Lion of the Blogosphere

Response to a comment

On March 4th, after the market closed, “destructure” wrote:

DJIA was up 4.5% today. You should write another post saying how you were wrong and B.T.D.T. was right.

As of right now (March 6, 10:16 AM) DJIA is now below where it closed on March 3rd, so I don’t think so.

I think I have a lot of commenters who are morons, and are listening to bozo Trump instead of what actual epidemiologists and virologists and medical doctors are saying, who don’t understand the problem of infected people doubling every so many days, and how that will overwhelm healthcare facilities. People focusing on low fatality rates not understanding that fatality rates go up because it takes four weeks to die, and not factoring the seriousness of the illness for people who are hospitalized and put into ICU even if they survive, or the increase in fatalities once the hospitals are full.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 6, 2020 at 10:17 AM

74 Responses

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  1. and this is why the alt-right and HBD/real science will never. ive encountered a number of alt-right people on the interwebs claiming variously that Coronavirus is a Jewish/neoliberal conspiracy, that it was was created by the Chinese Government, or it was created by the US government and/or pharmaceutical companies, that it only infects Chinese or Oriental people, and blacks and whites are immune, that its just a variation on the flu that only kills the very elderly. and the main idea behind most of these beliefs (not all of them) is that Coronavirus isn’t that bad, just overhyped. which is wrong!

    GondwanaMan

    March 6, 2020 at 10:27 AM

    • *will never align

      GondwanaMan

      March 6, 2020 at 10:28 AM

    • The reason that people on alt-right blogs speculate that the Corona virus might be racially specific is because they are free to do that. That’s a strength, not a weakness.

      I agree with you that many of the corona conspiracy theories are silly, but they are more fringe than you are implying, whereas the idea that black people are being kept down by an invisible conspiracy of white privilige, often commited by white people who don’t know they are doing it, and who actually aren’t even really white, is a silly left wing conspiracy theory that is mainstream, widely believed, and also constantly rammed down our throats by anyone with a pulpit.

      prolier than thou

      March 6, 2020 at 2:19 PM

      • Alt-right people believe the same thing as liberals, but they replace “black people” with “gentile white people” and “white” with “Jewish”.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 6, 2020 at 3:17 PM

    • There is a human psychological inclination toward negativity despite all the evidence to the contrary. Yes pandemics existed in the past and they did immense damage but those occurred during periods of war, chaos, upheaval, and collapse. That is NOT occurring and governments today are better prepared both domestically and internationally. Until I see wealthy people changing their lifestyles I’ll assume it’s another scam used on plebs/proles like the “climate crisis” and Lion is another useful idiot.

      This virus and the hype associated with it is definitely being used as a political weapon first against the enemies of ZOG/USG and then against Trump.

      redarmyvodka

      March 6, 2020 at 4:11 PM

    • GondwanaMan

      “that it was was created by the Chinese Government”

      There actually is some circumstantial evidence suggesting it may have escaped from a Chinese bioweapons lab in Wuhan. For example, the outbreak began less than 10 miles from the laboratory. And it was common, though illegal, for workers to sell test animals to a local wet market. Even the articles I’ve read claiming that it was unlikely to have originated at the lab, quote experts saying that a lab escape can’t be ruled out.

      “that it only infects Chinese or Oriental people, and blacks and whites are immune, that its just a variation on the flu that only kills the very elderly”

      This preliminary study from China suggests that it affects orientals more than blacks and whites.
      https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.01.26.919985v1.full

      The coronavirus does have many similarities to the flu. They’re both zoonotic diseases. They both infect the respiratory system. They both produce similar symptoms. They both spread the same way. And they both have the same prevention and treatment. But Covid19 is actually a strain of coronavirus (not influenza virus) more closely linked to the common cold than the flu.

      The death rate among those over 80 is ~50x higher than for those under 50.

      “and the main idea behind most of these beliefs (not all of them) is that Coronavirus isn’t that bad, just overhyped. which is wrong!”

