Blog: TTTThis

Original Sources

Original Sources:

  • Ibn Hawqal, author of the risala (account) Surat al-Ard or 'The Face of the Earth,' 900s
  • Ibn Fadlan and the Land of Darkness, Arab Travellers in the Far North, 900s ***
  • Narir Khusraw's 'Safarnama,' 1000s
  • Ibn Battuta Travels In Asia And Africa 1325-1354 ***
  • The Travels of Marco Polo, 1200s ***
  • Narrative of the Embassy of Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo to the Court of Timour, 1300s
  • Pedro Tafur's travels in Europe, Morocco and Near East, 1400s
  • Babur-nama, memoirs, 1400s and 1500s
  • Letters of Cortez, early 1500s ***
  • Colombus Fourth Voyage Letter, 1502 ***

Close enough:

  • Vasco Nunez de Balboa by Frederick Ober, 1906, events early 1500s ***

*** means I've read it

TTTThis

World in 2020, Q3

On Monday stocks rebounded up significantly, with 2 plus percent increases in all three markets, reopening stocks that were initially red went quite green by middle of the day. A bit of pullback on them Tuesday but the Dow just a little down and the other two up. Tempting, but still I can't pick any stocks in there that I really like based on any semblance of confidence. This is the kind of market I suspect that makes new names. A rising market where some people are gambling on some stocks and others on others, and depending on the unpredicted future some are going to win big and others lose. The winner's be called geniuses and will be interviewed for the next 10 or 20 years to comments on every development but will never have any repeat of their success, just like all the experts we have now, who made a big move at some point and won and are still riding that despite often underperforming the market. Really long term players like Buffet have consistently done well, but the market over 40 or 50 years has gone up and anyone in it is bound to see some gains. There's no more drivers now, no more new policy-led, reopening fundamentals, and enthusasm of reopening retail.

Amazon-owned Twitch temporarily indefinitely suspended Trump's account for violating 'hateful conduct' for two streams, one of Trump making comments about Mexico sending drugs crime and rapists over the border, the second one talking about a 'very tough hombre' breaking into a woman's house at 1am.

Europe is opening international travel to select countries. The guidance is coming from the EU but countries have the right to decide individually. The countries they're allowing are ones that are like them or better, with a trend in the past 2 weeks toward less infections versus 2 weeks before, and the country has a per 100,000 average lower than the EU's. US is still barred. China can fly in if China allows Europeans to fly there.

Some talk of a national mask mandate. A couple weeks ago top experts said masks helped, and some science papers said this also, and that it would help to curb infections.

Some cities and states in the US are barring and monitoring travel from other places.

There's a new strain of the Swine Flu in China making headlines this week, reportedly more infections to humans than before.

Biden said he'd end most Trump tax cuts.

After the stress tests, only Wells Fargo will cut dividends while JPM Citi and Goldman will maintain theirs.

Iran put out a warrant for Trump for his government's drone strike killing of Iran's Quds foreign operations top commander in January. Interpol a day or so later said they wouldn't uphold this because it was 'political' and they don't get involved in political things. Is this the same move Trump's government is doing against Venzuela?

Some of the fun of this type of economic market crisis is things like, this week, Chesapeake Energy which was one of the big names in the Shale Energy Revolution is filing bankrupcy, they built a massive campus modelled after Duke University with bee keepers, botox treatments, and chaplains for employees, a big hidden wine cave secret room behind a broom closer, the biggest season ticket package, etc., $110m for a couple parking garages. However, it looks like they might not be done, just going to reorganize and change some financial weaknesses and capitalizing on their operational strengths. Also, Wirecard it turns out had $2b it couldn't find and 'likely was never there' after being audited.

Airline passengers are down 75% from last year.

Cuban made headlines for saying the first question interviewers would ask now is 'What did you do with Coronavirus?' and that people should always keep adding to their skills etc. He seems like that kind of guy, focussed on constant improvement and effort. Personally I think most people should when they're young develop at least one skill or ability that they can use to make money when they need to through their lives as adults.

The UK government is talking about it being a time to do things like Roosevelt, investing in big work projects.

Russians voted to change the constitution so Putin is able to stay in power for another 16 years. Putin has become such an admirable person, exciting in that sense, and his people definitely do not hate their president, and every time I see him on TV he seems to be doing a job of serving them, talking to them, having the facts and having situations figured out and others not figured out and in those cases saying so. Of course, he could still do something horrible that I would hate him for, like against human rights, which Russian doesn't have either, and their internet is censored and monitored in a different way from ours but as bad.

Sweden's currency the krona or crown weakened initially when Coronavirus entered Europe and every other country locked down, but three months later and with Swedish QE it has been strengthening against the Euro.

SA is hiking sales tax 10% and there's tons of stockpiling before the implementation date hits.

Tuesday there was nothing but more negative news for the market, but again stocks continued upwards mostly. Whatever negative news has appeared, it hasn't phased investors. I went into Virgin Galactic and the gold stock each for around 5%. I'll probably enter again in regular stocks despite their high prices when they have a negative day. It seems like nothing can discourage these investors. Something could change any day, but it just doesn't seem like the market can be shook by anything going on right now.

There was a strong jobs report Wednesday that raised markets again.

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I think another part of what I was saying earlier about the current market is that not only is there tons of liquidity and tons on the sidelines with people wanting to get in, there's somewhat reduced stocks to enter in with, so those that don't have negative outlooks maybe will receive what would otherwise be invested in the broader range of companies.

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Buffet joined the recover, after saying for a couple months he didn't see anything interesting. Dominian Energy, an asset that's expensive and not in favor with investors, for $10b of Buffet's $137b cash, who wants to increase his energy side of things. D stock went down significantly. Dominian wants to move more into natural energy wind farms etc in Virginia. You also need natural gas, especially in the northeast, to charge your electic cars.

Tesla continues to soar, adding $25b every day of the week to $1400, up 200% in a few months.

Pessimism right now as a mark that markets can still rise more.

After several days with really bad news, and a steady stream of negative outlook stories, with the market not really daunted, I'm going with a model in which as long as there's liquidity amongst investors, they will put it somewhere, and in the current situation the only place is stocks more or less, so prices will keep going up, and when people fluctuate into red days and fear of a market drop, it'll be caught by people waiting at those lower prices. This will continue until people lose significant percentages of their investing funds and no longer want to play. Currently some people are losing but many are up. If the market has a downturn and then another one, and people start losing percentages of their portfolio's, they might slow down and hold cash or gold. I could be wrong, but this is what I'm going with. I started buying stocks last or this week. I bought Virgin Galactic which is one I actually like holding, and it jumped a bit on some good news this week. I think I'll increase in it also, when it slows down or goes down a bit. I bought stocks on their red periods this week. Some I more or less plan to hold, like some big energy and oil stocks that look OK on their week-month-year-alltime charts, and pay dividends, such as Enbridge, Duke, and Spark, and others I'm playing on what I expect for their ups and downs. I also half think I'll see if I can't hold PayPal, Facebook and Salesforce, and Johnson and Johnson and Clorox, unless they have a jump and I have to sell them. Also the gold stock I plan to hold unless things start looking negative for it. I might hold JPM if it goes up enough, but there are some reports coming soon and some think if the banks can't maintain momentum they might start going down. I won't mention the ones I'm buying to sell to buy again. I'm about 50% in equities now, and about half of that is ones I plan to hold more or less.

Amazon seems to be by far the leader of the stock market, and on all broadcasts these days people mention the big top tech stocks that are driving the market, and comparing them with the Nifty 50 and other times when the stock market had a couple hugely valued stocks at the top, which people considered a basically automatic buy, a growth stock and a defensive stock, buying them because they kept going up. Analysts also say that Amazon will benefit either way, both from reopening because they'll have added more customers, and also from the course to reopening. Price targets keep getting raised for Amazon, and it consistently goes up.

I'm not sure about all this though. The top tech stocks seem to be riding their history. Amazon a couple years ago was my go to and I was excited to type in 'a' and hit enter on my address bar, because I could always find what I was looking for, and I'm a person who buys very diverse and often uncommon products. Amazon seems full of everything. However, even before the virus Amazon doesn't seem to have much stuff on it anymore, and the last several times I've gone there to find fairly basic things I couldn't find what I really wanted. They now display 4 or 6 pages of results, mostly very generic, which seem to me like either their own products or paid ad placements from established sellers. I wonder if this is because 3 or so years ago Amazon was happy to get all the sellers they could on their platform, and people were making an industry of being people who found products from other sellers and re-listed them on Amazon, and they would put thousands of products each on Amazon. This led to a lot of unnecessary products, duplicates, but it also meant huge selection. Actually the unnecessary products is the same either way, because now, with much less Amazon selection, most of the products are unnecessary to view also. Anyway, recently I've been opening up Alibaba to look, and they seem to have a much better selection. I don't buy because of the expected delivery time.

Part of Amazon's benefit was no one else was doing it. For me, Amazon's main strength is currently delivery, which depends on their warehousing and transport system. They did what no one else did, and got you your order rapidly. As fast as you could hope really. Before Amazon people were accustomed to waiting 4 or 6 weeks for basically any mail order, plus the complicated and often expensive shipping process, which is still the problem with eBay, and no one wanted to order a shirt they couldn't wear for another couple months. Amazon still does delivery well, in many countries. But with the current situation, other retailers are going to be forced to seriously build their online sales and home delivery side, where before they could ignore it. If all the stores in my town suddenly had nice online catalogs and same or next day delivery, that would be stronger, I suspect, than Amazon. I could go to the store to check out products and buy one later when I decided, I could go to the store to return or exchange it, I would know the seller is close and could take up issues with him, I would be supporting local-ish business and strengthening the local and national economy, and I would get fast service because it's close. If all stores do this because they now have to, Amazon could stand to lose a lot of business. Localsstores could also charge a lower one-time delivery rate in addition to a possible yearly subscription model. People really like Prime but for it's $70 a year pricetag not everyone wants to pay it. If they could get things locally without paying it, I think many people would chose to. Besides established businesses having to restructure a bit, many stores are closing because of the quarantine. But new stores that open will be built adapted to the current situation, and that means doing things Amazon does, so Amazon could face challengers there.

I later heard Amazon does delivery through third parties, like Fedex and UPS. That means that those delivery services already have a template to work with any new online catalogs. If that's the case, and there's no exclusivity contract, it seems less difficult to replace Amazon.

Tesla is another company with a stock careening upwards like Amazon. China is a big part of their business model. People are saying that their stock is worth much more than GM and Ford because Tesla isn't a car manufacturer, it's a tech company, that is collecting and processing data for people's locations, movement, and also for autonomous driving some day. They're batteries could be bought by other companies. But in the past month we've seen big headlines from Rivian which has raised a couple billion privately to try to put the first EV pickup in stores, and Nicola which had a big successful IPO. Testla currently has no competition, because it's way ahead in a very expensive, difficult-to-enter market. But it looks like competitiors will spring up. Probably all over. Remember how many little car companies were started throughout the 20th century? Once the infrastructure for driving EVs is put in place all over a country, and once batteries don't suck, anyone could make an EV just like they could a gas car. And it'll open the field up to enterprising entrepreneurs with ideas and will. People have always loved cars and building cars, it's not like social media platforms or warehouse and distribution companies or OSs where building them is such a chore. Tesla doesn't have the nicest car designs, so they could face challenges there unless they get some real designers.

