Domino Armageddon?

Sorry for the spelling mistakes and grammar, I have no editor, but I have some flowing thoughts on what and if there is a domino effect, and does it take a Domino effect to cripple the global economy? I would say yes and no, but one thing for sure Covid-19 has a domino effect. And as America gets into trouble, they could drag down the global economy even if markets look resilient intermittently.

China, on the other hand in recovery mode, and factories opened trying to get back to normal, but who will they supply? The devastated economies of the globe? I tend to feel as if we are nearing a Domino Armageddon? The idea of people becoming their own worst enemies under the leadership and trust of self-fulfilling politicians in the crumbling political world we live in.

But is it my age and experience, the perspective of being realistic or should I just stay positive and forget the rest? I would say yes and no, but one thing for sure Covid-19 has its own dramatic domino effects. And whenever I see the images of people suffering or conference halls set up as makeshift infirmaries it scares the hell out of me.

I watch the images of Italian hospitals and read about the patients helplessly pleading to go home to pass away with some dignity instead of being trapped in a cobweb of dying patients, it is tear-jerking. A real-life picture of pandemic and something we will never forget.

Imagine, many Italians have lived healthy lives going daily to a nearby bar for an espresso, a chat with friends. They are now faced with a viral infection and Italian doctors choosing between patients fortunate enough to receive treatment, and those left to die, it is heart-wrenching. Where is God when we need him! 🙈🤯💁

I am glued to the markets because they guide me through the maze of trying to decipher what people are thinking and how companies are managing in times of a pandemic. In part, it becomes obvious leaders of great industry will have their hands tied behind their backs.

I know Covid-19 won’t last forever and in time we will learn to accept it, fight it and recover from our halted lives. What can we say about the world we live in? Trump, Kim Jong-un, Putin and Xi Jinping, the world and our destiny are in the hands of fiction movie characters. All hate one another and each leader is trying to defend himself against the other.

I can hardly explain the financial markets rebound yesterday, and ask yourself how this robotic victory marks a watershed moment for artificial intelligence and machine learning technology. The rise of artificial intelligence has the potential to be one of the most significant developments in human history. Does it help or hurt when it is driving markets and investors who rely on the experts?

Today’s machines are already getting better at interpreting data, recognizing patterns, and finding more efficient ways to carry out tasks. And leading tech companies are hard at work on new breakthroughs that could dwarf what’s been accomplished so far. 

Let’s get to brass tacks and ask ourselves about the future: the future is the biggest question and it depends on how you define the future. For most of us, the future is tomorrow, or in the coming months while for others see it years away.

As we get older, we start to have a different perception of time, the future represents the past and how we measure change. My focus is on change and how we will all cope with the crushing changes in the aftermath of Covid-19. I am watching Europe fall into recession, and no doubt Italy, Spain, and others including Greece are on the verge of serious economical crisis.

What can we say about the trillons lost in the markets and just alone in The ‘BEACH’ Stocks bookings, entertainment, airlines, cruises and casino and hotels and resorts – they losses are dramatic: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/covid-19-downturn-beach-stocks/

In the eye of the hurricane, all we see is the velocity of the storm and not much more. It will start to change when we have some positive momentum, news that takes out of the toilet, and until then, all we see people suffering more and more and news on lockdown and fatalities tells us there is little hope. Covid-19 impacts communities in a way that makes it difficult to understand.

It can take the life of a 10-year old and an 80-year old. How long can people stay locked up? The answer is until the fear subsides and I am worried about a second wave.

Can we guarantee our population they will be safe to travel and despite the fact many will travel the same way the Mardi gras wasn’t cancelled in Louisiana, a real hotbed for spread. People are selfish enough to have unprotected sex and they will act the same when the travel ban is lifted if they can afford travel.

What will travel look like after Covid-19? It will have shrunk and a rebalancing of our industry and prices will begin to rise as demand increases. Consider the classic supply-demand model, the same what we see in cargo right now.

The travel bans are just part of the equation and once air travel resumes we will see travellers entering a new wave of travel. The security of low-cost travel is in jeopardy and mostly those who work on those routes and are serving sardines inside a jam-packed aircraft.

Once airlines resume it will be as if they are starting at ground zero: all new rules, and all new guidelines to protect travellers. Can we really take measures to protect travellers from individual travellers who are asymptomatic? Only once Covid-19 is irradicated and until the next corona can we expect the changes to our lives. Recovery will be slow unless everyone who has been trapped inside their homes for months lets loose. But how does that help us get through the next phase which is adjusting to the new normal?

