Wednesday , April 8 2020
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Mike Shedlock

Mike Shedlock

Mike Shedlock (Mish) is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management (http://www.sitkapacific.com/). Sitka Pacific is an asset management firm whose goal is strong performance and low volatility, regardless of market direction.

Articles by Mike Shedlock

Corporations Rush to Borrow Money While They Still Can

3 days ago

DBG848914 minsIt’s really very simple…
If you’re uncertain about the future, but have the ability to borrow a shitload of money, why not do it?
The smart play would be to borrow it and then do nothing with it. If it all blows over, you pay it off, and if not, you may not have to.
Personally, I don’t do debt and I am not going to start now even if it think I might get "free money". My partners will be taking advantage of the PPP however. And I don’t begrudge them that – I see it as an opportunity to get back some of the tax money we’ve all been paying.

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A Bronx Zoo Tiger Tests Positive for Coronavirus

3 days ago

Nadia, a 4-year-old female Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo, has tested positive for COVID-19. She, her sister Azul, two Amur tigers, and three African lions had developed a dry cough and all are expected to recover.

This positive COVID-19 test for the tiger was confirmed by USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory, based in Ames, Iowa.

We tested the cat out of an abundance of caution and will ensure any knowledge we gain about COVID-19 will contribute to the world’s continuing understanding of this novel coronavirus.

Though they have experienced some decrease in appetite, the cats at the Bronx Zoo are otherwise doing well under veterinary care and are bright, alert, and interactive with their keepers. It is not known how this disease will develop in big cats since different

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Coronavirus Deaths: How Badly Undercounted Are They?

3 days ago

Inconsistent protocols, limited resources, and a patchwork of decision-making has led to a Significant Understatement of Coronavirus-Related Deaths.

Across the United States, even as coronavirus deaths are being recorded in terrifying numbers — many hundreds each day — the true death toll is likely much higher.

In many rural areas, coroners say they don’t have the tests they need to detect the disease. Doctors now believe that some deaths in February and early March, before the coronavirus reached epidemic levels in the United States, were likely misidentified as influenza or only described as pneumonia.

Late last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance for how to certify coronavirus deaths, underscoring the need for uniformity and reinforcing the sense

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Covid Tracking Project and Tweets of the Day

4 days ago

Despite the favorable change in the slope of hospitalizations and deaths, we are still looking at some pretty grim statistics unless we quickly see further changes for the better.
IF the current trends continue, we are looking at 100,000 cumulative hospitalizations by April 11 (call it mid-month) and 100,000 deaths by April 21 (call it end of the month).
I suspect we will see more slope changes, yet I am pessimistic about states late to the lockdown party like Florida and Texas.
I wonder if the 100,000 to 200,000 death forecast by Dr. Anthony Fauci is purposely high. Why? So Trump can brag about a glorious victory of only 60,000 to 100,000 total deaths.
Regardless, I will be optimistic and take a stab at 50,000 deaths by early May. If so, the total count will be on the low end, say 80,000

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“Guerre des Masques” the War of the Masks

4 days ago

Jojo17 hrsHere in CA, the latest edict from our political/health overlords is that we can no longer bring reusable bags into stores. We have to accept their bags at 10-25 cents each (of which we do not know their providence or how safe they are)! Of course, the stores don’t seem to have a problem taking our cash payment, which comes from outside the store and may be filthy with the virus.
What’s next, handing out booties at the door because the virus might be on our shoes? Making us wear gloves and hair nets? Even full ponchos?
In the local Safeway store, traffic in the aisles is one direction only and they are supposed to maintain 2 cart distance between people. They have also installed red squares for people to stand on to maintain proper separation distance and only a limited

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Covid Tracking Project and Tweets of the Day

5 days ago

There has been some flattening of the curves as well as an interesting but not unexpected development: Hospitalizations lag cases and deaths lag hospitalizations.
The latter is more reliable as the former is a function of the number of tests. But tests or not, if people get sick enough, they go to the hospital and a portion of them will die.
It is the hospitalization trend that matters most.
I may work on a hospitalization chart next as the Covid Tracking Projects recently added new data items including ICU cases and current vs total hospitalizations.
It is current hospitalizations and ICU data that I believe will predict the trend of future deaths.
The Covid Tracking Project does a brilliant job even though it is hard for me to keep up with format changes.
On Ventilators in New Jersey