      “As of Mar. 6, 2020, the flu is showing much more of an impact on Americans than COVID-19.”
      https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-disease-2019-vs-the-flu

      destructure

      March 6, 2020 at 7:22 PM

      • That study was debunked. ONE person? What kind of sample size is that. Get real. The virus is out of control in Iran and Italy.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 6, 2020 at 8:04 PM

      • What part of preliminary didn’t you understand?

        destructure

        March 6, 2020 at 9:30 PM

  2. Except the doctors aren’t saying that. Actual physicians on the ground are telling anyone who will listen that this won’t be a big deal. The market’s reaction is of course a separate question. But the docs themselves
    are pretty sanguine about this. By the way, that first sentence is run-on.

    Marty

    March 6, 2020 at 10:46 AM

  3. I don’t disagree, but with employers even at USA ground zero staying open and refusing to quarantine employees, what to do? Quit your job?

    I’ve tried everything possible to train myself away from touching my face. The tendency can be moderated, but elimination has proven difficult if not impossible. To get food you either go to a restaurant or grocery. Neither good options. And it is easy to deceive yourself about cleanliness. I found myself yesterday putting a napkin that had been sitting on a restaurant table to my nose. One virus on that table transferred to the napkin could do me in. This stuff gets repeated many times per day. And, as I said before, young people don’t care.

    Curle

    March 6, 2020 at 10:48 AM

    • I haven’t sensed fear among workers at the Extremely Large Online Retailer on Lion’s much-ridiculed borough. Not much if any worried talk, and the bottles of hand santizer in the lunchroom and donickers don’t seem to be getting much use. With 3,000 employees from all over the world on-site you’d think there would be some fear, but not. It probably helps that most people are on the younger side, and basically by definition are fit and healthy (you’d never last if you weren’t).

      Peter

      ironrailsironweights

      March 6, 2020 at 2:08 PM

  4. the problem of infected people doubling every so many days, and how that will overwhelm healthcare facilities

    Is there a buying opportunity here? Or short health insurance companies?

    E. Rekshun

    March 6, 2020 at 10:59 AM

  5. I meant to point out to Destructure that the DJIA is a worthless joke of an index. No one who is serious about investing pays attention to it. It should be banned from conversation.

    Wency

    March 6, 2020 at 11:11 AM

    • I always look at the S&P 500.

    • “No one who is serious about investing pays attention to it.”

      I disagree. The Dow is frequently one of the first indexes to decline. So it can serve as an early warning sign that the market is about to turn. Where the Dow goes, the rest of the market tends to follow. That’s why it’s the most quoted index in the world.

      destructure

      March 7, 2020 at 9:03 PM

      • The DJIA gave an early turn and micro-retracement in the latest instance as well, just as NQ futures were peaking.

        Bert

        March 8, 2020 at 6:59 AM

      • First of all, that’s not true (at least not for a definition of “frequently” that means “frequent enough to be useful”). Second, even if that were its purpose and it succeeded at it somewhat, you could easily design a better index with that purpose. The methodology behind creating the Dow is basically nonsensical, so if it were good for something, it would be from sheer luck.

        It’s quoted the most because it was the first index, and it’s combination of first-mover advantage and good-enough correlation to the market does the job well enough for grandmothers and dentists. Among actual professional investors, it is quoted never.

        Wency

        March 8, 2020 at 2:47 PM

      • “you could easily design a better index with that purpose. The methodology behind creating the Dow is basically nonsensical, so if it were good for something, it would be from sheer luck.”

        Yes, the methodology behind the Dow is nonsense. And, yes, you could easily design a better index with that purpose. Yet, it works. Overlay a graph of the W5000 on top of the DJIA and tell me what you see. The DJIA tracks the W5000 very closely. Only the DJIA frequently leads a little when the market turns. I’ll take “sheer luck” like that every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

        “does the job well enough for grandmothers and dentists.”

