Daily Digest 4/14 – Why the Stock Market Is Healthy as Americans Die, OPEC+ Deal Is “Too Little And Too Late”

Economy

Why the Stock Market Is Healthy as Americans Die From Coronavirus (Sparky1)

Also last week, over 6 million Americans filed for unemployment. The chief economist at RSM, one of the largest accounting firms in the U.S., said this demonstrated that “the carnage in the American labor market continued unabated.” The recent cumulative total of the newly unemployed is 16.8 million people, or about one in 10 workers.

US clears first saliva test to help diagnose new virus (Sparky1)

In its authorization letter to Rutgers, the FDA said the test should only be performed “in a health care setting under the supervision of a trained health care provider.” The FDA has not cleared any COVID-19 tests for use at home, though several companies have announced plans to make them available.

Domestic Violence Is on the Rise With Coronavirus Lockdown. The Responses Are Missing the Point. (Sparky1)

Numerous national and local governments, alongside nongovernmental organizations, are already acting on such advice. Canada is keeping domestic violence shelters open and diverting $50 million to support shelters for victims of domestic and gender-based violence. The U.K., France, and Australia have dedicated funding to organizations providing services. France is also covering the cost of temporarily housing survivors in empty hotel rooms.

Stimulus checks won’t go to these taxpayers. That’s unjust (Sparky1)

If the Senate bill is passed without amendment by the House and signed by the president, it will not be the first time that taxpayers who file their taxes with an ITIN will not receive stimulus checks. In 2008, when our country issued similar checks, not only were taxpayers who filed with ITINs excluded — so were those with a valid Social Security Number who jointly filed a return with a spouse with an ITIN (with a limited exception for military families).

A third of Americans say their aid checks won’t cover a month (Sparky1)

A record 10 million Americans filed for unemployment in the two weeks ending March 28, and economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis have estimated that joblessness could surpass 32% — which is greater than the Great Depression’s unemployment rate in the 1930s.

The checks will provide up to $1,200 for adults, $2,400 for married couples and $500 per child.

Trump administration to unveil $15.5 billion first phase of coronavirus farm aid: sources (Sparky1)

The initial plan will include direct payments to farmers and ranchers, along with other support measures, using a portion of the $23.5 billion approved by Congress to support agriculture in a coronavirus stimulus bill last month, along with some existing USDA funds, according to the sources.

IMF to provide debt relief to help 25 countries deal with pandemic (Sparky1)

“This provides grants to our poorest and most vulnerable members to cover their IMF debt obligations for an initial phase over the next six months and will help them channel more of their scarce financial resources towards vital emergency medical and other relief efforts,” Georgieva said in a statement.

Government loans start flowing to small businesses (Sparky1)

The Paycheck Protection Program so far hasn’t lived up to expectations raised by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who said in announcing the program that owners could get loan money the same day they applied. But neither the SBA nor banks could turn around hundreds of thousands of loans in a matter of days, let alone hours.

The Price of the Coronavirus Pandemic (jdargis)

As in epidemiology, the basis of the financial markets, and of arguments about them, is numbers—data and their deployments. Reliable data about covid-19 have been scarce, mainly because, in the shameful absence of widespread testing, no one knows how many people have or have had the virus, which would determine the rate of infection and, most crucially, the fatality rate. The numerator (how many have died) is known, more or less, but it’s the denominator (how many have caught it) that has been the object of such speculation.

California orders insurance premium refunds during outbreak (Sparky1)

Insurance companies set rates based on the how much risk is involved, using historical data to make those calculations. But since mid-March, most of California’s business sector has come to a halt because of the spread of the coronavirus. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, issued a statewide “stay-at-home” order on March 19 that closed schools and non-essential businesses.

Peter Navarro challenges ‘60 Minutes’ on the White House’s coronavirus response — it doesn’t go very well (Sparky1)

“I challenge you, show me the  ’60 Minutes’  episode a year ago, two years ago, or during the Obama administration, during the Bush administration that said, ‘Hey, global pandemic’s coming,’” he said.

Challenge accepted. “I guarantee you we did,” Whitaker replied.

South Korea reports more recovered coronavirus patients testing positive again (Sparky1)

Officials are still investigating the cause of the apparent relapses. But Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), has said the virus may have been reactivated rather than the patients being re-infected.

Other experts said faulty tests may be playing a role, or remnants of the virus may still be in patients’ systems but not be infectious or of danger to the host or others.

Officials want delay in nation’s head count due to virus (Sparky1)

Census Bureau director Steven Dillingham and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, whose department oversees the bureau, said they are seeking to delay the deadline for delivering state population counts used for apportionment — the process of carving up congressional districts — from the end of this year to the end of April 2021.

They also want to push back the deadline for giving states data for redistricting from the end of March 2021 to the end of July 2021.