With others of the leading big tech companies, Microsoft is a terrible company that invades people's privacy and collects and stores and sells their data for a business model. Linux's OS share is rising slightly because of this, but it looks like Microsoft or it's stakeholders might be doing to Ubuntu already what was done to Windows. They have the cloud platform and gaming and other things, though, so they might be fine.

Facebook gets a lot of flak, and their ad platform has been getting worse and worse for about 3 years. I turned off all or almost all of the ads my business back then ran because the effectiveness kept dropping because of changes to the ad algorhythm and reach, and at one point previously profitable ads stopped being so, so I stopped doing them for about half of what I was previously doing, and then later it got worse again, so I was running manybe 10% or 20% of what I had been, and then it got worse again, so I turned off almost all ads. The same happened with friends and family who also do online business, and some of them were pretty significant spenders before. Facebook will make ad revenue from politics though and countries that want to manipulate people's impression of them and have budgets to do so, like China, and any ad buyers who don't want to see profits from their ads. I get their state run newspaper ads in my feed every once in a while, despite never having liked or even viewed anything China with that account ever, which means they're targetting everyone with their news site ads. Business on Facebook I think will decline though, although if you believe what a lot of people on the internet think their Facebook Instagram Whatsapp model like Microsoft's is largely for the sake of the government. Facebook's code is also really terrible now, unlike 3 or 4 years ago, and every code update makes the platform way slower to load, more complicated, and removes previously easy and fast functions and replaces them with things that take 3 or 4 times as many clicks and time to do. I suspect they started outsourcing their coding to India or someplace where coder rates look very cheap, which is something I learned not to do after experience with maybe 50 or 100 Indian and Phillipines workers between me and other online business people/programmers I knew a few years ago. That lower rate is not worth it for reasons I won't go into in this blog. Also, people in other countries all use Facebook and Whatsapp. You can't really ever get rid of it if you want to have contact with them. I could see Whatsapp being replaced for something more secure and private, because it's basically a phone-and-messaging tool, but Facebook now that people don't use it for real personal information very much I think has a more or less comfortable place in people's lives.

PayPal I think will do well because what you want from a money service is trustworthiness and ease, and low rates. They currently do a pretty decent job of this, and don't have too many security-check-send-us-all-your-info-and-photos-of-yourself things, which Facebook did and caused many people to leave their accounts, start hating the company, and start not trusting it. But if you have a big money service and it's working and secure, and it's also the most common one everyone uses, why would you change it? I think would change OSs or social media platforms and browse other online shopping websites if they had viable options, but, like a bank, as long as PayPal doesn't do invasive privacy measures or create difficulties for their users, I can't see it being replaced or even a replacement being desired. One thing they could do is expand in other countries though, as I've tried to do a couple business projects with people in a few countries and they don't have PayPal etc., and I had to abandon those things, and also now I don't look to do business with people in those countries anymore because payment would be too difficult.

Apple I can't see ever being abandoned, particularly as they seem to be regularly taking steps to provide security for their users, and it seems to me backing away from arrangements with powerful entities they might have been moving toward a couple years ago. Although I haven't been paying much attention and maybe they're still along that path and just throwing up smokescreens. I don't use Apple and never have, and don't understand the aesthetic, but clearly it's a great fit for many people. 5G is coming and that is said to be the biggest event in the company for a long time. They're kind of out of things to do with their phone device, and are currently removing things instead, like headphone jacks, whereas they could have had both the jack and the budless system if they'd wanted.

I don't know enough about Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, and other chip makers to comment. How easy is it to enter that market and put out a better product?

There're a dozen medical research and development companies making headlines every so often about a vaccine or treatment, and their stocks are going up and up, despite the low chances of a real success with Coronavirus. Although whoever gets one will make trillions I guess. At an announced rate of over $1000 each, if they sell just a million they bring in $1b in revenue. If they sell more like 100m that's $100b. They would become an enormous company after that. However, I wonder how many are taking the market cap increase and spending a good deal of it on other things more likely to produce stronger results than the Coronavirus vaccine.

US government officials in headlines said they were 'looking at banning Tik-Tok,' which is so much like Chinese wording to send messages to the US through headlines about what it could do if it wanted to. Headlines then said teens were 'going to war against Trump' for this.

July 19 2020 I've been short term trading, although the stock I liked holding had it's week. Virgin Galactic went up, then had some after the bell news they replaced their 10-year CEO with a CEO from customer service capable Disney Parks, and the stock was up after hours. In the morning it shot up 12% then started down and I sold at 10% up or something thinking I'd buy again at 5% up, since it was only news about a CEO and usually that comes down again during the day, but it didn't go lower than 8% up, and it turned around and kept going up, then the next day more and the next day. It was up like 20% at one point or close, and about the same for the max the next day. I think because that first day everyone was leaving other stocks, and also I didn't think well enough that this was the first news exposure to Virgin for a lot of main news in a long time, and that probably interested a lot of people. Virgin's profit timeline is in years, so it's a fit for the current situation, and it's about to get a key FAA approval and Branson is flying this year, in a year with not much other good news events. Anyway I watched the value a lot and it never came down so I didn't get to enter again.

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This week there may have been a sea change away from the constantly rising value of the top tech stocks. Some were saying it would be almost impossible to look at any of them anymore at their current values as real investments. They've been going down a lot. I had been entering to trade a few of those, and lost on some but gained on others. I'm out of all of those now though. I also entered Canadian Utilities but then sold or I'm going to sell when it's a decent time to. Indexes are not the thing these days, I think. They include too many companies that are set to lose. This is opposite to what was the advice for the past years. Now you invest in particular companies. I'm in a few I plan to hold, that might go up, that look like they don't want to go much down, and that pay a dividend, like Enbridge, Spark, Duke. I got rid of Barrick Gold because it's a high price but kept the Gold stock. I also entered Norwegian again because it reached a price level that looked decent to me, while Carnival didn't quite go down to that. I'll hold Foot Locker if I have to and it has a decent dividend and I don't think it'd go under, but more likely I'll buy and sell it like Macy's. There are other energy and utilities I want to buy and hold if their prices go down enough. I'm around 25% to 50% in stocks at any time.

No central bank is equipped to deal with solvency issues. They can deal with liquidity issues. I heard this. Is it true?

The comparison with the Great Depression and FDR. When they did his work plan, they put people to work, rather than have them sitting at home, so they were building motivation, skills, pride in work, contacts, and those enterprises and workers could continue forward after the government stepped out.

Apple security features in the new phone actually look decent, and hopefully this gets passed on to other phone maker competitors. Like a separate light that'll light up any time your camera or mic is activated, if they did this right. So only Apple and anyone who has power over Apple has access to that information now on user's phones. Apple News is something they're trying to build up right now as well.

Facci has been taking criticism.

Vaccine news from Moderna Tuesday after markets closed, about 'robust' results, lifted markets pretty well.

50% instead of 60% of Americans are employed. JPM now thinks unemployment'll settle in at just over 10% for a while, which is a lot more unemployment than they thought a couple months ago, but in a worst case it could touch 25%.

Conspiracy theory is getting big, with people asking me over the past week if I thought Coronavirus was real. I guess a lot of social media is about how they think somehow doctors are paid to do something sinister. You might be surprised at how many people entertain this. Actually my German friend a couple months ago mentioned the word too.

This city entered a more extreme quarantine Thursday night maybe till Tuesday morning, where you can only go out if you have special permission or a reason, not just based on the final number of your ID. Also you can go out if you have a dog to walk it at any time of day or night and anywhere in the city, and it seems more and more people are buying and borrowing dogs so they don't have to follow quarantine rules, leading to louder neighborhoods with dogs barking where they never used to.

July 24 2020

Japan has established a fund to pay companies to leave China for Japan, in order to avoid a repeat of problems they saw with not being able to get products due to supply chains. I think it'll be about $2b and the current round was around $500m. They're also to be looking at diversifying source companies in Asia.

For years, China has blocked global tech companies, mainly I guess because they can't sensor and monitor and control them the same way as companies in China, and they made and nurtured their own tech companies to mirror all the ones everywhere else. Now some say that looks smart because their companies are now bigger than the other ones, they have like 20 huge tech companies or something. Now they don't really care about access to US markets.

One thing some people have noticed is nowadays the banking sector stocks don't include American Express and Visa and PayPal and others, which are now considered by the S&P to be tech stocks. Walmart is a staple and Target is a consumer discretionary. Amazon is a consumer discretionary rather than tech.

Musk is worth more than Buffet, or was for a moment before it swapped around again.

At this point I would say I'm out of touch with markets and analysts. I haven't been paying real attention like I was in March and April for at least a month. I mostly just watch stocks go up and down.

Tesla stock value is a bubble, many people think. Others say it's worth even more, because of it's batteries, because it's a tech company, because it's moving toward renewable energy. Probably Tesla stock holders also. I suspect maybe none of those are the reason, but simply that the price is going up and it's in the news a lot, and those reasons are explanations offered. The market itself I think is a bubble. The price of the stock has now no basis in traditional valuation metrics. Like the Great Depression and other times, while stocks are shooting up regularly, you gotta invest or you're stupid, and that drives them up more. At some point I suspect everyone is almost fully invested. Then when people or possibly investment firms that monitor and see there's no more money to put in, but you could only swap money from one stock to another, they probably pull out, starting a cascade where everyone looses money and no one has money to invest more, and no one wants to invest either, for quite a while. I suspect this might be the biggest factor in markets. Liquidity of investors. I would like to be able to monitor this, and monitor where people are investing and how much of their portfolio and how much they have left, and into what stocks and sectors. I said in March the algos must be doing great in this market.

We don't know how to value anything in this market, one commentator said.

In flights, business travel is almost nonexistent now. Their execs think return to 2019 levels may take a long time.

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Up plastics, packaging, food specialty packaging,

Housing, appliances, nesting, replacing diswashers and refridgerators, auto sales so production will have to come on which is a pull on the petrochemical industry. New construction projects aren't being permitted yet.

Passive investing as it has been done in recent years, and the 60/40 hedge because the yield isn't there for bonds now, might be going out of style. The top 5 S&P stocks are up 20% while the rest are down.

There are also more people happy to take risk.

Investing, people are wondering where to put money, which they have right now. Even with finding new people, new companies, there's a lot of money looking for the good ones.

Gold is the only physical money you can't print. Also, if cash and bonds real returns are negative, the store of value there which is one of the functions of currency, what's the downside in owning gold?

Operating leverage are something banks and investors are looking forward to for next year and even in the fall, because companies have cut costs so much. Stock upside may come in the next phase from earnings because we already have seen multiple expansion upside.

Things that affect gold price going forward include supply demand fundamentals, central banks wanting to own more to diversify reserves away from the USD. Mine supply can't repond quickly to higher gold prices. Investors looking at higher debt, strained economic growth, lower interest rates for longer, the Fed ensuring the economy keeps moving, which things generally usually lead to inflation, but it's the expectation of inflation in investors minds.

One way to open some things like schools is just test more, and isolate those who have the virus.