        Plenty of grandmothers and dentists beat the pants off professional investors. Most professional investors just aren’t that good. A lot of their money comes from charging clients not beating the market. And most people would be better off buying a no-load index fund like the Vanguard S&P 500 than paying those knuckleheads to guess for them.

        destructure

        March 8, 2020 at 11:13 PM

  6. Imagine needing millions of people to die in order to prove to people that you were right.

    Andrew E.

    March 6, 2020 at 11:16 AM

  7. You may be right, but also keep in mind that “doubling” and straight math about these things are most certainly wrong. They depend on social distancing (much lower in China), weather, preventative measures (as you point out), etc.

    We don’t know what is going to happen. You could have made the same doubling argument about SARS, until you couldn’t.

    Joe

    March 6, 2020 at 11:31 AM

    • SOME viruses spread less in warmer and more humid weather, but it is not proven to be the case for the coronavirus, and even if so, then it will come roaring back in the fall.

      • The number of new cases in Wuhan is zero, after a bunch of warm, humid weather.

        Basically no deaths so far and very few cases in tropical and subtropical areas.

        This indicates a very strong inverse humidity relationship.

        Agree with you that it will roar back in the fall.

        Dan Hess

        March 6, 2020 at 12:49 PM

      • After a massive quarantine the number of cases dropped.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 6, 2020 at 1:19 PM

      • You don’t know that, it could be

        Joe

        March 6, 2020 at 1:00 PM

      • “then it will come roaring back in the fall.”

        I’m sure it will come back again in the fall. Hopefully, that will be limited by some immunity in the population from people who are getting it this time around.

        destructure

        March 6, 2020 at 7:51 PM

  8. But the stock market is long term oriented. Another year from now is Coronavirus going to matter?

    תמריץ

    March 6, 2020 at 11:57 AM

    • If a company goes bankrupt, the price goes to zero, no matter what happens a year from now.

      • Well interest rates are very low.. as long as markets believe it only a short term issue companies can survive

        תמריץ

        March 6, 2020 at 12:15 PM

      • P.G.&E. went bankrupt, but the price floor was 17.

        You know me

        March 6, 2020 at 3:31 PM

  9. Andrew E.

    March 6, 2020 at 11:58 AM

    • That’s the death rate if hospitals aren’t flooded with patients. When we reached the dystopian situation that they have in Iran or had in Wuhan, the death rate will go way up.

      • Lion, is there any instance of a deadly outbreak in a warm and humid place? Any at all? Singapore has had many much earlier exposures than America and so far has had zero deaths. That is amazing.

        Dan Hess

        March 6, 2020 at 12:55 PM

      • Singapore has instituted social distancing and was very early in detection and contact tracing which the U.S. failed at.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 6, 2020 at 1:20 PM

      • “Singapore has instituted social distancing and was very early in detection and contact tracing which the U.S. failed at.”

        Singapore has people packed in far, far more tightly than America. Their social distance is inherently far closer than ours. That isn’t it.

        Dan

        March 6, 2020 at 2:11 PM

  10. Lion, this might be the plague of 2020, but it will be no Spanish Flue. It may not even be Swine Flue. You’re buying into the hype that the media is pushing so that it hurts the economy.

    Half Canadian

    March 6, 2020 at 12:18 PM

    • I’m afraid that you’re buying into Trump bullshit. The media is right on this one.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 6, 2020 at 1:17 PM

      • Trump gives MUCH better bullshit than you Lion.

        Andrew E nailed it
        “Imagine needing millions of people to die in order to prove to people that you were right.”

        Hang your head in shame.

        gda53

        March 6, 2020 at 3:07 PM

      • “Imagine needing millions of people to die in order to prove to people that you were right.”

        You could say the same thing about the people who predicted World War II. I mean, how dare they. I would guess you subscribe to the Copenhagen interpretation of ethics, where predicting that millions could die somehow makes you responsible if they do.