I am sitting in a city where there is no lockdown and ask yourself why, and not why I am here but why Tokyo is not on lockdown. The answer is two-fold, the government is likely protecting there process and it is multi-faceted and includes the Olympics and other factors of fear. Given Japanese are very homogeneous they share a common denominator, respect for the system, leaders and each other.

Under the emergency law, however, the central government’s authority is relatively limited. In fact, it has no enforcement mechanism that forks out severe legal punishments. Instead, it leaves municipal leaders with the enforcement powers. Compared with similar declarations in other countries, the Japanese version is much weaker. The legislation stipulates that the prime minister can declare a state of emergency once the disease is or spreading at a rapid speed nationwide and poses a dangerous impact on lives and the economy.

In Japanese, the term state of emergency translates as “request,” however, is understood to be taken as “demand,” with a strong expectation that those asked will obey the directives. However, there are no legal penalties as we see in Europe or in Singapore. Japanese are more obedient and obliging when it comes to realizing the impact.

What most find unusual is the way the Japanese see things and how different we act in the west, we are always pragmatic, we consider our individual thoughts and ideas as the best way to protect ourselves.

If Japanese institutions refuse to obey the government’s requests they disclose the entities’ names, essentially shaming them publicly. But the law does not provide any other penalty against refusals, such as arresting individuals defying the requests.

Sitting here, I am not admitting I am depressed about global leadership, the mismanagement of the human race by idiots voted in by idiots. What blows my mind is the printing of money. If we can print money and save people then print it. And if everyone can print money why not one global currency without the dislocation of purchase power parity.

The west will suffer more and the Americans under the leadership of Trump, I cannot believe he is still in power. The joke of the century and it is all about the incineration of society. Trump knows how to manipulate people and he gets away with murder. I blame the American public who voted him in the make America Great Again because it all depends on what is great. If you use Trump’s definition he is great, he’s great, and so what does that say. It says the focus is on what makes him feel great and if each global leader interprets the idea of community as a singular entity, we will all end up in a world war! This is inevitable.

It comes back to global leadership and so what should we actually expect from old men running the globe. It is a shame many politicians are facing the end of their own lives and lead us into these dead end games of war.

The power is in the globe’s GDP, and we can spend as much as we like, print as much as we like but the globe is divided between America and China and now that oil is in the toilet. America’s dream of shale exploration is bye-bye -ouch so where is Trump’s wielding his high handed stick on the Saudi’s 34-year-old prince spending his time watching the world shrink into despair?

Mohammed bin Salman known will not shy away from confrontation and at OPEC summit when Russia refused his call to cut oil production as demand dipped due to the global coronavirus outbreak, he upped raised his finger, his middle finger. Threatening to ramp up Saudi production, triggering the steepest drop in oil prices since the US began bombarding Iraqi troops in Kuwait in 1991.

Oil as a strategic commodity, a political tool is widespread, and we’ve seen the Saudi-Iranian rivalry and the power structures that govern the way countries interact with each other. At the heart of this is the dominance of the US over this international system. Saudi Arabia has largely backed the US policy of isolating and sanctioning Iran, particularly the Iranian oil industry, which has contributed to the Iranian and Saudi tensions.

But take a minute and sit down and have a laugh. After all the US efforts, Aramco Saudi’s $1.5 trillion IPO has given them the liquidity and the stability and a leadership role in the future of any economical crisis. Since the oil crisis, Aramco hasn’t lost a fraction in comparison to what the other oil producers have lost – they are minus 20% year to date. Their production is $2.8 per barrel, Saudi state oil giant Aramco has the lowest production costs in the world. US shale oil producers need crude to fetch a price that is more than 14 times higher to cover their costs. And let us face it oil won’t disappear just yet.

According to a January 2020 EIA report, the average price of Brent crude oil in 2019 was $64 per barrel compared to $71 per barrel in 2018.

Comparative cost of production:

CountryU.S. Shale
Capital spending$7.56
Production costs$5.85
Admin transport$3.52
Total$23.35

Where do we go now? I have no clue but what I know is we are all suffering, many emotionally and the human costs of a global pandemic rises daily.

I ask myself did the WHO act quickly enough and it is true hindsight is 20/20, but in my opinion way too slow and the spread obvious. The virus was identified in December 2019, it just goes to show how ignorant we are on the spread rate, I mean how ignorant governments act to combat the spread of a new coronavirus and how slow citizens are to take it seriously. Consider the brutality of Rupert Murdoch and Fox News and Trump who called it a hoax! He is an incompetent old-pervert who has no connection to reality, suffering from a form of communication called verbal diarrhoea. It baffles my mind how anyone can trust a single word he says. I start to prefer communist pride over capitalist scum.