More labor flexibility than in the EU. Easier to get a first job, lower skilled workers, and young workers when lots of people lose jobs each month but lots get new jobs.

Although I like less and less to dip into thinking about these disgusting and aweful people, I like to keep this log of developments.

The market week was ups and downs. It was a big news week, everyone thought, because earnings reports were coming out for Q2, there was lots of political stuff, the 4 top tech giants were interviewed about antitrust and other things by Congress for 6 hours, with Microsoft not having to go I guess. The higher-than-wage stimulus checks expired and R and D are trying to figure out the next step. GDP was revealed to be down like 35 or 40 percent in the US.

Trump looks like he'll ban TikTok, which is Chinese, over security concerns. The data it collects on all Americans and people everywhere, including the whereabouts etc of children of government officials. Microsoft is being talked about as a buyer of just TikTok's US operations. People are commenting that there's little synergy and little use to Microsoft owning TikTok although TikTok is valuable and anyone with cash should look at buying it. Microsoft also bought Skype in a similar way. I'm surprised it's not talked about in news what purpose Microsoft serves for other organizations, although it has been talked about by people for years and years. Gates also made economics headlines a couple times this week, once for suggesting calling out non-mask wearers, and another for, well according to CNBC for 'calling Musk's comments outrageous' and that Musk should stick to his areas of expertise instead of spreading falsehoods about the coronavirus. Journalism. Gates actually said nothing of the sort, he just made a sensible comment assessing Musk in a couple areas, and didn't say anyone of the things CNBC has him saying in their headline and first paragraph. Musk this week made news for speaking really well of China and comparing it with the States which he wasn't so hot on in that particular comment. CNBC reporting is trash apparently, when it comes to anything but reporting on specifics about companies. Gates hasn't done anything except be a valve for cash since the 90s it seems. Musk does things, although as everyone knows he's not the guy to look to for clear, considered, level comments.

Thursday night Amazon, Apple, Google, etc released earnings. Apple grew and it's stock went up like 10%. Amazon also went up, Facebook despite it's tiny growth went up, and Google which had it's first loss went down. Because Google is search and much larger, whereas Facebook is smaller, isn't so exposed to travel and other areas like Google, and I suspect because Facebook is the preffered choice of politician's ad budgets. PayPal went up a lot a day or two earlier on their report. I should have not sold PayPal. Of the tech stocks it's the only one I wanted to hold at it's price, as I wrote at the time. Apple also did a stock split to make it's stock under $100 instead of it's $400 or whatever now. They did this years ago as well making their stock under $100. Seems like a good number. People can buy it when considering stocks at round numbers, and numbers not too large. And when they buy they can say I bought it at under $100 and now it's over $100 so it's doing good.

There were some earnings reports from oil and gas and energy I think, which brought a lot of prices down for stocks I hold. Gold made a new high.

I'm basically in stocks I think I'll hold for a while, for up to a few years. Gold for about 35% of my portfolio, oil and gas, and energy, OLP real estate, and HDB the HDFC bank in India. Most of these pay a dividend. I keep playing stocks on their ups and downs but that seems to be less successful, perhaps because now the market is horizontal or maybe downwards, whereas before the market was overall increasing for a couple months. I'm about 60% I think in equities, about 10 of that 60 in day trading. I bought Match but sold it even though I suspect it'll keep growing. I don't like to be in certain stocks or certain types of companies, even though I know they're good bets. I thought it would probably go up and it has been, 10% one day and a few percent more after. Virgin Galactic went up on news pretty sharply but then has been declining a little. It's around $22. I think I'll buy below $20 where I sold if it gets there. Camping World continues to increase, surprising me. It was at like $10 or $15 before March, dropped to under $5, I sold at like $20 when I thought it was overpriced, but it's at like $35 now. LAZY also has been going up in a similar way. I might buy Ford if it goes low enough also.

Apple looks like a good stock also, I can't see what could bring it down despite it's overvaluation based on PE. I wonder what. I wonder what it means that Apple is doing increased security or privacy on its phones. Does it mean that the company decided to step away from the government as a data arm, or does it mean they just collect the data in house and provide it to the government directly.

The main stock always is Amazon, which I think is overvalued and looking at numbers it's possible that set of companies is topped out and is fluctuating near the top. Will that fluctuation horizontally remove players and increase the portfolios of smart money who buy near the lows of every dip. Amazon had profits for Q2 and in some part thanks to grocery deliveries. Can their sales possibly go up though from where they are, or is it more likely they'll now start to decline as other options are brought to the consumer.

America has had new high levels of the virus regularly for a couple weeks now, to the point it might be topping off in some places, and others are instituting or talking about PPE and protective measures, closures, etc. Much is still debated. Should we open schools again? If we do will they then have to be shut down? Regular news on vaccine progress and antibodies. The markets seem immune to any of this stuff now. Months ago, it was immune and kept going up. Recently it's seemed immune and going down and sometimes up.

In my city three weeks ago they began a stricter lockdown. 3 or 4 days for the weekend no one is allowed out except with a reason like to commute to work or to get medicine. The other 4 days of the week, Monday through Thursday, people go out once maybe twice based on the number of their ID, for groceries and other shopping. When the virus became headline news and the first lockdown here started, everyone was afraid and no one knew what the virus would be like. After a while the numbers of this city remained very low, with I think less than 10 deaths total, so they eased restrictions, first everyone was allowed out between 2 - 3 for exercise, then they went to alternating daily ID numbers instead of the once or twice per 7 days they had before, and people were going out a lot more. Masks were more common, but people often didn't wear them also. Numbers started to climb and I think now we're at the point hospitals are not going to be able to meet the demand pretty soon. I heard they're looking at importing doctors who are specially trained from Cuba. So they re-strictened the quarantine to where it is now. Maybe to decrease or level out the numbers. It's now August. No sight of an end to all this.

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Conflict Resolution

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From 'Primates—A Natural Heritage of ConflictResolution' by Frans B. M. de Waal

Behavioral signs of anxiety have indeed been measured in aggressors, especially after conflict in high-quality relationships.These findings fit the prediction that aggression-induced anxiety concerns the social tie and suggest an interesting emotional mechanism: Conflict in valuable relation-ships induces greater anxiety, which in turn creates a greater need for calming PC con-tact with the opponent.

As a testimony to the effectiveness of these mechanisms, aggression can become quite common in close relationships without endangering them. Thus, not only do macaque mothers, daughters, and sisters show high levels of grooming and mutual support,they also frequently fight; in fact, they do so more often than unrelated females. This paradoxical finding can be explained by assuming that the more compatible or secure a relationship (38), the more the threshold for conflict can be lowered without posing a threat to that relationship. The same may apply to entire species, such as some conciliatory and tolerant macaques, which also exhibit high rates of mild aggression.These high rates may reflect the reduced cost associated with aggression in a society in which reconciliation is easy.

The only way to obtain popcorn would be for two monkeys to sit side by side at a dispenser, a procedure that attached significant benefits to their relationship. After this training, subjects showed a three times greater tendency to reconcile after an induced fight than subjects that had not been trained to cooperate.

Other options are avoidance of the adversary (common in hierarchical and territorial species) and the sharing of resources(common in tolerant species)

After having weighed the costs and benefits of each option,conflict may escalate to the point of aggression, after which there still is the option of undoing its damage by means of reconciliation, which option will be favored by parties with shared interests.

Cognitive prerequisites for reconciliation are minimal. It is essential that members of the species recognize each other individually and that participants in a fight remember their opponent’s identity. In addition, as seen above, reconciliation probably involves evaluation of the benefits derived from relation-ships: Appreciation of relationship value will prevent risky overtures (any rapprochement carries the possibility of renewed conflict) for little gain.

individuals sometimes adopt a control role,breaking up fights or systematically protecting the weak against the strong. At other times they intervene peacefully or try to calm down one of the participants. In species in which large males defend units of several females, such as Chinese golden monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellanae), the leading male may maintain harmony by interposing himself between female contestants while holding their hands, and stroking or grooming both of them.Triadic reconciliation.In macaques and vervets (Cercopithecus aethiops), relatives of the victim may seek contact with the opponent. For example, a mother may approach and groom the attacker of her daughter in what appears a reconciliation “on behalf ” of her offspring. Such third-party contacts seem to serve the relations between entire matrilines. Similarly, there exist field reports of intergroup reconciliations spear-headed by the alpha females of different monkey groups.Third-party mediation.In perhaps the most complex pattern, thus far known of chimpanzees only, a female acts as catalystby bringing male rivals together. After a fight between them, males may remain oriented toward each other, staying close, but without either one initiating an actual reunion. Fe-males have been observed to break the dead-lock by grooming one male, then the other,until she has brought the two of them together, after which she withdraws.

According to the relational model, aggressive behavior is one of several ways in which conflicts of interest can be settled. Other possible ways are tolerance (e.g., sharing of resources), or avoidance of confrontation (e.g.,by subordinates to dominants). If aggression does occur, it depends on the nature of the social relationship whether repair attempts will be made, or not. If there is a strong mutual interest in maintenance of the relationship, reconciliation is most likely. Parties negotiate the terms of their relationship by going through cycles of conflict and reconciliation.

Traditionally, cost-benefit analyses have started from the assumption that animals neither know nor need each other. Thus, the rarity of lethal aggression was attributed entirely to the physical deterrent posed by the opponent’s fighting abilities. In many social animals, however, both parties stand to lose if escalated fighting damages relationships.

Among preschoolers, two forms of conflict resolution have been noticed: peaceful associative outcomes,in which both opponents stay together and work things out on the spot, and friendly reunions between former opponents after temporary distancing. These two complementary forms of child reconciliation, ex-pressed in play invitations, body contacts,verbal apologies, object offers, self-ridicule,and the like, have been found to reduce aggression, decrease stress-related agitation(such as jumping up and down), and increase tolerance.

One of the single best predictors of peacemaking is positive contact between children before eruption of the conflict, suggesting a concern with the continuity and integrity of interactions with peers.

how friendship increases conciliatory tendency and how peacemaking skills are acquired through interaction with peers and siblings. An impoverished social environment (as in the homeless) deprives children of this essential aspect of socialization (68),causing deficits in conflict management and moral development.

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Around the time of the George Floyd riots

There is just a ton of news today.

In markets, after the Memorial Day Weekend two days of across-the-board rises in stocks. Thursday they went down, and after an afternoon announcement by Trump that he would talk about China and Hong Kong Friday. Friday stocks went down again.

But there is a little battle going on between US politicians and social media. Twitter, which is Trump's favorite platform and the one he used famously during his 2016 campaign and ever since, put a 'fact-checking' warning on one of his posts earlier this week and today hid his wild-west tweet about the riots that erupted in Minneapolis, where the police station is currently on fire and the staff has left.

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When you click the hidden tweet:

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Senator and previous presidential hopeful Ted Cruz called for an investigation of Twitter for allegations the company is violating U.S. sanctions against Iran.

After Trump said he was going to go after social media companies, and there was talk of removing their 'protections' laws that protect them against culpability if people on their site post illegal speech, Zuckerberg commented that he didn't think social media platforms should try to fact-check, and today there's a ton of people reposting Facebook-like images citing him as a child abuser etc. This is law on top of bad law. The underlying issue is that people don't have free speech and companies are at risk when people say things outside of the range of legal speech on them. Both of those things are wrong and the issue at heart is that free speech and expression should be guaranteed. Instead, they made a law limiting types of speech, and held companies responsible for it, and then put another law on top of that to 'protect' those companies when that happens.