A

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Investigating the Claim “Countries Trying to Get Out of Treasuries”

5 days ago

Stuki5 hrsWhile someone has to hold everyone of them, and trade deficits do ensure someone will, how much others are willing to give up, in exchange for one of them, can very easily be reduced.
Chinese producers previously willing to hand over three ventilators and a million N95 masks in exchange for given stack of treasuries, no longer being willing to hand over more than one of the former and a tenth of the latter, is till problematic.
Much of the world have been willing to accept US IOUs, because they believed there was something, anything, of value backing those IOUs. IOW, they’d eventually be able to get something of real value in exchange for them. The more obvious it becomes that this belief was erroneous, the less real goods and services each IOU is able to command. Which does

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Vehicle Sales Plunge by 5.5 Million Units, Most Since 1987

5 days ago

The 1987 stat is somewhat misleading because it was preceded by unprecedented surges.
Total Vehicle Sales vs Lightweight Vehicle Sales​

Vehicle Sales Month Over Month

On a month-over-month basis, sales fell 32.15%. On a percentage basis, this is more than 987 but less than the 35.37% decline in September 2009.
There is no reason to expect a huge rebound in sales.
Incomes and savings have been clobbered by layoffs that have just started.
As noted earlier day, Unemployment Rate Jumps to 4.4% But Worst is Yet to Come
I expect the unemployment rate to hit at least 12% in April and more likely something close to 20%.
A deep recession is coming up.
For discussion, please see Covid-19 Recession Will Be Deeper Than the Great Financial Crisis
Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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Unemployment Rate Jumps to 4.4% But Worst is Yet to Come

5 days ago

​​Initial Reaction
The headline jobs number fell by 701,00. The Econoday forecast was -150,000 jobs. But none of the numbers reflect the surge in unemployment claims in the last two weeks.
As noted yesterday today’s Jobs Report Will Look Far Better Than It Really Is

In the household survey, the reference period is generally the calendar week that contains the 12th day of the month. In the establishment survey, the reference period is the pay period including the 12th, which may or may not correspond directly to the calendar week.

The mass layoffs mostly started after the BLS competed its surveys.
Forget about -701,000. There are at least 10 million more unemployed than reported today.
The BLS provided this note today.

In March, the unemployment rate increased by 0.9 percentage point to

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Coronavirus Update and Tweets of the Day: It’s Damn Ugly

6 days ago

Navy Ship to Offload Patients Only Has 3 So Far

Inexcusable Ignorance in Georgia

About that Fed Stockpile

It’s for us dammit, not for states, says senior White House advisor.
California Cases Top 1,000 Three Days

NYC Overwhelmed

Coronavirus Lingers in the Air

4-6 Weeks of Hell

National Strategy Suboptimal

Should we wait until we are out of ventilators and people die? Would that be enough data?
Lack of Ventilators Kills First Person

Rationing supplies hits the US.
In case you Need a Laugh

Navy Fires Captain of Aircraft Carrier

Speak up, be honest, try to protect the sailors …. Get Fired

Dr. Fauci on Face Masks

Dr. Birx on People Following the Recommendations

We know they are not simply by watching the curve.
Dr. Fauci calls for National Lockdown

"If you look

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Trump Tweet Sends Oil Up 20% But Demand Prevails

6 days ago

Trump Calls on Saudi Crown Prince

How Big a Supply Cut?

Disbelief Prevails
Bloomberg reports Trump’s Push for Huge Deal to Cut Oil Supply Draws Disbelief

After the president’s social-media intervention on Thursday, oil traders are frantically assessing whether Saudi Arabia, Russia and possibly even the U.S. — the world’s three biggest producers — are poised to strike a once-unthinkable grand bargain to cut daily supplies in unison by 10 million to 15 million barrels.

It’s unclear whether it’s feasible — or even legal — for such a coalition to come together.

