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The explanation for the rise in stock prices is easy.

This is not difficult to figure out.

The pandemic is over. Conquered. Smitten.

We’re on to cranking the economy, the stockmarket and hence, winning the presidential election.

Asset values are skyrocketing because there’s huge money sloshing around.

As stocks boom (e.g. today), more money will slosh into them, driving stock prices even higher.

You could posit a depressing story. And it’s one that has many of us staring at the headlights:

Millions of people are unemployed, hundreds of thousands are getting sick (2.9 million in total so far), thousands are dying each day (a total of 130,000 so far). These are awful numbers. But they’re not public stocks — which are big, not shuttered, companies, benefiting by advancing technology and exploding demand for their services from the lucky, stay-at-home workers.

Hence today’s boom. Here’s the last three months of Nasdaq, where most of our “action” is.

Nasdaq looks spectacular until you compare it to stocks like Amazon, Shopify, Zoom which have done even better. The usual suspects.

Nasdaq, which looked great in the chart above, now looks positively puny in the chart below.

My forecasts — until the sh*t hits the fan and I don’t think it will, since we’re about to see buckets of  government money printing — our usual suspects will continue to do well. My money is on them. You can find my list of favored stocks in the right hand on the blog. Click here.

How the rosy picture is being painted 

+ From yesterday’s Washington Post:

On CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday morning, host Margaret Brennan gave viewers an unusual peek behind the booking curtain. “We think it’s important for our viewers to hear from Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control,” she said to the camera. “But we have not been able to get our requests for Dr. Fauci approved by the Trump administration in the last three months, and the CDC not at all. We will continue our efforts.” CBS isn’t the only media outlet with this issue: Fauci and other key health-policy figures on the administration’s coronavirus task force have been largely pulled from the airwaves in recent weeks while cases surge nationwide. Their absence makes sense, though, when you realize that even in the midst of this deadly pandemic, the administration’s top priority is the president’s image.

For the full article, click here.

+ From The Atlantic magazine, is a huge article by James Fallows (a writer whom I admire) titled

The 3 Weeks That Changed Everything
Imagine if the National Transportation Safety Board investigated America’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Coping with a pandemic is one of the most complex challenges a society can face. To minimize death and damage, leaders and citizens must orchestrate a huge array of different resources and tools. Scientists must explore the most advanced frontiers of research while citizens attend to the least glamorous tasks of personal hygiene. Physical supplies matter—test kits, protective gear—but so do intangibles, such as “flattening the curve” and public trust in official statements. The response must be global, because the virus can spread anywhere, but an effective response also depends heavily on national policies, plus implementation at the state and community level. Businesses must work with governments, and epidemiologists with economists and educators. Saving lives demands minute-by-minute attention from health-care workers and emergency crews, but it also depends on advance preparation for threats that might not reveal themselves for many years. I have heard military and intelligence officials describe some threats as requiring a “whole of nation” response, rather than being manageable with any one element of “hard” or “soft” power or even a “whole of government” approach. Saving lives during a pandemic is a challenge of this nature and magnitude….

It is a challenge that the United States did not meet. During the past two months, I have had lengthy conversations with some 30 scientists, health experts, and past and current government officials—all of them people with firsthand knowledge of what our response to the coronavirus pandemic should have been, could have been, and actually was. The government officials had served or are still serving in the uniformed military, on the White House staff, or in other executive departments, and in various intelligence agencies. Some spoke on condition of anonymity, given their official roles. As I continued these conversations, the people I talked with had noticeably different moods. First, in March and April, they were astonished and puzzled about what had happened. Eventually, in May and June, they were enraged. “The president kept a cruise ship from landing in California, because he didn’t want ‘his numbers’ to go up,” a former senior government official told me. He was referring to Donald Trump’s comment, in early March, that he didn’t want infected passengers on the cruise ship Grand Princess to come ashore, because “I like the numbers being where they are.” Trump didn’t try to write this comment off as a “joke,” his go-to defense when his remarks cause outrage, including his June 20 comment in Tulsa that he’d told medical officials to “slow the testing down, please” in order to keep the reported case level low. But the evidence shows that he has been deadly earnest about denying the threat of COVID-19, and delaying action against it.