There are riots in Minneapolis' Twin Cities, with hundreds of shops looted and lots of fires. Headlines included the arrest of a CNN reporter even after he identified himself. I don't know the details. There is outrage because of video footage by a nearby store security cam of a black man named George Floyd dying under the knee of a white police officer, after he told the officer he couldn't breathe and not to kill him. Trump is cracking down, while today he has to comment on China cracking down on China passing a new law to crack down on protesters in Hong Kong.

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Many people are still saying it's a black issue, as if white people weren't unfair victims of police and other brutality, myself included. There have been several large protests against police on black violence. The LA Riots in 1992, fires, looting, killings, spurred by Rodney King being bang-beaten by a group of cops outside his car one night. A lot of records were sold rapping about this afterwards, and a lot of violent mentality incited in blacks and others against whites and police. Then in 2012-13 the Black Lives Matter protests became popular across US cities, in response to events of George Zimmerman and police killing three black criminals, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner. These protests haven't been helped by the victims of the killings. We saw a lot of Rodney King and black rappers, politicians and activists, and white ones taking the cause and making it their own, but not much of Rodney King, perhaps because it wouldn't serve the cause to have more information about him enter the public face of the dialogue. With the 2012 events it was similar. I saw the video footage that came out later of the huge Michael Brown physically bullying the Asian clerk and robbing him. I still have yet to watch the footage of George Floyd but I suspect it might be a similar situation. Abuse of power or of people is always wrong, whether a cop or otherwise, and the responsibility has to be higher in terms of consequences for people who are given elevated power over others and allowed to use discretionary force, like cops. The good the riots do is threaten police and politicians into enforcing on cops their responsibility, the same things cops are supposed to do for criminals, although laws are some good, many bad, and actually harm people as well. It's a bit of a mess.

The BLM movement has been going for a couple years now. You could say since the Rodney King incident 30 years ago in another sense. Why in that time do they not have any figure they can hold up that would be a person they would hold up even if he wasn't killed or beaten up? Why don't they have an incident of actual racism, I mean where the aggressor is making their racism clear, something along the lines of saying 'All you niggers should die because none of you are any good,' and then acting on their racist belief in a physical, demonstrable way, or something like that? And all BLM holds up to show is incidents where the deceased or beaten up guy is black and the aggressor white? Recently there's been a little wave of people posting on social media videos of full grown black men beating up random white old men in grocery stores and the like, and a lot of people saying 'Why isn't this a hate crime?'

When I say it's because BLM is political I mean political: Trying to use various types of force to cause other groups distinguished by the ability of a group to call them 'separate' to foot the bill for privileges for the group that supports the movement or to bow in deference to the other group in terms of power, the ability to dictate. Just like Dinka and Nuer or Republicans and Democrats, in all cases to an extent, mixed with more sociable beliefs.

Headlines had it that Facebook staff were upset about Zuckerburg's not removing some of Trump's 'violent' tweets. Everyone views it as a move to try to win Trump over away from Twitter.

Later Trump positioned himself against governors in cities where there were riots, saying 'most of you are weak,' which is probably true although this is a democracy so winning the favor of the common people is more important than anything, which includes siding with protesters and kissing babies. Trump made some pretty ignorant statements though like, 'You've got to arrest people, you've got to track people, you have to put them in jail for 10 years and you'll never see this stuff again,' showing he doesn't understand even the most simple things about democracy, protest, and human rights. Probably he's upset with them because he's under some pressure right now and feels the delicacy of the situation. The economic measures are pretty good it seems, and his dealings with countries is better than the past presidents. It seems he has no ability or even workable understanding of anything outside of business though. Still, I think he'd be fun to have a beer with, and perhaps isn't too much a square although I'm not sure. About DC he boasted that it was 'under very good control, but we're going to have it under much more control. We're going to pull in thousands of people.' Active duty troops were apparently deployed there.

Apparently the government flew war and surveillance drones over the protests. The surveillance drones have a stronger signal than anything else, so cell phones, which seek the strongest signal, all go there, so it can harvest that data, which presumably will be used against people. The modern age. The reason I don't bother.

The chief of the Louisville PD was fired because there was no bodycam footage of the event.

Among the wreckage was some confederate statues and statues of 'slave owners,' in the continued effort to erase and reform history. The mayor of one city asked them not to and he'd do it officially in a peaceful way. I guess none of these people know that basically every statue anywhere in the world of anyone except the post-dark ages Christian West held slaves, and there is more to history and the figures that represent it. These types of things remove the motivation to suffer for people by trying to stand up for them and their groups.

The protests continue, a week later or so, and have been aligned with the black rights / black victims movement. Despite having no actual racist element in the event. Simply that the man was black and the officer white seems to be all that was needed to fit into the narrative and purpose of those movements, highly political, the Democrats too. Headlines have it Biden invested big in social media ads targeting Trump's response to the event. This is no surprise of course. I would like to read a few scientific reports on this though, how little is needed for an instance to be adopted by a purposeful group, how the psychology works on it. I still haven't watched the video because I don't care enough to and don't think there's any particular value in it. If I ever have to really look at the subject I would. I expect it's about a tall, big snarly bouncer black guy dressed casually being apprehended after allegedly trying to pass some counterfeit or a bad check or something, I forget. Would it have been different if he was white, asian, or hispanic? I'm as white as can be and my experience was similar, and could have ended the way his did potentially, and I wasn't anywhere near that size. I wasn't committing any crime either, just that the officer didn't like that I told him I had a right to be standing there when he told us all to leave. If I was black would these groups have abused my event and made it about race?

But the actual event wasn't about everyone else. It wasn't an event undertaken by any group or against. What we have in this case is two people, and a few more on the side in the other officers. We had a problem. But how can the conflict be resolved? The one party is dead. Still the other party could have undertaken conflict resolution but he now can't, because his will has been taken away from him. He's been treated like a criminal, which he allegedly is, but beyond that he is no longer allowed the position where he could undertake apology and penance, express his mistake, his experience afterwards, and what he will do to make up. If he were to do any of that in the current state of things it would seem he's doing it as the little subject of a big punishment system and in response to a huge force of opposition and criticism in the BLM masses rather than a response to his own conception. In those circumstances who would feel right apologizing, as it can't be seen as coming freely from him and the actions he takes to decriminalize himself can't be seen as coming from himself. Which they would be. No one can undertake actions like that for another person. The state and big entities try to force people to 'do the right thing,' but in that case the person isn't doing anything from themselves, he's being forced. Neither BLM nor the punishment system want him to apologize or do penance from his own heart, though. In the same way they like their focal figures silent or dead, the BLM wants an enemy, particularly a weak one, and the punishment system wants someone they can prove or validate their prerogative of institutional force with.

Maybe there will be no rapprochement between the two parties, if you could identify them because I can't, because there is no valuable relationship that has been built. If there isn't one, where is the motivation to resolve conflict? But a greater point is that there is no actual offense to be sorry for, although the massive group claims one. Unless they can identify a victimizer, which there isn't, and an offense of racism, which there isn't, who is supposed to apologize and what are they supposed to apologize for? These realities don't negate the feelings of injustice and any actual injustices that happen, but I'm just saying the movement will be vague and can't have any actual demand or resolution. Is it more of a game for adults?

A couple weeks later and this is still the main US news story. While trying to find a copy of Raph Koster's Theory of Fun, a video game book, I found myself on Gamasutra and one of the headlines was a CEO of Riot Games resigned after he shared his opinion on George Floyd saying Floyd's lifestyle was to blame. Riot Games is in support of BLM and taking measures to support blacks in tech. They say racial minorities but that's of course not what they mean. The buzzword is 'systemic racism,' totally vague and lacking anything specific anyone could address, except people in support can make a point of hiring specifically blacks instead of whoever they would hire otherwise. There was a headline the other day on CNBC that someone said that people using the 'I have black friends so I'm not racist,' wasn't good enough. I'm not sure what that means. What for them would be good enough? It seems what they want isn't fairness but to be able to claim victimhood. It seems like a game. Assuming this CEO got there because of years of dedicated work and being the right person for the job, it's crazy that he would be forced to resign by his company for expressing his opinion. This is another example of why I don't live in the West. If you can't even express your opinion, and it's like you'll suffer bigtime if you even think an opinion different from the active, vindictive and violent mob, what's the point of anyone who believes in liberty and being a person want to live there? It sucks though because who wants to live away from where they were born and grew up, even if their politicians have sold and are selling it to other peoples?

I don't agree with the statement entirely. I don't think people should even go to jail for 'Cocaine,' which isn't enough to write either. Was it personal possession or dealing or what? But the other crimes, using armed force to rob people, and breaking into a person's home and using armed force to rob them are definitely highly anti-social and harmful. Anything using force against other people to force them to do something they don't want to do and harms them. These convictions were 10 years apart so you might imagine there were a lot more people being armed robbed or having an intruder in their house, and shows that the man wasn't in a short phase he gave up during that time. However, the last conviction was over 10 years ago, and he was now like 47. So the last conviction was when he was about 35 and the first when he was about 25. He could definitely have changed his ways as he got older, but I'd have to know a lot more about him to say. However that he was trying to rip off people by passing a fake check means that either he had turned a page to do no more violent crime and only take advantage of trust to rip people off, or that he was still involved in all crimes, or perhaps that it was a one-off thing because at the moment he really needed to buy something and didn't have money, although that seems like it's probalby unlikely. The thing on driving on meth, I'm not sure what the effects of meth are on driving. The effects of drinking and driving are terrible, and that is a serious offense no one should ever do, the risk being massive. That's for the value of the image the CEO shared, but that he should be able to share his opinion is unquestionable, right, in a free country? Where do you have a free country nowadays?

There's a lot of talk about police reform and the Democrats are trying to get fame for making a bill for it. Accountability is important, but anything has to be supported by facts, not just the claims of people, although claims of people is a current problem in evidence, false claims often cause huge problems and are never detected or sometimes are detected years later. How though can you have nice-guy police in a precinct with real badguy criminals? I mean violent, tough, snarly criminals. You can have calm police in a white collar area because toughguy cops are gratuitous, but if you want to effectively police an inner city crime neighborhood and discourage thieves, robbers, murderers, burglars, rapists, and even conmen, I suspect you need toughguy cops, but ones who know how to focus violence on violence and turn calmness to calm people.


I referred to: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/7kp89e/riot-games-investigating-exec-who-blamed-george-floyds-murder-on-his-lifestyle

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The World in 2020, Q2

It's May 29 and the Coronavirus event seems to have started to blend in with world events of the regular sort, and it's now more our environment than new things coming up, and some world events are coming to the fore in importance. I'm going to leave off the log about talk of a recession and Coronavirus (Part 1, 2, 3, 4) which I started February 25 until now, and write under the broad subject of things emerging in global events, and how those might impact economies and also anywhere they seriously affect human rights.

The biggest story of the days this week are with China. Most of my news is US Economics and Markets news, so naturally everything there is from a US business standpoint. Partly this continues from what I wrote in 2019 about what I thought was the biggest story of the year then, the Hong Kong protests.