        Alexander Turok

        March 6, 2020 at 4:01 PM

    • In some ways it’s much worse than the Spanish Flu, since the 2 to 5% death rate of the SF was with the rudimentary technology of the time. COVID-19 would have struck more like a medieval plague, killing at least 10 to 15% of the world’s population, if it happened back then. Why? No respirators back in 1920.

      PrinzEugen

      March 6, 2020 at 2:23 PM

  11. Let’s bring some hard facts to this debate. South Korea the country with the most stringent testing in the world and subsequently the most accurate stats for Covid-19 is showing a mortality rate of 0.5%. At 5 to 10 times more than the flu, it’s bad but let’s get a grip. And as we approach spring and summer the spread of the virus will decrease markedly.

    Roli

    March 6, 2020 at 12:24 PM

    • “South Korea the country with the most stringent testing in the world and subsequently the most accurate stats for Covid-19 is showing a mortality rate of 0.5%”

      It takes four weeks for people to die, so some of those positives will become deaths over the next four weeks.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 6, 2020 at 1:18 PM

      • Or so you hope, apparently.

        gda53

        March 6, 2020 at 3:09 PM

      • I hope that government “leaders” stop sitting on their asses and do something to prevent millions of people from dhing.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 6, 2020 at 3:18 PM

      • “I hope that government “leaders” stop sitting on their asses and do something to prevent millions of people from dhing.”

        What’s your prediction on the number of deaths of Americans from Wuhan by June of this year? End of the year?

        Mike Street Station

        March 8, 2020 at 8:43 AM

    • South Korea has had cold, dry air. Hence the terrible outbreak and deaths. South Korea and Singapore have many similarities, both attempt social distancing, Singapore is perfectly successful while South Korea fails utterly. Maybe something in the air? It is a mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in bacon. I just can’t figure it out.

      Dan Hess

      March 6, 2020 at 2:14 PM

    • Perhaps you should look at the reality of the team assembled under VP Pence rather than doing your best to point fingers without a smidgeon of proof.

      Trump acted swiftly on Jan 31 by banning travel from the affected areas. He was castigated for it by most on the left.

      A week later, the CDC reported
      “A CDC-developed laboratory test kit to detect 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) began shipping yesterday to select qualified U.S. and international laboratories. Distribution of the tests will help improve the global capacity to detect and respond to the 2019 novel coronavirus.”

      We were bought enough time by Trump to get things ramped up. Whether there will be millions of deaths is up to fate, not Trump for God’s sake.

      They’ll be time enough for analyzing the shortcomings when the panic is over

      Gov’t leaders sitting on their asses? How about those sitting on their asses taking potshots at those trying to do the best job they can? We’re damn lucky we have a president who knows how to cut through red tape and get things done here. Imagine if Obama was “in control”. Trump’s bought us time and assembled a great team of medical personnel regardless of your nonsensical carping.

      Anyone can criticize. But you fling dung at this administration particularly with abandon. Because you seem dying to pin this on “bozo” Trump.

      In the immortal words of the Monty Python crew ” it’s people like you what cause unrest”

      gda53

      March 6, 2020 at 5:06 PM

  12. Day-to-day life is already being affected with big conferences getting canceled left and right, half of the Europe is on semi-shutdown (Italy and France), China is still trying to reestablish the daily life, Japan has school shutdowns, etc. In USA, at least the travel industry is already severely affected and the dining industry should be suffering too, most likely. And then the snowball effect should touch everybody, even though some of the current economic indices still look good. Such violent market yo-yos usually happen during bear markets. Good call, LOTB.

    Goodstuff

    March 6, 2020 at 12:27 PM

  13. “I think I have a lot of commenters who are morons”

    Unfortunately that’s true. You can have a smart group or a large group but you can’t have both. I think you’re about as big as you can get to have a high quality comments section without some kind of more enhanced comment moderating system.