“The more people are at the table, the more difficult it is to get a deal,” said Pierre Andurand, whose Andurand Commodities Fund soared more than 140% last month through bearish bets on crude. “I find it difficult to believe

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Tomorrow’s Jobs Report Will Look Far Better Than It Really Is

6 days ago

In the past two weeks initial unemployment claims soared by nearly 10 million. That’s enough by itself to cause a huge spike in the unemployment rate.
The monthly jobs report comes out on the first Friday of every month. That’s tomorrow, April 3.
But tomorrow’s numbers will be wildly wrong because the bulk of the claims and layoffs fall outside the BLS Reference Period.

The establishment survey provides information on employment, hours, and earnings of employees on nonfarm payrolls; the data appear in the "B" tables, marked ESTABLISHMENT DATA. BLS collects these data each month from the payroll records of a sample of nonagricultural business establishments. Each month the CES program surveys about 145,000 businesses and government agencies, representing approximately 697,000 individual

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Unemployment Claims More Than Double Last Week’s Record Total

6 days ago

Initial Claims vs Continued Claims

Notes
This week’s initial claims (6.648 million) exceeds the highest ever continued unemployment claims (6.635 million).
The two week total of initial claims is 9.955 million
Prior to the last two weeks, the previous high in initial claims was 695,000, set in 1982.
There will be another surge next week as state servers are still flooded with calls.
Household Survey February 2020

Based on the hard numbers, the number of unemployed will go up by at least 10 million. But states are still scrambling to handle the surge in claims. Another 5 million or more are likely in the pipeline.
If we assume a total of 15 million, the unemployment rate would be (15 million + 5.787 million) / 164.546 million = 12.63%.
We will not necessarily hit that number in

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Shedlock: Recession Will Be Deeper Than The Great Financial Crisis

6 days ago

Economists at IHS Markit downgraded their economic forecast to a deep recession.

Please consider COVID-19 Recession to be Deeper Than That of 2008-2009

Our interim global forecast is the second prepared in March and is much more pessimistic than our 17 March regularly scheduled outlook. It is based on major downgrades to forecasts of the US economy and oil prices. The risks remain overwhelmingly on the downside and further downgrades are almost assured.IHS Markit now believes the COVID-19 recession will be deeper than the one following the global financial crisis in 2008-09. Real world GDP should plunge 2.8% in 2020 compared with a drop of 1.7% in 2009. Many key economies will see double-digit declines (at annualized rates) in the second quarter, with the contraction continuing into

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What Can Orangutans Teach Humans About the Coronavirus Threat?

7 days ago

Carl_R11 hrsIn other news, the head of the WHO, "Dr." Tedros has now reached the point where he “deeply concerned” about the rapid escalation and global spread of the virus. I guess now we know how far a pandemic has to spread before he gets concerned.
In addition, after studying it for two months, the WHO’s technical lead, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, has concluded that “COVID-19 is a real threat".

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Fed “Temporarily” Blesses More Leverage: What’s Really Going On?

7 days ago

Another Bazooka to Nowhere
In yet another act of Fed desperation, Big Banks Get Blessing to Extend Leverage.

To ease strains in the Treasury market resulting from the coronavirus and increase banking organizations’ ability to provide credit to households and businesses, the Federal Reserve Board on Wednesday announced a temporary change to its supplementary leverage ratio rule. The change would exclude U.S. Treasury securities and deposits at Federal Reserve Banks from the calculation of the rule for holding companies, and will be in effect until March 31, 2021.

Liquidity conditions in Treasury markets have deteriorated rapidly, and financial institutions are receiving significant inflows of customer deposits along with increased reserve levels. The regulatory restrictions that accompany

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Covid-19 Recession Will Be Deeper Than the Great Financial Crisis

7 days ago

Please consider COVID-19 Recession to be Deeper Than That of 2008-2009

Our interim global forecast is the second prepared in March and is much more pessimistic than our 17 March regularly scheduled outlook. It is based on major downgrades to forecasts of the US economy and oil prices. The risks remain overwhelmingly on the downside and further downgrades are almost assured.

IHS Markit now believes the COVID-19 recession will be deeper than the one following the global financial crisis in 2008-09. Real world GDP should plunge 2.8% in 2020 compared with a drop of 1.7% in 2009. Many key economies will see double-digit declines (at annualized rates) in the second quarter, with the contraction continuing into the third quarter.