China is facing opposition from the US and other countries because it has been a shitty country for so long, and has been growing and becoming an internationally important country that is active in other countries for the past decade or two. It hasn't let up with it's shitty actions like what it's been doing in Tibet, which is currently not among the issues people are talking about, with the Uighurs in Northwestern Muslim China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, it's tech spying and stealing, ongoing attempts to steal islands and sea property by building new islands with military muscle, huge numbers of death sentences, laws against protests and other laws against human rights, treatment of religious groups like Falun Gong. Also, while tons of Chinese have for the past 10 or 20 years of economic success been traveling, this has hurt people's perception of Chinese because they are rude and inconsiderate, famous for doing messy personal care in public, cutting lines, cramming, yelling or talking very loudly, rushing buffets and taking all the food, trying on clothes and messing up stores. They're one of the only types of travelers that I would guess has globally people have a strong negative impression of.

On the other hand China has shown the world that it's population, it's culture, is hardworking and serious. It has become the factory of the world not just because it's people wanted the money. It's hard to find people who are capable of being serious and working, but Chinese are just that. For this reason, they've made good business partners and good, successful companies. On top of that they're very obedient and unobtrusive, so it's easier to deal with them than more individualistic peoples, which is also probably why Canada seems to have like them for selling their cities to. Like the West, China has become rich because it has a population serious about being workers. China is more industrious than the West though, it seems, because more Chinese people think about starting and running businesses, it seems, and becoming wealthy, while in the West most people seem to be workers or employees in their minds. Perhaps this has something to do with the strict and idiotic laws in the West that make starting or running businesses extremely difficult. Canada, for example, is widely considered a bad place to try to do a business because the laws make it very difficult to enter, navigate, and succeed. The US reduced it's corporate tax rate from about 30% to about 20% to be more globally competitive, since many countries have rates in the teens, although right now there is talk of restoring the higher rate for companies that make over $400,000k per year. There's also talk, and has been for years, about somehow making pay taxes the giant companies that are displacing smaller companies, notably Amazon but we might also mention Google, Walmart, Target. Amazon, which is being talked about now, has been portrayed as a sort of hero, delivering goods while stores have not been open, employing large numbers of people with good wages, but as everyone knows it does this by economies of scale and it's scale is one where it eclipses smaller companies which would otherwise be part of the community and economy, and also perhaps the tax situation with 100 small stores would be different from one large one per town.

That was sort of a preamble but it seemed more of a ramble since most of that stuff is well-discussed and understood. I'll draw a line and start with news and developments.


Trump faces a reelection challenge in so-far Joe Biden, who it seems impresses no one in any way. The economy is down but might recover. I'm not sure how much credit Trump can take for the US government's moves to prop up the economy, or how it will appear in retrospect when people are measuring how the emergent US compares with other countries, although right now basically everyone says what they did was the correct thing and the only thing they could have done. I don't know how much of it was layed out by internal policy planning as part of what they learned from the 2008 09 financial crisis.

Some say the only issue Trump really has is being tough on China. Biden is viewed as friendly toward China, and they're trying to put the name Beijing Biden on him, although I suspect Trump will come up with much more creative and potent characterizations in the world wrestling style he's master at.

Issues Trump is focussing on include Beijing's alleged cover-up of early Coronavirus. Trump and some people in probably every country around the world blame China for the virus and for the things the virus is doing in their countries. Most countries are having it very difficult right now, and that probably breeds a lot of resentment at whatever they can target. It doesn't help that there was a bio research plant that does just this kind of work about half a mile from the seafood market where the outbreak is thought to have started, as I mentioned in the talk of recession and Coronavirus log. This is being investigated by the US and UK governments it seems. China for it's part is trying to focus blame and resentment on other nations and nationalities, suggesting the virus originated in US service members, saying new cases come from people flying in from overseas, and that cutting off flights from China was racist, while doing it themselves inside their country, cutting off Wuhan to stem contagion.

China formally approved yesterday a new stricter security law for Hong Kong which criminalizes most types of political protest, using a blanket concept of 'sedition' and 'subversion.' We've seen this in Tibet and Xinjiang for decades.

US politicians are taking the position that Hong Kong is now under the power of China and doesn't have a high degree of autonomy any more. This shift also may change Hong Kong's trade relations. It has enjoyed an absence of the trade tariffs that Trump put on China in the trade war. This change, if it is what's going to happen, as will be announced today by Trump, will have an affect on markets, particularly Hong Kong companies and ones that do business with HK. This would be a bit of a new development in that since the economic issues that started in March, Trump has been signing a ton of things to help the economy and probably doesn't want to sign anything that would hurt it.

People talk about the negative consequences of problems with China. The US doesn't make it's own PPE or medicine, and it might take time to rearrange things, but maybe not. It seems the Trump government can be pretty quick to move and has displayed determination in doing things.

Congress this week approved a bill for the government to make reports identifying Chinese government individuals responsible for the forced detention of 2m Uighurs. The State Department is going to conduct an investigation of the human rights violations in Xinjiang. It seems to me this all might be from a political motivation though, as China has been shitty in Tibet for decades and Xinjiang for years and the governments of the US, Canada, and other countries have been purposefully silent on this, as well as the human rights abuses in the Mainland. US and Canada etc. politicians have consistently avoided having the issues brought up in front of them, so they don't have to take a stand when the only stand possible for them would be against the Chinese government. Now there seems to be a lot of action, but I wouldn't say it's likely to contribute to better human rights because the governments involved don't care about human rights. There is also rising anti-China sentiment in the US, although there has been significant anti-China sentiment before. I'm not sure in Canada. From what I've seen, Canada avoids this information becoming public since Canadian politicians probably depend on heavy investments based on Chinese house buying, etc in the cities it has sold to China and India. I wouldn't join the camp that says Well, whatever it's for, it's a good move, a step in the right direction,' because we've seen how Western government involving themselves in this way never create real good outcomes. Sometimes it leads to them doing other harmful things themselves.

India is also going to be an interesting issue. India already hates China, and they have border disputes and things, blocked rivers. India houses Tibet's government in exile by the way. India has been passing really terrible laws over the past years. Right now it's overcrowded and unsanitary population is facing a health challenge. How will it's leader want to appear?

Friday morning, the morning Trump is scheduled to talk about China and Hong Kong, after the announcement of his talk before the close yesterday, which sent markets down, the markets opened all in red. Only a very few on my watchlists were green, and none of the ones I'm holding. Yesterday also they almost all went down, although OLP went up probably because news that house sales were up for single family dwellings, etc. I didn't read or watch much on it but it seems property sales aren't really down that much or are up, just less houses were for sale, and this meant little bidding wars for those available.

Yesterday's market downs followed the Tuesday and Wednesday after Memorial Day and all stocks were green for two days. I got caught up in and increased and invested in a few new stocks.

Late Friday, when people were worried about the US-China trade deal and the value of stocks, which were largely down, the relief of not having Trump say anything brutal about Chinese trade caused a sharp last-hour rise in stocks, maybe most in Alibaba and similar. This may mean that Trump might not be ever going to jeopardize US money when it comes to Chinese companies.

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Social Media is an issue this month, as Twitter put little advisory notes on some of Trump's tweets 'fact-checking' them. Zuckerburg actually commented on this, the headlines saying that he said that social networks should not be fact-checking political speech, 'Political speech is one of the most sensitive parts in a democracy, and people should be able to see what politicians say.' Facebook has fact-checkers too, but he said it was to 'really catch the worst of the worst stuff.' 'In terms of political speech, again, I think you want to give broad deference to the political process and political speech' and not 'try to parse words on is something slightly true or false.' The company has decided to continue to allow political campaign ads even when they include misinformation. Zuckerberg said there were 'clear lines' for what content should be allowed, framed in terms of causing violence or harming people's selves, and misinformation that could lead to voter suppression. Facebook, Google and others continue to use the concepts of 'hate speech' and 'racism' and other concepts to censor content. This has been most prevalent over the past year or two on YouTube where many content creators have had videos demonetized, removed, etc., although they contain nothing really of that sort, because the content caused a flag for the algorithms that check content. This week people are talking about YouTube finally facing a challenger in Slack, although Slack doesn't have any better privacy protections that YouTube.

Markets are trading at a 21 stock market multiple. It might be that the Fed has pulled forward years of returns in the last few months, taking it away from future results. In 1999 the multiple in the Nasdaq was in the 40s.

During the trade deal, China showed how it could do lots of unofficial action, like slowing down shipments and gumming up the works.

Headlines included a $850,000 bill for a 2-week intensive care stay in a hospital for Coronavirus. And lots of comments mentioning similar incredible rates for stays for various things, and the US fear of hospitalization. However, I've heard the US has the highest rates of good outcomes for it's services although they are expensive, because they are private. In Canada, there is first rate heath care but if you want it you're going to get in a long line up. Also, a lot is not covered, like a lot of medicine. Overall, I think I prefer Canada's system as long as you can also fly somewhere else if you can afford it to pay for private service. The reason is that the costs can be devastating if you can't and also if you can afford them. But preferring Canada's system doesn't mean I'd advocate trying to put it in anywhere else, because it's grown up with Canada and Canada's tiny, European-origin population, policies, education, and taxation, whereas that's not the case in private health care countries. I have no answers for health care systems in general, and haven't given them enough thought to really comment.

In April in the US, personal income went up 10% partially due to government stimulus checks, and spending went down 15%. Personal savings jumped a record-high 33%.

Trump said the US would terminate it's relationship with the corrupt WHO.

SpaceX launched two astronauts to the ISS for the first time, all live on YouTube, although they 'had technical difficulties' and lost signal, black screen, when the rocket stage landed again on it's drone platform in the ocean, and just cut the feed back to show an already landed rocket. You can't invest in SpaceX. You can invest in Alphabet which is an investor in SpaceX but that's pretty far removed.

Some businesses that are reopening seem to be raising prices, which may or may not be inflationary. However many businesses aren't raising prices, so maybe dis-inflationary, although on the other side the smaller supply for demand might lead to companies then raising prices.

2018 more money finding its way into investing in San Francisco and maybe that technology going back to China

after years of looking the other way on Chinese companies, it may be a bit messy but we've gotta find a new way of doing this

IP theft, imbalance in the trade, if China gets the upper hand in 5G or other tech, are they going to use that against the US, or if they get the upper hand in technology.

what is classified research and what is not, and what is tech transfer and what isn't?

where did the gains from globalization go?

China doesn't need to be the cheapest labor market to still be the cheapest to produce since it controls trade rates, taxes, environmental policy, etc. It has invested in other countries where factories are cheaper, a portfolio of countries, building ports, factories and modern farms in Senegal, Pakistan, Nigeria, Zimbabwe. Chinese state run banks loan money to countries to develop as China sees fit, with the stipulation Chinese companies do the building. Belt and Road, potentially the largest economic network, loans in Chinese currency. It can claim securities back if not paid by countries with poor records for paying back it's low 1% interest debt, like Mombassa Port in 2019 Kenya, the largest trading port in Africa, some consider it debt trap diplomacy. A center of wealth in China without having to produce anything in China. Giving those countries the economies of scale to compete with Canada and Australia which have infrastructure, what makes rich countries rich producing more with less making people more wealthy, in exporting natural resources although with lower wages so maybe cheaper than Canada, plus a guaranteed customer in China.