The fact is we are all in the same boat and no one knows the real truth. When China shut down the borders, people still travelled and the infection spread. What is confusing is the initial spread, the cruise liner passenger who boarded and disembarked four days later leaving the entire ship infected. The mismanagement by the authorities and the cruiseliner to protect passengers. A complex situation and hindsight are 20-/20.

We are all learning how to combat the virus by social distancing, a world that makes little sense, it seems better for kindergarten and not for us adults. What we need to do is protect our loved ones, stay away from potential virus zones, crowds, etc. We need to suppress and protect our healthcare workers or we are doomed. I start to wonder how did China deal with the fatalities and do they have so many ventilators? And one thing we all know is they are using part of their manufacturing capacity to provide ventilators for Italian hospitals.

The Chinese have the power of manufacturing and if anyone can help they can! And by the way, they do whether it has political motives or not, the Chinese will come out as global leaders in such a crisis. I ask myself what does America have to provide the globe except for a loudmouth leader. The Americans will be embarrassed by the fatalities and mismanagement of crisis and then the elections are on their way, or does Trump invoke the law. Either way more Trump means more strife and he is a man without principles or scruples and he lacks respect for the rule of law. 🤯🙈🤯

And how long can we live like this type of global scene and the prospects of Covid-19 morphing into a life of its own? We enable the virus and believe it or not Tokyo hasn’t started to bring a lockdown styled barrier.

Each country has its own trajectory and we are all racing towards finding a vaccine or cure. But the virus is mutating and if the Chinese Wuhan laboratory hasn’t figured it out after 17 years of monkeying around with corona who will? The promises of many drug companies mostly waiting to boost their balance sheets.

In the meantime, we are all looking to stay safe and protect ourselves from the virus and the backlash. Governments talk about saving lives and adding financial support to the workers and businesses that are flailing and are they? I am not so sure they can act quickly enough or institute laws to protect businesses from Covid-19 fallout.

I just wonder how all this works, and how effective will governments be in saving people from unemployment and from devaluing currencies. The bigger powers will struggle to control the spread and in places like America, there are 50 states, so good luck. If we start estimating and predicting the extent and lethality of the Covid-19 since the first patients were reported in Wuhan on December 31st, 2019 isn’t working so well.

At present, it is tempting to estimate the case fatality rate by dividing the number of known deaths by the number of confirmed cases. The resulting number, however, does not represent the true case fatality rate and might be off by orders of magnitude.

Fear is what drives us to desperation and many are feeling desperate and if the Covid-19 spread continues we will have political upheaval and the possibility of a new kind of backlash. I cannot imagine the outcome looking good and if a vaccine appears all of a sudden, few will trust it. Right now the trust is from those we know first hand.

And I am asked about gold, it is stalled at $1,600 but if there is any breakdown or significant change in demand, it will go through the roof. No one knows gold’s future but consider buying some for insurance purposes unless you have another idea.

What worries me is the statistics are skewed and the true number of exposed cases affected in Wuhan may be vastly underestimated. With a focus on thousands of serious cases, mild or asymptomatic courses that possibly account for the bulk of infections might remain largely unrecognized, in particular during the influenza season.

Imagine if China is covering up the impact as the epidemic arrived later in other regions and countries. The low number of documented recovered cases might indicate false reporting, in Guangdong with 970 cases and no death occurring, might be false because cases can have a deadly outcome.

So, despite the dramatic increase of rapidly available data, public health authorities remain torn back and forth between the options of overreacting and frightening the population, or underreacting putting the citizen at risk in their aim to provide advice to countries and individuals on measures to protect health and prevent the spread of this outbreak.

The flexibility of hospital structures during this crisis is a the biggest challenge, and the tiring healthcare workers and lack thereof. However, we have to realize that defining treatment in complex patients and in difficult situations such as rationing therapy must remain the responsibility of healthcare professionals. This is putting your hands in those we ultimately trust most. The worst thing in times of trouble are politicians and those who display powers as if they are saving the world when all they really care about re-election and filling their pockets with more cash.

Have you asked yourself should those companies who provide vaccines or treatments offer it for free to save lives? This is a good question to ask yourself: and during the global crisis, shouldn’t leaders be helping each other? What I see is the world axis is all dependent on selfish greed.

I am not cynical about capitalism but I ask myself at what point and time do we stop and lay down our money-weapons and provide help to other fellow humans.

Categories: Curious About it?, Life Cycles

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