It will likely take two to three years for most economies to

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Florida Governor Finally Restricts Movement To Essential Services

7 days ago

The Wall Street Journal reports Florida Governor, Under Pressure, to Limit Movement.
*Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Under Pressure, Issues Statewide Order Limiting Movement to Essential Services
*Governor Had Left Stay-at-Home Orders to Local Officials
One Hell of an Experiment
Florida is one hell of an experiment.
Governor Ron DeSantis left decisions to local governments.
Many beaches were open and it was business as usual except the state had an eye out for New York license plates.
The governor’s decision comes a day after Trump Warns Big Death Toll Is Coming
The White House projects 100,000 to 240,000 deaths and Doctors Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci pleaded for social distancing.
"No magic bullet. No magic vaccine or therapy. It’s just behavior," says Dr. Birx.
"This is tough. People are

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Cat Catches Coronavirus, Quarantined for Two Weeks

7 days ago

A domestic cat in Belgium has been infected with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus that’s spreading across the globe, the government’s FPS Public Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment announced March 27, according to news reports.

This is the first human-to-cat transmission of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). About a week after its owner got sick with COVID-19, after returning from a trip to Northern Italy, the cat developed coronavirus symptoms: diarrhea, vomiting and respiratory issues, Steven Van Gucht, virologist and federal spokesperson for the coronavirus epidemic in Belgium, told Live Science.

The owner sent samples of vomit and feces to Dr. Daniel Desmecht’s lab at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Liège. Genetic tests showed high levels of

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Trump Warns Big Death Toll Is Coming

7 days ago

Realist4 hrsReplying to a couple of earlier comments here:
A vaccine for SARS and MERS was worked on, but never completed, as both virus outbreaks were contained before the vaccine was completed. At which point, the vaccine work was terminated because no one was willing to fund the completion, and no private firm was willing to continue as there was no profit in it.
Covid19 is more virulent than SARS and MERS and is so widespread that it will be very difficult to achieve containment now. Therefore, the development of treatments, and eventually, a vaccine will be required. In the meantime look at the countries that are managing this well for lessons on best practices. China, S Korea, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Germany are all doing some things right.
Lessons will also be learned from

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What Happens to Companies Eliminating Dividends?

8 days ago

Nine companies eliminating dividends in 2020 declined an average of 52% this year.
It’s important to note that these companies may have run out of cash if they didn’t.
Looks like it is 11 Cancellations

Bank Dividends?

The European Central Bank has instructed lenders to cancel all measures to return funds to shareholders. Regulators in the US and the UK should follow their example.

UK’s Biggest Banks Scrap Dividends and Bonuses

Glencore Defers Dividend Payment

EasyJet Pays Dividend, Takes Bailout

Hong Kong Still Pays Dividends

All Shook Up

Goldman Sachs Sees Dividend Slash of 25%

A Different Kind of Dividend

Important to note that what’s happened *so far* is largely baked in based on (bad) choices the U.S. made a week to a month ago, or longer. The data lags our

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No WSJ, Gold is Not the New Unobtanium: Where to Buy?

8 days ago

Unaffordium and Unobtanium
Please consider Coronavirus Sparks a Global Gold Rush by WSJ writers Liz Hoffman, Amrith Ramkumar and Joe Wallace.

It’s an honest-to-God doomsday scenario and the ultimate doomsday-prepper market is a mess.

It’s getting so bad that Wall Street bankers are asking Canada for help. The Royal Canadian Mint has been swamped with requests to ramp up production of gold bars that could be taken down to New York.

“When people think they can’t get something, they want it even more,” says George Gero, 83, who’s been trading gold for more than 50 years, now at RBC Wealth Management in New York. “Look at toilet paper.”

David Smith owns a wristwatch business in northern England and said Tuesday his bullion dealers weren’t taking any more orders. He has been scouring

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Nightmare at Sea: Aircraft Carrier Needs Help as Social Distancing Impossible

8 days ago

A hundred crew members aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt are stricken with the coronavirus according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The Wall Street Journal reports "at least 70".
The captain of a nuclear aircraft carrier with more than 100 sailors infected with the coronavirus pleaded Monday with U.S. Navy officials for resources to allow isolation of his entire crew and avoid possible deaths in a situation he described as quickly deteriorating.