China has large currency reserves and can buy up nations if prices go down in a global recession.

China has been damming it's rivers over the decades until they're all basically dammed, reportedly, and maybe now they're going to look at damming Tibet's rivers, which nourish half of the world's people, and China can dictate terms better dealing with those nations who want water. If the dams were high, above where animals live in the rivers, I don't see how it would be a problem, but I don't think any of the dams are up there. They have three dams on the Brahmaputra for example. There are no international agreements between the countries that share the rivers, so China has run of the road, exercising it's territorial jurisdiction. Over the next couple decades of global warming, along with Asian peak population projections, some rivers around the world will diminish while others will grow. There are no legal restictions on China which literally has the power to flood and draught places like Bangledesh. Asian countries prioritize their relationships with China over opposing Chinese dams though.

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Tuesday, June 2 Recovery is one of the main subjects of talk. The jobless claims were I think 4m more the last report, so people expect this is peak unemployment and numbers will improve. US GDP is expected to shrink according to a report today, about 60% and then go up 10 or 20% in Q3 and then slowly increase. Others think the markets are telling us, by their 30% recovery, there will be a V-shaped recovery after all. This guess has been improving from a U or L, to a swoosh, to now maybe the V. No one knows. After the report was published stocks went down a few percent, including ones I just increased. I got rid of Vale, right before it went up a bit, which wasn't doing that impressively. I don't understand the stock. I increased in Norwegian, Spirit, and Carnival, buying them at around their highpoint today this morning. I'm almost 100% in equities right now.

A little talk about retail stores and if they have to look at private security if cities aren't going to protect their businesses, ie side with the protesters.

Trump made a ban Chinese passenger airlines from flying to the US, in response to China not allowing US carriers to resume flights there yet. A day or two later China opened up more flights in from foreign airlines or something.

Social media platforms are themselves becoming politically affiliated. Zuckerburg has said he won't remove Trump or other posts. reportedly, due to the 'factualness' of Trump's tweets. Slack is also on the Democrat side. Facebook will block ads from state-controlled media outlets, whatever that means. Twitter got a new CEO reminiscent to me of when that happened at Google, and Twitter's owner made a new rule for the president,

Zoom's CEO said he wants to 'work together' with law enforcement in regards to encryption. Zoom has been criticized for privacy concerns because it's Chinese owned, so people assume the Chinese government has basically full access. Does working together mean Zoom will share the info it has about people not only with China but with the US too?

Job losses and private payrolls. Mortage demand with record-low interest rates.

Insurrection Act signed for the George Floyd protests. This is a highly political issue.

AMC isn't sure if it can continue. I first heard of AMC because they made Mad Men, and was surprised they had theaters. Why don't they make more shows like Mad Men?

Amwell IPO, a tele-health IPO is going forward confidently because of what markets are doing. In past months there was talk IPOs wouldn't be launched. I think it was the second or so IPO to launch.

May unemployment expected to be 20%.

Biden reportedly has a lead in the polls.

Lots of companies making headlines for producing or possibly producing millions of doses by a month a few months ahead.

The other three officers in the George Floyd death have been charged with abetting the alleged murder, and the main officer's manslaughter charge was elevated to second-degree murder.

NBA made headlines to resume in August.

Fiscal movements are happening in Europe, for the first time analysts say. Talk of an integrated basis for financing, and in EU bonds. Valuations are thought to be very low in Europe like banks and stuff compared with the US in terms of valuations, price to book or multiple of earnings, although US ones are stronger, healthier and better capitalized.

Stragesists think a six-month recovery and a three-month cloudiness because of a second wave possibility. USD and Yen are seen as uncertain. There has been a lot of good news for the dollar over the past months and some think it hasn't had that strong an effect on the value of the dollar, while now with a Europe economy strengthening, seen as bad news for the dollar, maybe it'll go down.

Brent is up to $42. No one is adding rigs at $40. $45 or $50 is needed for adding rigs, according to drilling business top men, although investers might push for growth. Many companies are going to add new cash flow to repair balance sheets because the equities markets are closed. Most shale producers have an average decline rate of 35-40% per year, so if new wells aren't drilled production can slump in 6 to 9 months. Predictions include that US shale will be below 11m barrels a day in 2021 because of 'natural decline' that they can't keep it growing. If the countries open up oil will be OK but stagnate until something happens with the airlines like a vaccine, since airlines consume 8m barrels per day. Most of the job layoffs have been in the service industry. Overlevered companies have laid off because of debt. They're asking it they'll be in a $40 world or a $50 world or return to a $60 world. The US is down around 2m per day, to around 11m, but we'll see only one month of curtailment.

Banks and insurance companies are becoming more interconnected and intertwined with their governments in the US and Europe, implementation of Fed programs, willingness of regulators to raise or lower capital. May never reverse completely. Larger institutions have more concentrated risk than before and more correlation of risk with the underlying economy.

Friday, June 5 there were some green days this week, and one started out red but turned green slowly and then greened more. A lot has to do with jobs reports, there was a bad one Thursday but then there was a good one Friday. The Friday jobs report confirmed the growth hypothesis, although the numbers on the report that 2m jobs have been added are doubted. Most of those jobs are in retail, leisure and hospitality, and construction too. Hardly any data points confirm the report, reportedly, so it might be a bit doubted. Fake it till you make it? Also Thursday morning or Wednesday JPM downgraded Norwegian before markets opened and cruises went down, but throughout the day they went a few percent above. I think I mentioned last week Credit Suisse upgraded Norwegian. Airlines made headlines this week. I still have cruises but I actually feel less confident about the industry than in weeks past but I'll hold. They put in airline-grade air filtration and will have a CDC guideline thing where ships with cases of Coronavirus will be yellow, orange, red or green. This move is something airlines I suspect won't have nor busses. I'm not sure how it will play out, or if they meant that was just for the CDC and the cruises, or if it was to be a public thing. The Fed may be less supportive of markets now because of the numbers claim. Relief may not be continued, thinking the economy and market are doing the lifting now. We're seeing how powerfully the Fed moves have been, where some analysts look at it for the market as win-win, where if the job numbers are correct it's a win because the economy is improving, and if they're not it's a win because the Fed will do more. In a tug of war between liquidity and fundamentals. The Fed build a foundation we can move off of, some analysts say. Bailing out ETFs directly buying some of the credit market concerns that people were so worried about, the JNK, OQD. In the jobs report although employed whites and hispanics went up employed blacks went down. Would like to see a real drill down of how this happened. Although part of it might be that owners and bosses of companies identify or prefer people along those generalized lines. That's even less than what I would call a guess. Something I'm curious about.

Some say we'll see more of a distinction between monetary which serves the markets mainly, and fiscal which serves the real economy mainly.

There was also indications of panic buying upward in the VIX, where usually panic transactions are for selling.

There is a lot of talk about racism.

There's also something about mortgage rates going up. I didn't understand it yet. .25% for most, higher or lower for people depending on their credit situation.

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2/3ds of people unemployed are receiving a little more than they were before. Disposable income in the US is going to be higher than it was last year. Minimum wage workers are receiving double their paycheck value. $25 dollars plus the stimulus. That program cuts off in July. Unemployment right now is predominantly low wage and in services.

Some price deflation pressure because of reduced demand, but when cyclical demand returns we may see goods price increases lead the way, which is different from what we were looking at the last 2 cycles. Wages for service workers will maybe not increase quickly because of the large supply of workers and difficulty reintegrating supply chains, whereas we've before seen services wage-led inflation, and may now see a goods-led inflation.

Some say 20% of the market needed significant corporate design change inside, and companies will redesign to match what they've learned from the companies that were more successful. Many companies had supply lines that ran 10,000 miles through many single points that could be points of failure and had big issues during this, and no one will do this again, everyone will make sure they have multiple suppliers and that there's flex in their supply chain. And the redesign will give a whole new structured supply chain.

It's June 8 now, but looking back at a fund manager from two months ago some of the things he was looking at were that a recovery is often a mirror of a drop, sharp or gradual, that usually in a drop half of wealth recovers in half the time it took to lose it, which in this case would have been at the $2800 level for the S&P which is currently at $3200, in prior market bottoms, stocks bottom before jobless claims peak, in 2002 it was 6 weeks, in 2009 it was 3 weeks roughly, and in prior bottoms GDP takes another year to recover but stocks are already deep into recover. The analyst who said these things has in his record predicted wrong at other times.

Bitcoin is at almost $10,000. It's low was $5,000. Gold is at $1700. It's low was a dip to $1500 from around $1600 for the first part of the year.

Other things to add to the list of companies that experienced changes during the pandemic. Anything with a drive through was doing well.

Without the vaccine, the population is divided and some feel safe going out and doing normal things while others are petrified to go outside. For normality the majority or supermajority would have to feel safe.

Institutions devoted to this sort of thing. why were they not able to be effective? WHO made a statement that asymptomatic spread was unlikely the other day, and the US health officials said that wasn't true. Headlines that science says facemasks necessary to curb second wave.

South Korea and Taiwan knew almost exactly what to do almost the moment they got wind something unusual was happening.

The Federal Reserve is doing what it set out to do, pushing people into risk assets.

Data in air travel, turnstiles in public transport, weekly gas demand, consumer signals. Real hard data may come in June and July and test the market.

Tuesday, June 9 New Zealand has no cases they report. Does that mean New Zealand will be cut off from the rest of the world until further notice?

In the Netherlands they're looking at killing 4m mink, milk farming is big there it seems, because some have confirmed infections. They figured out the family caught it from the mink by looking at the viral strain. Denmark and Spain also have mink farms.

Some dogs are able to detect Coronavirus from armpit sweat. Dogs varied in the tests, but a couple were 100% successful in 70 tries.

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Deaths in Sweden and other Nordic countries:

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Deaths per 100k population:

  • 55 UK
  • 42 France
  • 39 Sweden
  • 10 Denmark
  • 6 Finland

Italy's debt level will be 160% GDP after this. EU countries are thinking about how to figure out loans and things.

Consumer prices are falling but food prices are up 5% from a year ago. Beef and veal up 18% due to shortages the highest of the foods. Retailers are not doing promotions because they want to keep food on the shelves, and higher shipping costs are being passed on.

In bonds, money is flying up the curve from 2-years to 5s. 5s are the new 2s because the Fed said they'll keep rates at 0 through 2022, creating a sort of date-dependent forward guidance, underwritten, because the 2-year is going nowhere because they've just locked it down, the 2-year is linked to money, and the 5-year in 2 years will be a 3-year piece of paper. People are saving, lots of demand surge for bonds, because they're worried about the future.

Talk about dividend yield being the new sought-for yield. Analyists don't expect yielf from fixed income as it had produced over the past 5 or 10 years.

A mix of supercompanies and new small companies.

Household net worth declined $6.5t in Q1 and equities $7.8t. Offset by 400b increase in value of real estate. Fed debt rose by 14.3% and business debt rose by 19%. In 2018 there was a V and net worth returned. In 2008 it took about 5 years.

$5t in money market funds is expected eventually to find its way into equities is uninvested.