“Look at what the numbers are now,” this same official said, in late April, at a moment when the U.S. death toll had just climbed above 60,000, exceeding the number of Americans killed in the Vietnam War. By late June, the total would surpass 120,000—more than all American military deaths during World War I. “If he had just been paying attention, he would have asked, ‘What do I do first?’ We wouldn’t have passed the threshold of casualties in previous wars. It is a catastrophic failure.”…

During the Obama administration, the U.S. had negotiated to have its observers stationed in many cities across China, through a program called Predict. But the Trump administration did not fill those positions, including in Wuhan. This meant that no one was on site to learn about, for instance, the unexplained closure on January 1 of the city’s main downtown Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, a so-called wet market where wild animals, live or already killed, were on sale along with fish and domesticated animals. It was at this market that the first animal-to-human transfer of the virus is generally thought to have occurred, probably from a bat. But by that time, as Marisa Taylor of Reuters first reported, the Trump administration had removed dozens of CDC representatives in China.

Nonetheless, information came in. By the final days of December, and no later than January 1, a warning would have appeared in the President’s Daily Brief—the classified summary of international developments distilled from all intelligence agencies and passed to the president and a handful of advisers. “It was in the briefings by the beginning of January,” a person involved in preparing the president’s briefing book told me. “On that there is no dispute.” This person went on: “But knowing it is in the briefing book is different from knowing whether the president saw it.” He didn’t need to spell out his point, which was: Of course this president did not. …

In addition to America’s destruction of its own advance-warning system, by removing CDC and Predict observers, the Trump administration’s bellicose tone toward China had an effect. Many U.S. officials stressed that a vicious cycle of blame and recrimination made public health an additional source of friction between the countries, rather than a sustained point of cooperation, as it had been for so many years. Through Trump’s time in office, official American attitudes toward China have been a mixture of servility and truculence. Trump himself has been almost as personally flattering and subservient to Xi Jinping as he has been to Vladimir Putin. In his speeches and tweets he has emphasized that Xi is a “great leader” and his personal friend. (And if former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s account is to be believed, Trump told Xi that he liked the idea that Xi was holding Muslim Uighurs in concentration camps in Xinjiang.) But at the official level, Trump’s administration has been as hostile to China as Trump sounds in his rally speeches, when he utters “Chy-nah” as if the word itself were profane. Visa allowances have been tightened; long-standing cooperative arrangements have been cut; “thought leaders” of the administration, from Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo onward (but not including Trump, who is a “tone leader”), have suggested that it’s time for a new Cold War, with China as the existential foe. …

Anything that Barack Obama had recommended, Donald Trump was predisposed to ignore. Of the many lies Trump and his defenders have spun, none is more flatly false than the claim, as stated by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in May, that the Obama administration “did not leave … any kind of game plan for something like this.”

In response to McConnell’s claim, Ron Klain tweeted about the official pandemic playbook left for Obama’s successors. McConnell, surprisingly, retracted his statement—but the White House spokesperson, Kayleigh McEnanythen claimed that whatever “thin packet of paper” Obama had left was inferior to a replacement that the Trump administration had supposedly cooked up, but which has never been made public. The 69-page, single-spaced Obama-administration document is officially called “Playbook for Early Response to High-Consequence Infectious Disease Threats and Biological Incidents” and is freely available online. It describes exactly what the Trump team was determined not to do.

What I found remarkable was how closely the Obama administration’s recommendations tracked with those set out 10 years earlier by the George W. Bush administration, in response to its chastening experience with bird flu. The Bush-era work, called “National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza” and publicly available here, differs from the Obama-era playbook mainly in the simpler forms of technology on which it could draw. But the premises, recommendations, and warnings are fundamentally similar in each—and at complete odds with the “let’s just ignore it” nature of the Trump administration’s response.

The Bush report explained clearly why new diseases would inevitably emerge, and why they would constitute a severe threat to national security in the broadest terms. Its central premise was the importance of working seamlessly with other governments so as to contain outbreaks before they spread worldwide. “Given the rapid speed of transmission and the universal susceptibility of human populations, an outbreak of pandemic influenza anywhere poses a risk to populations everywhere,” the report explained. “Our international effort to contain and mitigate the effects of an outbreak of pandemic influenza beyond our borders is a central component of our strategy to stop, slow, or limit the spread of infection to the United States.”

