Author Topic: Are we at the beginning of a depression?  (Read 20732 times)

nereo

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #50 on: March 12, 2020, 03:32:55 PM »
...2.4% of the population dies.

Sarcasm?

Germany says up to 70% of their population will be infected. The WHO says the mortality rate is ~3.4%. Do you think that the US response is better than Germany's? You do the math.

No they donít.

Telecaster

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #51 on: March 12, 2020, 03:33:08 PM »
Depression? Nah. Recession? Probably a short one but will hit hard and end fast with steepish rises. While this one makes me a bit itchy, I don't think it'll come close to the Great Recession in 2008.

I think you are right.  In 2008, there was systemic issue with the banking industry that took substantial time to work out.  This recession (if we get that far) is caused by an external event.  Once that event is over, I don't see why things wouldn't return to normal. 

PDXTabs

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v8rx7guy

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #53 on: March 12, 2020, 03:36:32 PM »
Some projections suggest 150,000 deaths in the US are possible.

Not to be grim, but I think that with what we are seeing in Italy and Germany that we can safely say that is off by an order of magnitude. Or to be more specific: I'd bet money that we are going to see at least 1 million deaths in the USA, but less than 10 million.

I'd take that bet against 1 million+ dying any day and twice on Sunday.

PDXTabs

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #54 on: March 12, 2020, 03:37:41 PM »
I'd take that bet against 1 million+ dying any day and twice on Sunday.

I'm willing to wager $240 to your favorite charity, 18 months from now? Because seriously, I don't want to win this bet.

v8rx7guy

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #55 on: March 12, 2020, 03:45:42 PM »
I'd take that bet against 1 million+ dying any day and twice on Sunday.

I'm willing to wager $240 to your favorite charity, 18 months from now? Because seriously, I don't want to win this bet.

$100 to favorite charity.  1,000,000 Deaths in the USA per this website: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ , September 12, 2021 end date .  I'll set a reminder?

PDXTabs

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #56 on: March 12, 2020, 03:47:15 PM »
$100 to favorite charity.  1,000,000 Deaths in the USA per this website: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ , September 12, 2021 end date .  I'll set a reminder?

Assuming that website is still getting updates, absolutely.

Bet on. Fingers crossed that I lose.

waltworks

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #57 on: March 12, 2020, 03:48:59 PM »
LOL. 3k deaths in *China*, which is an elderly yet poor developing country where tons of people smoke... and you expect a million in the US?

Can I get in on this bet too?

-W

PDXTabs

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #58 on: March 12, 2020, 03:50:47 PM »
LOL. 3k deaths in *China*, which is an elderly yet poor developing country where tons of people smoke... and you expect a million in the US?

I've spent time in China. I know how fast the government is willing to react and how far they are willing to go. They also have a population with SARS experience.

Can I get in on this bet too?

Sure thing, I have $140 left to wager.

EDITed to add - I also am a little skeptical of the numbers coming out of China.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2020, 04:17:25 PM by PDXTabs »

FINate

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #59 on: March 12, 2020, 04:01:44 PM »
LOL. 3k deaths in *China*, which is an elderly yet poor developing country where tons of people smoke... and you expect a million in the US?

I've spent time in China. I know how fast the government is willing to react and how far they are willing to go. They also have a population with SARs experience.

This^^^ What we American's lack in skill we make up for in confidence. Except our over confidence is going to get people killed this time around. I'm not placing bets on the actual numbers, nor do I think the actual numbers matter that much. It'll take far fewer than 1M deaths to grind our healthcare system to a halt.

magnet18

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #60 on: March 12, 2020, 04:02:21 PM »
Germany says up to 70% of their population will be infected. The WHO says the mortality rate is ~3.4%. Do you think that the US response is better than Germany's? You do the math.

Important clarification:  WHO says the mortality rate is ~3.4% of reported cases.  Many people who experience mild symptoms never go to the doctor and testing was limited in the early weeks.  The mortality rate of all cases appears to be about 1%.   Which is still plenty big enough to overload our medical system.

If it comes to that

Respectfully to Germany, "Up to 70%" is pulled out of thin air

China reported only 19 new cases today, with 80,000 officially recorded and ~500,000 estimated to have occurred
19 cases seems pretty stagnant, and .5M constitutes 0.05% of their population.  It could make 10 more waves and still be half a percent *infected*, of which the death rate is again a single digit percentage

And from the very article you are linking
Quote
However other German health experts say it is unlikely that two-thirds of Germans will end up getting the coronavirus.