Low interest rates have propped up the housebuying market, particularly milenials, and particularly if jobs return. May be a bias to new versus possibly renovating. Sales are up 17% or something versus last May. The most popular age to be in the US right now is 29, seen as good for house starts.

UAE's Dubai, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Quatar are seeing a big expat flight, as companies have cut jobs and wages. Population in UAE could shrink 10%.

Friday, June 12 the markets this week have been swinging. Last week there were a few days of ups. I expected a correction down a bit, and JPM downgraded Norwegian that morning, and most of those stocks, cruises and airlines, were down 4% and 2%, but after open the started up. Over the weekend, too stocks went up. Monday stocks went up. I went to bed Monday night quite calmly seeing afterhours up another 5 or 7% on the most volatile stocks, but by morning when I woke up an hour or two before markets they were down fluctuating between 10 and 15%. I didn't sell that day, and they stayed around that level. I usually will use the number for the most volatile stocks I hold, so when I say 15% for Norwegian or Spirit, that means 12 for Carnival and 6 or 7 for Delta and less for Southwest, and a few percent for Canadian Tire. That night stocks also went down after hours and I closed on the morning down a bit more. I closed everything except Canadian Tire and OLP (and the two way down stocks I hold just for psychological reminders and bookmarks from a year ago). My US portfolio was up almost 50% at the height Monday when the markets closed, but when I closed I think it was up maybe 30 or 35%. I closed Canadian Tire and OLP down the next open and the Canadian side was up maybe 15%. I wasn't sure if there was going to be another crash. Stocks went down the next day. The market had it's worst day since March, with the Dow down like 7% and the S&P down about 3% I think. After hours Thursday stocks began to rise though, and continued to rise. They were up (again the most volatile) between 10 and 15% by the morning. I did not expect that. I thought maybe some small bounce back or further down. However, no economist, host or guest or anyone I've seen, is doing any better predicting. I suspect the machines are doing great, that can monitor the fluctuations of interest in buying, the volumes and amounts of cash still uninvested for those people, etc. There's quite a bit of talk about the retail investor, who knows nothing and doesn't analyze for actual value, causing unexpected investments and harder swings in both directions. I wondered this week if the markets were going to become gambling markets entirely. So much liquidity, lots of cash left in investors accounts, lots more players, and no good pricepoints, gambling and sports events shut down and people say stocks are the new sports gambling. Some say it's a special time with huge upside and a downside that is capital debilitation. The markets continue up this morning and it's 9am. I'm still wary of another smaller crash. With so much money left, it does make sense we won't retest lows, but could see some very jagged action. I'll let the weekend pass and see how things go. There's also a disadvantage in that some people are able to trade after hours better. 24 hour trading I'm not sure is a good thing in general, as who can sleep with that going on? Another thing people are talking about now and they say it's been controversial for a while is organizations who place trades. Apparently they don't actually buy and sell the shares. Instead they buy them from some other entity. They take half a penny for each time or something. But they're also able to see when people are buying and selling and in what volumes, mearsured against the buyers accounts I'd guess, and so they can themselves sort of be 'tipped off' to what people are going to do a second before it happens, and can buy 1,000,000 shares instead of the 1000 people are ordering. This drives prices up higher and lower in these swings.

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Some speculate that Wall Street pros might be buying Robinhood favored stocks in the premarket and then selling them to retail investors during market hours. So the time to buy is 9:30 they think. I've been watching also for the good morning time and 9am seems too early sometimes. I guess they could be doing the other side too, where after a green day they sell everything after hours, causing morning panic selling to below value which they can buy the next day.

The social media story continues this week. Twitter closed down a bunch of Chinese propaganda accounts and accounts meant to boost those accounts comments, mostly written in Chinese. Zuckerberg, who has faced a lot of liberal backlash for not removing Trump's post, said alongside his Chinese origin wife they were disgusted by Trump's posts. Slack's CEO kid in an interview said they were within their constitutional rights of speech to remove comments and content they didn't want on their platform, taking the take that the platform and everything on it is their's rather than the users. The Trump tweet in question is everywhere said to be inciting violence, but the language of it is this: 'When the looting starts, the shooting starts.' A reddit CEO or something resigned 'because of his half black little daughter' saying that when she asked him what he did at this time he would be able to tell her this, advising reddit to hire a black CEO. They did, hiring a guy from hackernews. These things, sex, race, drugs, speech, privacy, make me glad I don't have to live in the West. It's like a land 60% full of that kid who always complains to the teacher about every little thing anyone else does. I don't think it's entirely the prudish, entitled culture though. It's also the complete lack of experience and understanding caused by the sheltered condition almost all Westerners grow up and live in. Their experience is extremely small, limited and similar.

I'm not sure if I wrote this already but the market turndown was a response to a huge ramp up and also new fears about a resurgence of the virus as states now starting to open are seeing new highs in hospitalizations. The day before I sold everything was down a bunch and my options were hold through whatever as I still had lots of room to go down before I broke even and thing's come up eventually, sell some until the point where I feel comfortable like I had waded in, just sell everything and not worry about it for a few days and take some gains. I eventually thought to just man up and take the losses and go for larger long-term profits and was basically decided on that. Then more relaxedly I opened some of my email updates on the companies, and the cruises really didn't have much going for them in the projected future, and ports will be closed. NZ will be totally shut off I take it. Australia when it has 0 cases will be open with NZ. Latin America is under quarantine and people talk about the month of December. Airlines like Delta were opening and seeing returning customers increase but they were having to take airports off their list because of resurgences it seemed, and their reopening was at a fraction, and their planes were only permitted a fraction. This lined up with what people were saying about the companies, like JPM who downgraded Norwegian, although CreditSuisse had upgraded it. All this seemed to me to propose a decent possiblity of further downside as more people accepted possible negative futures for business, and a possible crash. So I thought about it and then decided to sell and did sell in the morning before open. However, when markets all bounce back the idea of a crash almost evaporates, but the possibility I still think is real or some kind of real downside based on fundamentals which are currently ignored to some degree.

I wasn't the only one who thought of Warren Buffet, the Oracle of Omaha, who sold all his airlines, which he'd over the years always said he'd basically never sell. He sold them at their lows. They've rebounded about 100% some of them I think.

People are talking about a swoosh shaped recovery now, with volatility. JPM and others said the drop wasn't a new crash, just some consolidation after a massive upramp in an overall still bullish trend.

More things that are up in Q2: staycations,

Despite being a buyers market, Hilton isn't buying or building new hotels. China hotels are reopening at like 40 or 50% with most of that in leisure travel, but the rest of Asia is in the low single digits.

Japan is lifting it's state of emergency.

It's expected that when more resurgences happen hospitals will be better able to treat Coronavirus, so less deaths although the same amount of hospitalizations.

Antibody cocktails prevent mutants from evading treatment.

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This week the market seemed to start as it had been the last few weeks, but then it seemed to slow down, and the trend was downwards while slowing down. I went in at the end of Thursday into one stock, Spirit, for 2.5% of my portfolio. when stocks were mostly down a few percent. For weeks there's been between green and red days. I sold on the open when it was a couple percent up and the market looked like it wasn't going to be bullish, and it wasn't.

Funny the experts on CNBC and others have been almost 100% wrong. I've sometimes wondered if you did exactly the opposite of what they said (in terms of approach to the market , not always individual stocks since they always liked the top 20 stocks) if you'd have made a good return. They maybe should stick to what they can do, which is explain after it happens what happened.

Innovations in care: remdesevere, don't intibate aggressively, hydrate patients early, anti-coagulation with low molecular-weight heprin (?) as well as direct-acting anti-platelet drugs. Coronavirus, US experts currently think, seems to make platelets sticky and cause blood clots. Higher capacity and stockpiled PPE in hospitals.

Camping World stock keeps going up. I suspect people might think it's a stock that does Camping, and are piling into it for that reason, like people did with Zoom or something early on, thinking one stock was another stock. I at first saw Camping World Holdings and thought the same thing and wanted to invest in camping, a year or more ago. I found out they just make motorhomes and RVs, and I invested anyway in them, maybe a different day. I sold when they bounced higher than entering March, but it continues up. It's low was like $4 something, and I was watching them. Insiders were buying, at like $9 on the way down. RVs sales are up, and the stock went up to over $20 when I sold and now it's over $25 I think.

25% of companies are benefiting because of changes in demand patterns

people who dont want to go back to work because theyre making more on unemployment, and businesses shutting down because they didnt get the stimulus they could have passed on to their employees.

A couple more notes on Cuban: he seems like a bro, and not strict or a tightass, but also he's experienced the range of being poor, partying, entrepreneurs, growing big businesses, and staying involved the whole time which isnt what everyone does once they get some position and paycheck. Also he reads a ton. hes looking for things to do. But my question would be if he took the White House would he continue to read an hour or three or whatever it is every day. However I saw him in a casual friend-like interview and his views on some things seemed kind of limited. I could be wrong though. Maybe he in his broad experience with employees saw something I didn't see in my experience of employees. But anyway that doesn't matter too much, presidents always are weak in some areas.

Headlines that Apple is looking to ditch intel chips, the same week Intel says its going to 'bake in' 'anti-malware' into their chips. About a year or two ago we learned that I think both AMD and Intel had been building their chips with backdoors which were found out as 'vulnerable to hacking.' Are we entering a world where it's not enough to have a safe OS, because the hardware has government-friendly backdoors that unsecures our data? That is definitely what governments would like so the answer is yes I guess. Who will make secure chips though?

The more stocks go up, the more experts leave the bear camp and switch to the bull camp. The same thing keeps happening by the day. Red day, green day. Swings about the same level, with Norwegian swinging 15% down and up. I'm not sure if any of the stocks are up to where I sold at yet, except like Canadian Tire I think, but it could go up more.

Most economists seem to think this market is totally liquidity-driven. My guess would be the same. Money is there, so what are you going to do with it except invest. S

Desynchronization and desynchronized reopening.

Total savings in US banks have gone up 15% since March 9, to $11.4t. Money market funds are up 30% in 2020 to $4.7t.

18% of fidelity retail accounts (largest brokerage firm in the US $7t) sold all the stocks they had. 1/3 of retired or older age people sold all their stocks between Feb 20 to May 15. Markets calmed down in a couple months, but they were 40% higher. The buy back in opportunity was missed by many, and they would have to buy back in much higher.

US banks are up $2t in deposits since January. Partly it's because all the stimulus and lines of credit made its first stop in banks. Personal savings hit a record 33% in April. Personal income went up 10% last month thanks to $1200 stimulus checks and unemployment benefits. Checking accounts with less than $5000 had up to a 40% increase in funds last couple months. Banks don't know what to do with all the money.