The unusual plea from Capt. Brett Crozier, a Santa Rosa native, came in a letter obtained exclusively by The Chronicle and confirmed by a senior officer on board the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, which has been docked in Guam following a COVID-19 outbreak among the crew of more than 4,000 less than a week ago.

“We are not at

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How Did the Coronavirus Impact Homebuyer Sentiment?

9 days ago

Please consider the Point2Point Flash Survey on Homebuyer Sentiment.
Key Points
19% percent are still determined to find a home.
18% are searching but not as actively.
22% have stopped until the outbreak is over and another 6% stopped searching for the time being. That’s a postponement rate of 28%.
35% claim to "not know" while "keeping an eye on the market".
The other 6% is a mystery.
The Point2Point article title says "U.S. Still Optimistic Despite Outbreak" but that is certainly not my takeaway from those stats.
How Soon?

​That question does not tell us how the coronavirus impacted their timelines. The next question is better.
How Has Your Home Buying Process Changed?

Key Points
42% say no changes
27% want a cheaper home
19% expect delays and a slowdown in all aspects
10% are

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Texas Orders Travelers From Louisiana to Self-Quarantine

9 days ago

At long last Texas got religion on Covid-19.
Governor Greg Abbott ordered motorists from Louisiana to self-quarantine for two weeks. Drivers with commercial, medical, emergency response, military or critical infrastructure purposes are exempt from the order.
The order threaten violators a $1,000 fine or 180 days in jail starting Noon March 20.
Here is the Covid-19 Executive Order

Ever person who enters the State of Texas through roadways from Louisiana, or from any other state as may be proclaimed hereafter, shall be subject to mandatory self-quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into Texas or the duration of the person’s presence in Texas, whichever is shorter. This order to self-quarantine shall not apply to people traveling in connection with commercial activity,

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How Many Die If There is a Coronavirus Crest on Easter?

10 days ago

The Trump administration coronavirus team doctors, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, estimate there would be 1.6 million to 2.2 million deaths if no preventative measures were taken.
On that advice, Trump extended his recommended shutdown until April 30. This lowered the estimates of Fauci and Birx to 80,000 to 200,000 deaths.
For discussion and comments from Trump and the doctors, please see Trump Worried About 2.2 Million Deaths, Extends Shutdown Through April
My chart above projects the current slopes until April 12 then flatten.
Everyone is Guessing
It’s important to note these are not my "predictions".
Rather, it is my projection of what would happen IF the current trends hold.
I made such an estimation on March 22 and was blasted for it.
Covid Tracking Project
On March 22, I

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Trump Worried About 2.2 Million Deaths, Extends Shutdown Through April

10 days ago

Trump’s National Address

The press conference started 43 minutes late. To watch the video move the timeline to the 43 minute mark.
The press conference was about two hours long.
Trump Comments
"We will be extending our guidelines through April 30 to slow the spread. On Tuesday we will finalizing these plans and providing a summary of our findings, supporting data, and strategy to the American people."
"We will have an important statement tuesday, probably Tuesday evening, on all of the finding and all of the data and the reasons we are doing things the way we are doing them."
"We can expect that by June 1, we will be well on our way to recovery"
Dr. Anthony Fauci Comments
"The decision to prolong, not prolong, but to extend this mitigation process until the end of April I think was a

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Live Presidential Address Started: Watch it Here

10 days ago

President Trump and the White House task force (led by VP Mike Pence DHHS Secretary Alex Azar, Dr. Birx, Dr. Fauci, Dr. Adams and the rest) are holding their daily press briefing at 5 pm ET, just an hour before futures open.
The event will reportedly take place in the White House Rose Garden.

I picked up this idea from ZeroHedge.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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Coronavirus Update and Tweets of the Day

10 days ago

Coronavirus Can Survive 5 Weeks in the Body

GM to Extend Shutdown

Second Shock in China

Countries Hoard Food

14,000 National Guard Deployed

Florida Screens for Travelers from NY, LA, NJ, CT

But other than these kinds of things, and hundreds more, It’s No Worse Than the Flu™ .
Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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