Maybe. If someone had told you three years ago that people would be locked in their homes the world over, banned from leaving their countries, that people would be eager to be injected with an experimental gene therapy and that we’d be denied access to anywhere outside of our home without a smart-phone app that tracked our movements and our medical history… all because of what is essentially the flu, with a 99.9% recovery rate…

            ..you’d probably have said that person was a paranoid conspiracy theorist.

  23. suttercraven
    Michael L'Merchant says:

    Over Half (53%) of Canadian Households $200 or Less Away from Insolvency, Yet Still Optimistic about Financial Future

    Toronto, ON, April 8, 2021 — After several months of going through a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are signs that Canadians are starting to feel more positive towards their personal finances. Now in its sixteenth wave, the MNP Consumer Debt Index, conducted quarterly by Ipsos, tracks Canadians’ attitudes about their debt situation and their ability to meet their monthly payment obligations. The Index currently stands at 96 points, up seven points over December 2020, offering a sign that things could be looking up for Canadians as the country cautiously re-opens.

    Pinched Financially, but Still Optimistic
    While things may seem on the up-and-up, the Index has also found that households are reporting having less money left over at the end of the month ($625 on average, -$108 from December). This decline could be the result of generous government aid programs and debt holidays given by lenders simply having run their course. Canadian households may be discovering that their bills are becoming due, even if many may not be back to full-time employment.

    Potential Debt Trap as Low-Interest Spending Continues
    With interest rates having remained low in 2020, some Canadians have seen opportunities to take advantage of favourable rates to make purchases not normally within their budget. Six in ten (59%) believe that now is a good time to buy things that they otherwise might not be able to afford (-2 from December). In addition, nearly half (49%) say they’re more relaxed about carrying debt than they usually are (+2), rising to more than half (53%) of those aged 18-34 and 60% among those living in Quebec.

    Despite the uncertainty brought by the pandemic, bad financial habits are still in evidence. With interest rates potentially set to increase in 2021, over four in ten (44%) are afraid that they will be in financial trouble if rates go up much more, and four in ten (40%) are already beginning to feel the effects of interest rates increasing. Furthermore, over half (51%) are concerned about their ability to repay their debts if interest rates rise. Those aged 18-34 (59%) and 35-54 (59%) are more likely to be concerned about their ability to repay their debts if interest rates rise, compared to those aged 55+ (40%).

    About four in ten (35%) are concerned that rising interest rates could move them towards bankruptcy, rising to over half (52%) among those aged 18-34 and those living in Atlantic Canada. This concern is also prominent among those who have a household income under $40,000 (42%).
    https://www.ipsos.com/en-ca/over-half-53-canadian-households-200-or-less-away-insolvency-yet-still-optimistic-about-financial

    • 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.
      Gail Tverberg says:

      Having a large group of citizens who could be near bankruptcy if the economy does not bounce back is certainly not good.

      It is not just citizens that are likely near bankruptcy. The value of a lot of property is now very much lower because stores will never reopen or because businesses will choose to have much smaller downtown offices. Leases are being negotiated at lower monthly rates. Malls are not financially viable. Clearly the debt underlying a lot of this property will never be repaid.

      • Sam says:

        Yes and a lot of other properties at 50 percent higher. Not a good balance. Next stop for the FED to try and get home prices back to normal??

      • Dennis L. says:

        Gail,

        Respectfully disagree, print enough money, debt goes pfft! Problem is there is not enough stuff which makes excess over even operational costs, let alone non cash depreciation costs for people to earn a livelihood.

        The other problem is doing anything seems to require almost super human intellectual effort or sacrifice of the human body – e.g. mason, body shot at fifty years of age; good income to that point.

        Meanwhile, agronomists in IA are predicting a rag weed problem; ugh, MN is just north of IA, bummer.

        Dennis L.

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