So we’re supposed to wear masks when we go out, right? Anybody know where I can get a mask? A bandanna, you say? I’m gonna put a bandanna over my mouth & nose, and walk into a bank? Uh, I don’t think so.
Geez but the world has gotten even crazier than before. The market was up today because Trump said he talked to MBS and it’s all gonna be good. They’re gonna cut 10,000 barrels a day out of production. OK. Where’d that number come from? Out of his butt, most likely. And if they did cut it out, just where would they put it? They can’t just turn off the pumps and wait 10 days to start it all up again. They have to find places to store that gooey stuff. I know, how about cruise ships? They have plenty of room right now. Just be a little messy after they drain it all out.
We are still waiting for John to finish up work and for the kids to get the rest of that stuff out so we can finish re-arranging furniture and so I can have my writing space back. Right now I have a net of about 1 hour a day in this space. That’s just about enough to check on bill paying and such, and to write this blog piece. Otherwise, it’s John’s office during the day and bedroom at night. Yet, Emily’s old room is not occupied, except with about ten tons of her stuff left behind. Moving is hard.
Cvirus got the elder Marsalis patriach in New Orleans. John Prine apparently is intubated and still alive, but for how long nobody knows. He has heart issues, so that doesn’t bode well for him. I just pray to give him a little peace. He deserves it.
I told Erik today that the current situation is like an etch a sketch. You know, the box with the little knobs you turn to make some kind of drawing? If you don’t like what you drew, you just give the box a shake and you start over again. Well, Cvirus has given us a giant shake. A pessimist would bemoan the loss of the old ways. I am an optimist, so I say that giant shake will make things better in many ways. I believe you’re going to see a resurgence of union activity. The ‘gig’ economy could become a thing of the past. Unfortunately, I think nationalism will rear its ugly head too. You know that is almost always a precursor to some kind of war, so that’s a thing to worry about.
With 6.6 million people filing for unemployment this week, including Robin who was able to do so online after many attempts, something needs to happen and soon. Mohamed Al Arian wrote a piece on Bloomberg News yesterday, suggesting these four things need to be resolved before there can be any economic recovery. They are:
- The duration and severity of the economic sudden stops caused by the coronavirus, something that will be determined by medical issues and not economic and financial ones.
- The time it takes for the policy-driven cash to get to struggling businesses and households and, therefore, to prevent liquidity problems from becoming more devastating solvency ones; and how some of the more financially exposed countries, including in the emerging world, will afford the required policy interventions.
- The tricky restart for interconnected national, regional and global economies that were never wired to withstand a sudden stop well.
- The changes to the post-crisis landscape that will include greater emphasis on resilience and a move away from efficiency; a lot more corporate debt in the context of poorer earnings prospects for many companies; a much larger differentiation between winners and losers; much greater entanglement of governments in private-sector activity; and a deglobalization trend, just to name a few of what is already a full one-page list I have on my desk.
I think he’s a very smart guy, and what he says makes absolute sense. According to Mnuchin, the checks will start going out April 9th, and will continue until all 150 million recipients get theirs. But a more difficult aspect of the legislation is the loans/grants from the SBA, administered through local banks. They have no instruction on how to proceed, and likely won’t do anything until it’s clear they aren’t jeopardizing their own financial well being because the government can’t figure out what they’re doing. So that part will drag on, much to the detriment of the restaurants, bars, dentists’ offices and the like that could use that money to pay their people until this gets resolved. Those folks will get paid, either through those government-supported wages or through unemployment. If not, then there will be armed uprisings in the streets, social isolation be damned. For sure, it’s like an episode of The Walking Dead, only instead of zombies, you have laid-off bartenders and dental hygienists. A scary thought indeed.
That’s enough for today. My temperature is either 98.6° or 97.9° F. I took it twice. Luego.