Friday, June 26

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There might be a thing in the markets as discussed on some market news broadcasts, people who had money in the market and lost a ton in March, or people who finally stopped holding off and went into the market in the past 6 months, and lost a ton of money, psychologically would not want to go into stocks again. Couldn't bring themselves to do it. So they're holding cash. They missed out on the surprise rebound, and now prices are all seemingly overpriced, so there's no entry point they want to make. That money is sitting outside the market. On the other hand, I suspect there is also a bunch of investors who came in when it crashed, and lots of retail investors have reportedly been actively trading. Anyone who came in after March would probably have made significant gains, some people who came in early a 100% increase or more in some cases, but probably lots with 20 to 50 or 70% increase. Those people probably feel comfortable gambling a little more and taking the chance of losing some for the chance to gain more. If that's the case, then only continued market jaggedness and downward progression would discourage them as they occasionally lost sums as well. Market bulls. The economy now is getting a regular bad news and maybe the depressed global outlook is entering people's consciousness and they might start being less bullish. As markets go down more, and some people lose money (anyone in them except a few people who really can time things maybe), the markets might become less volatile and more down. Things might lay like that and people might forget the optimistic future of business for some time, until things start looking positive based on news and then people holding cash would probably want to come in.

The thing now is many people want to come in. There's lots of cash and willing buyers. As long as they can remain bullish the market will fluctuate, although perhaps not increase now because prices seem so high.

People have since before been talking about how prices of popular stocks are driven by news rather than PE, and some commenters say that is like the dot com bubble. One thing both have in common is rising stock market and rising prices for tons of stocks, making people want to make money in the market. The dot com bubble didn't have any recession background though, so we might expect it to be a much larger bubble, although perhaps the bubble relative to size of the economic outlook could be closer in scale.

The Fed has been putting in a floor for markets, so that people who want to sell can sell without devastating the value of companies or spooking or devaluing the investments of other people. Zoom, despite being rife with privacy concerns and basically subject to the Chinese government, keeps going up, even on red days, which makes me wonder if the asset is too valuable to the Chinese government and they have investers propping up it's value. If I'd have thought of that months ago I might have bought stock in this terrible company. Will this move by the Chinese government have the same effect as the moves by the US Fed? to prop up investor sentiment? 'Look even on red days Zoom goes up, let's invest in it.' Today literally no stocks I have on my lists are up except Gold, Clorox a bit, and Zoom. Amazon and a couple others went into the green a couple times but is in the red. The markets are down over a percent. Later on, everything was red, I think even both gold options, except Zoom. Zoom went down .2% at one point but then went back up to +.80.

Wednesday and Thursday I think were the days, maybe Tuesday, when the broader market started going down a bit. Whereas before many stocks were going down in the indexes, but the indexes were going up because of handful of large-cap tech and medical stocks. Then sentiment about reopening went positive and reopening stocks went up also, sometimes making quarantine stocks go down simultaneously, but this week the market was all red a few times. Thursday the market was up and down all day, not just in value, but green and red, green and red, all day. I went into Ford about 2.5% I think Monday or Tuesday, partially to put a toe in which for me 1) makes me feel I made less of a mistake if the market goes up, and also puts me involved into the market in a real way which I think is better for feeling it, and also when it goes down tempers my mind so I'm not always thinking of going into this or that stock. It went down a few percent Thursday, and then Friday a few percent and I sold it. What we also saw was that while in past weeks the Dow had many red days the Nasdaq and often S&P were green at the same time. But this week they were all three red, and by 1 or 2 percent each. Some respected investors are still sitting on the sidelines waiting for a better time to invest.

The news this week has been more and more hospitalizations. In news segments people talk about better ability to treat it than before. Some states that opened or were opening scaled back or stopped reopening. The World Bank or IMF I forget which made a lower projection for global GDP. They've been thought of by market analysts as optimistic in their numbers before and still. Big famous companies are in headlines for lower sales, layoffs, downsizing, closing stores. Consumer spending eased upwards a little in May. Employment numbers are lower again, and mortage bailouts 'suddenly' swelled. In July the stimilus checks stop, unless they're renewed. Polls have Biden leading in everything except the economy, and headlines say investing experts are preparing for a Biden win in some cases. The same stories say the Democrats might flip the Congress as well, or maybe it would be Biden with still a Republican Congress. The big banks had restictions put on their dividends because the Fed thinks they could be stressed. These banks may slash dividends. Analysts are clueless on earnings and it's expected to continue, since there's no guidance now. Unions are seeking more funding to extent payrolls. Entry level job postings are down 70%.

Kanye West is partnering with Gap. How can he think he'll be viewed as anything but lame for this? However, the money might interest him more and also Kanye is somewhat I think immune to that because he's always done his own thing more or less whether it's popular and profitable or not. Plus, perhaps the effect of this kind of thing is less when your market audience is black pop culture, which seems to be a lot more about money is the main thing, and is itself a part of credibility because it has such real value, compared with for example the grunge or hippie music movements where anything like that would be defined as selling out real value for the dubious value of money. That this even occurs to me may be because I have a background in European culture and these movements in it, whereas if I came from a lot of other places Kanye's move would probably seem undoubtedly pure.

There was a headline the other day the Fed is responsible for no one being able to invest in low-income housing because of what the Fed is doing. For a long time, lower-income housing has been very difficult or kind-of impossible to build. In cities land value is the main cost, and there's not enough houses at all for demand and real estate investment at all levels, so if you buy a piece of land to build apartments or houses, you can build an expensive one that will fill up right away or a cheap one that will fill up right away. However, I'm starting to wonder if the Fed with it's liquidity might make it impossible for the investor to invest in any actually valuable stocks. The liquidity propped up the market and made prices go up, but now those stocks are priced beyond value, although some investment authorities upgrade this one or that one higher than they are valued, like Amazon, PayPal, etc. So it might get to the point no one CAN invest in them because the price is too high, and they can't invest in the other companies because their future as businesses isn't certain, so everyone might end up holding cash. Bonds are so devalued, and short-term bonds, as I mentioned above, are par with money because the Fed said they'd keep interest rates at 0 for a couple years.

Social media platforms increasinly are being politicized. The politicized part isn't in the discussion yet, just that Twitter, Slack, etc are censoring the president, Facebook isn't censoring anything except like hate speech and things that would suppress voting. There's been lots of headline backlash against FB for this from employees and there's a movement where giant companies are pulling advertizing from FB and Insta in response, most recently Verizon, Unilever. You might expect these companies are all Democrat. Maybe they want to cut advertising anyway because of the situation, and they can look good with the Democratic party by doing it in a way where they look like they're joining this movement.

A new platform, actually years old but not much used, went from 1 million to 1.5m users last week because Republicans don't like Twitter sensoring the President. Unilever in their statement said they were withdrawing from all social media platforms due to the polarizing nature of them. At first I thought Unilever was boycotting Facebook like the other Democrat companies, because I'd just read the headlines and first paragraphs of the articles on my mainstream news app, but in the fineprint later on I learned that wasn't true. Other big companies are doing the same, but also saying they were going to cut spending anyway due to what's going on. Even in CNBC news the headlines and most of the article refers to companies as joining the boycott of Facebook when they clearly stated they were withdrawing from all social media including Twitter, but in the articles it sounds like they're joining the anti-Republican movement when they're not. The new app is called Parler and in statements the CEO says 'anything you can say on the streets of NY you can say on Parler' but then when you read what's prohibited it's exactly the same as Facebook and Twitter, which is not free speech and definitely not everything you can say on the street. For Zuckerberg who it looks like doesn't want to take a side in this and actually be open to R and D both unlike Twitter it's tough because Democrats are all mounting an offense against him, which includes the current BLM wave which is calling on them to do more things with 'hate speech.' This is really what you get though if you don't stand for freedom of speech which isn't qualified or limited in this area and that area as the owners see fit to change or implement. If you go that route, I mean actual free speech, first of all you couldn't do it with a US (or Canada or European etc) domain or server, because those places don't allow free speech on their internet, and you'd have to go through a less famous country, but besides that you'd have to fend off initially a mass of people disliking you because they don't like what other people are saying. However, it might be able to pass through this to the point where people actually accept free speech as a thing on a platform.

And when I say 'that's what you get,' I mean not only that your platform is weak and that you support a country that doesn't have human rights. Speech, thought, and belief in this case. But you also get a situation, maybe unavoidable, where your platforms will be fractured because political power groupings will dominate them through the control of speech, driving the less powerful opposing groupings off the platform to their own platform. Divisive along clear lines of dominance battles, just like tribal politics in Africa.

Everyone had expected that the virus would have a second wave or a possible second wave when the northern hemisphere gets cold again in September, October, November. This was a consideration for markets. What happened though was at least in the US states quarantined a bit and then as things looked better everyone got euphoric about things going to be better and better and states all reopened and hospitalizations spiked to new highs within a couple weeks of reopening. So rather than a second wave, the first wave continues. That was a surprising development to analysts and myself.

Biden is the Democratic candidate after Bernie and the others dropped out amid depressing probabilities for them. This is evidence the lessons from Trump's election haven't turned into actual changes in the party. Biden is so unimpressive and besides smiling nicely doesn't seem to have much to bring. Why couldn't they in 4 years bring out a new, exciting, competent candidate? From their massive pool of Democratic people? Maybe someone not before involved in politics, like Trump and Trudeau. Biden is currently, according to headlines in news, which is mostly written by liberals and Democrats, leading in almost everything, but I haven't heard him talk yet anywhere. And when it gets to the debate I suspect Trump is going to destroy him. Even though Trump could easily be destroyed also by a competent adversary, he hasn't faced one in the R and D career politicians he went up against on TV, Trump has the ability to attack a person in a public way to put fear in them, and so far none of those guys knew how to fight back the same way. Cuban would be exciting to watch in debate with Trump, but I don't think Cuban is ready to run for president yet. But the next term is 4 years from now, and it would be time for a probably change to D if Trump keeps office, just given that they seem to switch every term or two. He'll be 65 in 2024. He seems so much younger, like in his 40s, sometimes almost 50, but he's three years older than Obama.

This is a really fast paced market. Reading this, you have to keep in mind that any given day during these months you could only consume news from that day or a day before. News from three days ago was outdated to irrelevance. News from 6 or 12 months ago was talking about expectations that were completely changed, which may be different from the past many years of steadily rising markets with somewhat segmental events like the China trade war affecting parts of it and overall in a lesser way, but news from analysts from 6 months or a year earlier were still relevant as talking about expectations for the future that were still the model. Now, the expectations change every 24 hours. In other words, there is no certainty. Every day we look at what's happened in the past 24 hours compared with the past four months, contrasted with the past 10 years and the 2008 09 crisis and the dot com bubble and the Great Depression of the 1930s, and try to make new predictions based on that, as if it were going to continue as a trend tomorrow or next week.

Broadly, people still think the markets and economies will resume as they had been going for the past 10 years and for the past 100 years maybe, after this whole virus thing has passed, when there's a vaccine or something. But that's not certain. The current actions of the Fed pumping liquidity is unprecedented, and economists were already projecting a recession based on the market cycle and economic circumstances. It seems therefore possible that there could be a new turn. If past recessions were beaten without liquidity and artificial market bottoms and other supports by the Fed, and had to actually restrengthen and wealth was lost and had to be rebuilt, and this time we have tons of perhaps-artificial liquidity and an perhaps-artifical market, something different could happen, different from past recoveries. The liquidity could lead to inflation, which could be combined with less production and less employed and less actually earned money, and then other events would trigger other events. Who knows. Personally I'd really enjoy getting into a room or even these days a video room with a few other people who know either about history or economics or are creative in terms of thinking of unthought of things, and working out possible projections, but I don't know people who are either educated or willing to do that sort of thing.

In a couple days it'll be Q3.

TTTThis