I’m tempted to devote the next 20 pages of this article to quoting whole passages from the Bush report. But here is a sample—and remember, this was an official assessment by the U.S. government more than a dozen years before the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed:

The animal population serves as a reservoir for new influenza viruses … It is impossible to predict whether the H5N1 virus [in 2005] will lead to a pandemic, but history suggests that if it does not, another novel influenza virus will emerge at some point in the future and threaten an unprotected human population.

The economic and societal disruption of an influenza pandemic could be significant. Absenteeism across multiple sectors related to personal illness, illness in family members, fear of contagion, or public health measures to limit contact with others could threaten the functioning of critical infrastructure, the movement of goods and services, and operation of institutions such as schools and universities. A pandemic would thus have significant implications for the economy, national security, and the basic functioning of society.

For the full engrossing (but depressing) article, click here.

Trumpian “logic”

If I don’t weigh myself, I will never know the full extent of my advancing disaster.

Zoe and her beloved iPad 

Zoe is not yet three. Yet she plays her pink iPad and matching pink headphones like a Stradivarius.

What a joy having her and sister Sophie in for the weekend. Sophie’s headphones are blue.

I managed to play my 114th consecutive day of tennis this morning. Early.

See you tomorrow. Harry Newton

 

  • Dman

    Harry, ask your daughter how many sealed indictments are now registered on Pacer. I’ve heard it’s north of 170,000.

    The Great Awakening
    Trust The Plan
    WWG1WGA
    Future Proves Past
    Enjoy The Show
    Q

    Harry, did you ask your moron son if Q is real?

  • Dman

    #Adrenochrome

    ……..that’s going to be a huge problem Harry.

    The Great Awakening
    Trust The Plan
    WWG1WGA
    Future Proves Past
    Enjoy The Show
    Q

    Don’t worry Harry, soon you’ll be able to go home, Cuomo, deBlasio and Sharpton will get it all straightened out soon enough….LOLOL!!!!!

  • Dman

    Harry…….Trump has removed the U.S. form any obligation to the satanic World Health Organization. Is the Flynn missing FBI 302 about to surface? AG Barr takes Dow Toledo, Ohio corrupt democrats. And then there’s that little problem called Ghislaine Maxwell.
    Cuomo and deBlasio are going to prison. Cuomo is on the Epstein flight-log, as if he didn’t have enough problems.
    The Great Awakening
    Trust The Plan
    WWG1WGA
    Future Proves Past
    Q
    ……..guess “who” owns the Looking-Glass? You’ll find out….LOLOL!!!!!!

    Harry…….when is deBlasio going to cage the NYC savages? I know you want to go home……LOLOL!!!!!!

  • Dman

    Harry…….Trump has removed the U.S. form any obligation to the satanic World Health Organization. Is the Flynn missing FBI 302 about to surface? AG Barr takes Dow Toledo, Ohio corrupt democrats. And then there’s that little problem called Ghislaine Maxwell.
    Cuomo and deBlasio are going to prison. Cuomo is on the Epstein flight-log, as if he didn’t have enough problems.
    The Great Awakening
    Trust The Plan
    WWG1WGA
    Future Proves Past
    Q
    ……..guess “who” owns the Looking-Glass? You’ll find out….LOLOL!!!!!!

  • Dman

    Harry…….Trump has removed the U.S. for any obligation to the satanic World Health Organization. Is the Flynn missing FBI 302 about to surface? AG Barr takes Dow Toledo, Ohio corrupt democrats. And then there’s that little problem called Ghislaine Maxwell.

    Cuomo and deBlasio are going to prison. Cuomo is on the Epstein flight-log, as if he didn’t have enough problems.

    The Great Awakening
    Trust The Plan
    WWG1WGA
    Future Proves Past
    Q

  • TomFromVa

    I asked one of my racquetball buddies what kind of toys kids play with today. He said “Oh, my smartphone is her favorite.”

    I asked him what she could do with it. “Play games, watch movies, take pictures – there’s only 1 function she can’t use.” “Oh, what’s that?” “She can’t use it as a telephone. She is not quite 2 and she can’t talk yet.”