Sailor dies from Covid-19 and almost 600 test positive after outbreak on USS Theodore Roosevelt (Sparky1)

A member of the crew of the coronavirus-infected USS Theodore Roosevelt has died of complications related to the disease, 11 days after the aircraft carrier’s captain was fired for pressing his concern that the US navy had done too little to safeguard his crew. The sailor was the first active-duty military member to die of Covid-19.

Navy battling growing COVID-19 outbreak on hospital ship Mercy as 7 test positive (Sparky1)

The outbreak has not affected Mercy’s ability to receive patients, Fage said.

The Mercy is pier-side at the Port of Los Angeles. Its first case of COVID-19 among its crew was reported by the Union-Tribune on Wednesday. On Friday, two more cases on board were confirmed by the Navy.

Amid Coronavirus Pandemis, ICE Has Life-Or-Death Power To Release Detainees (Sparky1)

Pressure is growing on ICE to quickly release as many detainees as possible, as migrants stage protests and a flurry of legal actions bear down on the agency. Yet ICE remains recalcitrant, opaque, and unpredictable in its decision-making. One side effect of the coronavirus outbreak may be a growing awareness of just how many people in ICE detention simply don’t have to be there.

Global Covid-19 cases near 2 million as Putin warns Russia faces ‘extraordinary’ crisis (Sparky1)

His warning came as the number of global infections rose to more than 1.92 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. At least 119,678 people around the world have died, with the highest death tolls in the US and Italy. About 450,000 people have recovered.

Pandemics Depress the Economy, Public Health Interventions Do Not: Evidence from the 1918 Flu (CJRinMN)

We find that cities that intervened earlier and more aggressively do not perform worse and, if anything, grow faster after the pandemic is over. Our findings thus indicate that NPIs not only lower mortality; they may also mitigate the adverse economic consequences of a pandemic.

Whistleblower: COVID-19 Patients Need Oxygen Therapy Not Ventilator (Frank DG)

The past 48 hours or so have seen a huge revelation: COVID-19 causes prolonged and progressive hypoxia (starving your body of oxygen) by binding to the heme groups in hemoglobin in your red blood cells. People are simply desaturating (losing o2 in their blood), and that’s what eventually leads to organ failures that kill them, not any form of ARDS or pneumonia. All the damage to the lungs you see in CT scans are from the release of oxidative iron from the hemes, this overwhelms the natural defenses against pulmonary oxidative stress and causes that nice, always-bilateral ground glass opacity in the lungs.

OPEC+ Deal Is “Too Little And Too Late” (Michael S.)

After several days of negotiations, OPEC+ pulled off a historic production cut of around 10 million barrels per day. Additional cuts from a series of non-OPEC countries, including the U.S., magnified the headline number, although those cuts are not mandatory. Instead, the market is going to force shut ins, a trend for which the Trump administration is taking credit as a “cut.”

Michigan Governor Deems Gardening Supplies — Including Fruit And Vegetable Seeds — ‘Non-Essential’ (Matthew C.)

Whitmer signed one of the most aggressive “stay-at-home” orders Friday. In addition to banning all public gatherings of any size, the new order — which took effect Saturday — barred residents from traveling between homes even if they owned both properties.

‘Elbow to elbow:’ North America meat plant workers fall ill, walk off jobs (Sparky1)

And since an Olymel pork plant in Quebec shut on March 29, the number of workers who tested positive for the coronavirus quintupled to more than 50, according to their union. The facility and at least 10 others in North America have temporarily closed or reduced production in about the last two weeks because of the pandemic, disrupting food supply chains that have struggled to keep pace with surging demand at grocery stores.

Storms tear through South amid pandemic; more than 30 dead (Sparky1)

Nine died in South Carolina, Gov. Gov. Henry McMaster said, and coroners said eight were killed in Georgia. Tennessee officials said three people were killed in and around Chattanooga, and others died under falling trees or inside collapsed buildings in Arkansas and North Carolina.

Fire raging near Ukraine’s Chernobyl poses radiation risk, say activists (Sparky1)

Video footage shot by Reuters on Sunday showed plumes of black smoke billowing into the sky and trees still ablaze, with firefighters in helicopters trying to put out the fires.

Aerial images of the 30 km (19 mile) exclusion zone around the plant, site of the world’s worst nuclear accident in 1986, showed scorched, blackened earth and the charred stumps of still smouldering trees.

CO2 Emissions Are Falling. That Doesn’t Mean Virus Will Slow Warming (Roger B.)

Looking at the major trackers of atmospheric CO₂ concentrations shows the consistent, clockwork turn of the Earth’s carbon cycle. The number goes up over time but falls slightly under the seasonal influence. Scientists measure the atmosphere’s CO₂ concentration in parts per million, or ppm. Right now, CO₂ makes up about 415 ppm of the atmosphere. That’s up from 280 ppm in the 18th century, before industrialization. The higher the CO₂ count goes, the more dangerous climate change becomes.

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