    MoreSigmasThanYou

    March 6, 2020 at 12:36 PM

    • From all the push-back Leon is getting on his nonsense, I’d say most of his commenters are pretty clued in. The biggest moron on his blog right now is himself.

      destructure

      March 6, 2020 at 7:58 PM

      • “Chicken Little of the Blogosphere”

        driveallnight

        March 7, 2020 at 4:52 PM

  14. So what are your moves going forward? You had great timing in getting out, but that’s only half the battle. You also have to decide when to get back in.

    One game changer is that interest rates are crashing. It’s entirely possible they could hit zero this year, with the government letting banks borrow money for free. The stock market will stay up because the feds will MAKE it stay up.

    ack-acking

    March 6, 2020 at 12:43 PM

    • “The stock market will stay up because the feds will MAKE it stay up.”

      Yes. The fed can literally buy stocks with new money if they want to until the DOW hits 30,000 or 50,000 or any arbitrary number.

      Dan Hess

      March 6, 2020 at 2:21 PM

  15. An actual MD, Dr. Drew Pinsky, has remarked that corona virus is a relatively small problem. The patients who die from it are almost all elderly and in declining health apart from the virus. Pinsky says the bigger problem is that people don’t get flu shots like they’re supposed to, and as a result the flu kills roughly 18,000 people in a “normal” year.

    The panic over corona virus is largely a result of media sensationalism, which preys on the fears of women who watch too much daytime TV. Pelosi and Schumer are bad actors here too, pissing and moaning about Trump’s “weak” response and insisting that they be given what amounts to a blank check. The bill that was just passed undoubtedly has a bunch of spending in it completely unrelated to the corona virus that we’ll never hear about.

    Sgt. Joe Friday

    March 6, 2020 at 12:56 PM

    • Dr. Drew is right. The mass media is wrong. The mass media is always wrongly motivated and thus can never, ever be trusted.

      Andrew E.

      March 6, 2020 at 1:56 PM

    • The panic over corona virus is largely a result of media sensationalism, which preys on the fears of women who watch too much daytime TV

      They’ve managed to scare a lot of businessmen into shutting down production in China.

      Alexander Turok

      March 6, 2020 at 4:04 PM

      • Xi Jinping is not a dumb woman who watches daytime TV.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 6, 2020 at 4:31 PM

      • Xi Jinping is the leader of an authoritarian government. Authoritarian governments tend to deny there is a problem then overreact once the problem is finally recognized. Both responses are done to project strength and maintain order.

        destructure

        March 6, 2020 at 8:04 PM

  16. I will stand by my initial position that the coronavirus is no big deal. I will continue to buy more stocks and occasionally pick my nose. Not worried one bit. The stock sellers will be ashamed six months from now when monetary policy sends the S & P into the stratosphere.

    B.T.D.T.

    March 6, 2020 at 2:01 PM

    • Nose-picking is greatly underrated. Probably just a step or two below hitting a perfect iron shot as far as personal satisfaction.

      Marty

      March 6, 2020 at 3:36 PM

      • Picking ones nose is also considered upper class by Paul Fussell.

        B.T.D.T.

        March 6, 2020 at 3:50 PM

      • As George Constanza put it, I guarantee you that Moses was a picker. You wander in the desert for forty years with that dry air, you’re gonna want to clean house sometime.

        njguy73

        March 6, 2020 at 6:10 PM

  17. Lion, you are very gracious not to censor disagreeing comments BTW, most bloggers shut down all opinions but their own. Most news sites don’t allow comments at all any more.

    Dan Hess

    March 6, 2020 at 2:19 PM

  18. You were right about the market but don’t make the mistake it means you are right about the whole thing. The market behaves in the way it behaves and has not much to do with the actual situation on the ground. Some industries like travelling are definitely going to get hurt but it is not going to impact a lot of others and some will even gain, certainly it doesn’t matter for a long term investor.

    In Australia there is toilet paper shortage this week, not because there is actual shortage or problem with supply, just because hysteric people decided that there is going to be a shortage and in one day emptied the shops. This type of hysterics is not going to help anyone or solve any problems or has any base in reality, but that’s how the toilet market reacted, which in my eyes is a great symbol to the whole stupidity around the situation.

