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Month: March 2020

“If Getting Us Into $6 Trillion More Debt Doesn’t Matter, Then Why Not $350 Trillion?”

“If Getting Us Into $6 Trillion More Debt Doesn’t Matter, Then Why Not $350 Trillion?” Shortly after 4pm, president Trump signed into law the $2 trillion fiscal stimulus also known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which gives the Fed the ammunition to issue up to $4.5 trillion in additional debt, a “Multitrillion Dollar Helicopter Credit Drop” as Bloomberg called it, and officially launches not only helicopter money but the biggest wealth transfer in US history, as not only will the Fed balance sheet double on short notice but will unleash an unprecedented spending spree the likes of which not even Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez could have ever imagined would take place. One person tried to if not stop it, then at least delay and ask the critical questions that everyone else in Congress should have been asking: why are US citizens, who are supposed to be the sole beneficiaries of this emergency bailout act, just a footnote in the gargantuan bill’s deluge of electronic ones and zeroes. That person was Republican Rep. from Kentucky, Thomas Massie, who tried to force a recorded vote on the legislation, i.e., a roll coll, prompting a scramble by House members to come back to Washington to form the required quorum of at least 216 members. Of course, Massie failed, as the vote passed and was eventually signed into law....

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Going Down With The Ship: After Raging At Moody’s For Downgrade To Deep Junk, Masa Son Pledges 40% Of SoftBank Stake To Lenders

Going Down With The Ship: After Raging At Moody’s For Downgrade To Deep Junk, Masa Son Pledges 40% Of SoftBank Stake To Lenders Last October, in the aftermath of the WeWork and Uber fiasco, we asked if SoftBank, that chronic seed (and not so seed) investor in cash-incinerating zerocorns startups would be “The Bubble Era’s “Short Of The Century.” Subsequent events have only made our query more pressing: with the global economy frozen, with social distancing and self-quarantine now a mandatory part of life, the “sharing economy” that is the basis of so many of SoftBank’s investments has ground to a halt, making its already unsustainable cash burn explode to obscene levels. Not helping matters is that one month ago, activist investor icon Paul Singer officially engaged SoftBank, demanding a higher stock price and forcing Son to announce on Monday plans to liquidate a whopping $41 billion in viable assets ( including $14 billion of shares in Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba) in a bid to raise SoftBank’s price by announcing another massive stock buyback, something the company did first last February when it said it would repurchase 10.3% of its stock (apparently Masa Son has learned absolutely nothing from Boeing’s PR fiasco involving tens of billions in stock buybacks over the past decade, only to come crawling for a bailout in recent weeks not surprisingly finding a hostile rececption). The...

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Why The World’s Doing A Double-Take On China’s No-New-Infections Claim

Why The World’s Doing A Double-Take On China’s No-New-Infections Claim Authored by Richard Bernstein via RealClearInvestigations, China’s announcement this month of nearly a week of no new infections in Wuhan, the hard-hit city where the coronavirus pandemic originated, was both hope-inspiring — and hard to believe. Medical professionals said the draconian set of policies imposed by the Chinese government – including widespread testing, isolation of all infected people and anyone they came in contact with – are proven methods for limiting contagion. Other countries, South Korea and Taiwan, for example, have followed similar courses, and they have also reported steep declines in new infections, though neither says it has achieved no new local infections, as China claims. A Taiwan network reported that one hospital was under pressure from the central government not to admit patients so it could report no new cases. “What we don’t know is the degree to which they’re being transparent and the degree to which they’re following up on existing infections,” Don Goldmann, a professor of immunology, infectious diseases, and epidemiology at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, said in a phone interview.  Dr. Goldmann said Chinese scientists have been extremely transparent about what they’ve discovered about the coronavirus so far; they have shared information on the genetics and sequencing of the virus and details of autopsies, clinical care and outcomes, he...

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Baltimore Population Plunges To Lowest In Over A Century As Homicides Soar

Baltimore Population Plunges To Lowest In Over A Century As Homicides Soar Baltimore City’s population dipped below the 600,000 level, not see in more than a century, as record homicides, an opioid crisis, and now an economic depression risks sending the city deeper into chaos. The Baltimore Sun, citing new US Census data released on Thursday, estimates that the population in the city was 593,490 as of July 2019. To give you some perspective on the collapsing population trend in Baltimore. In 1950, the city had 950,000 residents. Now it has 593,490, which is a loss of 356,510 people, or about 37.5% of the entire population in seven decades. We’ve mentioned on several occasions how deindustrialization, “white flight” of the 1960/70s, the crack epidemic of the 1980/90s, and now the murder and opioid crisis has created another mass exodus, with many people fleeing for Baltimore County and other surrounding counties. Michael Rendall, director of the Maryland Population Research Center and a sociology professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, said after the 2015 Baltimore Riots, no other counties surrounding the city saw a fall in population. The city’s plunging population, Rendall said, “is not a phenomenon reflective of the overall metropolitan area.” Over the previous year, Baltimore City lost 8,953 people, or 1.5% of its population. Back in 2014, when Democratic Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was in office, the...

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Marvel Introduces Superheros “Snowflake” & “Safespace”

Marvel Introduces Superheros “Snowflake” & “Safespace” Authored by Simon Black via, Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, your finances, and your prosperity… and on occasion, poetic justice. *  *  * Alcohol to go: Why wasn’t this always a thing? You realize how absurdly micromanaged the economy is when the government starts lifting pointless restrictions. For example, New York and Washington DC will now allow people to order takeout and to-go alcoholic beverages from bars and restaurants. But these governments still can’t totally let go of control. The new rules in DC require restaurants and bars to obtain special permission from the government to sell drinks to-go. And even then, in both DC and New York, customers can only order drinks if they also buy food. See New York’s rules here, and Washington DC’s here. *  *  * Marvel introduces superheros “Snowflake” and “Safespace” We had to check to make sure this one wasn’t fake news. It’s real. Marvel, the group behind Captain America, Ironman, etc., has now introduced two new superheroes: Snowflake, and their brother Safespace. (Snowflake is non-binary and uses pronouns they/them/their.) Snowflake creates icy throwing stars, while Safespace has more defensive powers. Both use “violence to combat bullying,” according to the author. They must also be...

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