    Hashed

    March 6, 2020 at 3:39 PM

    • But we will get to make fun of lion for years over his hysterical reaction to this story.

      toomanymice

      March 6, 2020 at 4:29 PM

      • Once we hit bottom, it will be the perfect time to buy a lot of iRobot.

        Lowe

        March 6, 2020 at 5:56 PM

      • yeah he’s never gonna hear the end of it, this shameful chicken little troll routine

        driveallnight

        March 6, 2020 at 8:13 PM

  19. If I want to be called a moron, I’ll read Ace of Spades HQ. At least there it’s done with affection.

    This blog is becoming increasingly unhinged and following in the path blazed by Chateau Heartiste–and we all know what happened to him.

    370H55V

    March 6, 2020 at 8:02 PM

    • Act like a moron get called a moron. Sounds fair to me. I believe r/TheDonald acts as the hugbox you’re looking for. If Trump told them coronavirus was caused by corona beer they’d believe it.

      Heartiste died because he stopped talking about the original subject of his blog and started pandering to his commentariat of 1488 larpers. I do think Trump had something to do with that as well. I remember and I can’t find the link to it now but Heartiste posted a a story about the Army promoting feminist ideology. And people in the comment section asked “where is Trump, he’s the commander in chief, why isn’t he doing anything about this?” And there was a level of viciousness and hatred in the ensuring flame war that I’d really never seen in the previous debates about things like Christianity or abortion. It’s the kind of divide which is so fundamental it ends up splitting you into tribes in the same way Democrats and Republicans are split into tribes. I fear we on the blogs like this are going to have to split up into pro and anti Trump tribes. Our thought processes are fundamentally different. Some of us say “here is a problem, is Trump doing the right thing to address it?” And others say “here is a problem, what is Trump doing to address it? That’s the right thing.”

      Tanturn

      March 6, 2020 at 9:56 PM

    • “we all know what happened to him.”

      What happened to him? All I know is that he quit blogging. I really enjoyed his blog and wish he hadn’t quit.

      Kyo

      March 8, 2020 at 3:48 AM

  20. “On March 4th, after the market closed, “destructure” wrote:
    As of right now (March 6, 10:16 AM) DJIA is now below where it closed on March 3rd, so I don’t think so.”

    Once again, Leon misses the point. Whether it’s from ignorance or dishonesty, I can not say. But miss the point he did. The market had a big down day and Leon crowed that he was right. The market had a big up day and he said nothing. The day BTDT says the Fed rate cuts will invigorate the market (Mar 2nd), the market ended down. And, once again, Leon crowed that he was right. The next day, the market was up 4.5%(!) and he said nothing. So I wrote a comment to tweak him that he should say BTDT was right. He says nothing for three days(!). Then, when the market has another down day closing below the Mar 3rd low, he writes a post saying how he was right and people who don’t agree with him are “morons”. *rolls eyes* If the market goes up Monday, will he write a post saying that he was wrong? Of course not. I think everyone can see my point. This is about Leon’s shenanigans not where the market is headed.

    Leon is like those global warmers who point to every hot day as proof they’re right but ignore the blizzards.
    **
    I’d also point out that Leon clearly has no clue about market behavior. It doesn’t matter whether the market is lower than when BTDT made his comment. What matters is that the market has not undercut it’s previous low set on Feb 28th. I have no idea whether it will or not. We’ll have to wait and see. Either way, I won’t be buying back in until the market stops its whipsaw action and calms down. Until then, claiming to be right or wrong are no more than winning a coin toss.

    destructure

    March 6, 2020 at 9:14 PM

    • Remember a while back when lion confessed he’d hit the wall re stuff to post about? He’s been just straight trolling his readers since then

      driveallnight

      March 7, 2020 at 1:10 PM

      • He definitely trolls his readers. And this may have started out that way. But I think he’s emotionally invested now. Which is awesome! haha

        destructure

        March 7, 2020 at 9:07 PM


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