Virologist Alexander Kekulť, a former federal government advisor on disease control, told German media that in the worst case scenario a maximum of 40,000 people in the country would die. He said this estimation was based on the number of cases in China, where the rate of new infections is slowing.
So that guy says she's full of it, and that they should expect 0.048% worst case

theolympians

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #61 on: March 12, 2020, 04:17:17 PM »
This is a case of a cure being worse than the disease.The virus doesn't scare me, 1-3% mortality, mainly the old and sick. Our economy is grinding to a halt based on that. The sky is falling mentality will kill us not the virus. We have been raised so long on doom and gloom, armageddon around the corner, that we jumped the shark.

PDXTabs

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #62 on: March 12, 2020, 04:19:54 PM »
This is a case of a cure being worse than the disease.The virus doesn't scare me, 1-3% mortality, mainly the old and sick. Our economy is grinding to a halt based on that. The sky is falling mentality will kill us not the virus. We have been raised so long on doom and gloom, armageddon around the corner, that we jumped the shark.

If we slow the spread more people will live, because more people will have access to ICU beds. The median age for a person in the ICU in Italy is 65. That means half of them are less than 65. How many people are you willing to kill to keep the economy from grinding to a halt, keeping in mind that those lost souls will also be lost demand and in some cases lost supply?

utaca

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #63 on: March 12, 2020, 04:21:04 PM »
This is a case of a cure being worse than the disease.The virus doesn't scare me, 1-3% mortality, mainly the old and sick. Our economy is grinding to a halt based on that. The sky is falling mentality will kill us not the virus. We have been raised so long on doom and gloom, armageddon around the corner, that we jumped the shark.

Maybe. But I think this is also good practice for when something truly scary comes around, like a more infectious SARS.

Fru-Gal

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #64 on: March 12, 2020, 04:42:02 PM »
Quote
This is a case of a cure being worse than the disease.The virus doesn't scare me, 1-3% mortality, mainly the old and sick. Our economy is grinding to a halt based on that. The sky is falling mentality will kill us not the virus. We have been raised so long on doom and gloom, armageddon around the corner, that we jumped the shark.
How do you explain such disparate nations reacting in exactly the same way, then?

dividendman

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #65 on: March 12, 2020, 04:47:23 PM »
Remember all those threads way back in the day "what if everyone became frugal"?

I guess this is what happens. This is essentially forced frugality on folks.

bbates728

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #66 on: March 12, 2020, 05:04:46 PM »
@PDXTabs

How about a beer bet? DW and I make our way down to Oregon every so often. You win I buy and if I win you get the first one?

PDXTabs

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #67 on: March 12, 2020, 05:07:03 PM »
@PDXTabs

How about a beer bet? DW and I make our way down to Oregon every so often. You win I buy and if I win you get the first one?

Absolutely.

Fired4Life

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #68 on: March 12, 2020, 05:11:00 PM »
This pandemic, like all pandemics before it, will run its course over a few months.  It's not a zombie apocalypse.

The Aztecs would beg to differ. Inca's too. Probably also the Maya's.
And the 20m-40m who died in 1918 of the Spanish Flu, like the Aztecs and Incas before them, would all be dead by now anyways, so what does it really matter?

I know, I know, that's ancient history and history never repeats itself, sometimes it rhymes, etc.


Did you all see Bernie's speech today?? He said he came from a meeting and that to expect casualties as high as Americans had in WW2. There were over 400,000 casualties of Americans in WW2. Definitely not helping the situation.

spartana

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #69 on: March 12, 2020, 05:12:14 PM »
I'm going to have to revise my answer since I just heard Disneyland is closing. Depression? This must be Armageddon!

Fired4Life

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #70 on: March 12, 2020, 05:13:31 PM »
It's funny, for years and years and YEARS all we heard about on this board is how "stocks are overpriced!"  Now that we've had an actual drop in prices, no one seems to be reacting like "Yay, stocks are on sale".  I mean, you people DID want some re-alingment of CAPE, didn't you?  Well here it is.  I thought you'd all be happy....

Yes, it is great for those still working on their way to FIRE, but for those who are already FIRED are seeing it drop daily like down $100k after a few weeks. How would you feel?

FINate

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #71 on: March 12, 2020, 05:26:58 PM »
It's funny, for years and years and YEARS all we heard about on this board is how "stocks are overpriced!"  Now that we've had an actual drop in prices, no one seems to be reacting like "Yay, stocks are on sale".  I mean, you people DID want some re-alingment of CAPE, didn't you?  Well here it is.  I thought you'd all be happy....

Yes, it is great for those still working on their way to FIRE, but for those who are already FIRED are seeing it drop daily like down $100k after a few weeks. How would you feel?

I'm FIRE. Can honestly say that I'm not worried or bothered by what the market is doing.

As part of FIRE I already had a certain percentage of my portfolio in conservative investments to help absorb a stock market panic. So I'm pulling from cash reserves and bond funds instead of equities. With some belt tightening we can do this for about 2 years, maybe longer if we really got aggressive with cost cutting. This will eventually pass and the markets will recover. The losses in the stock market only matter if you sell when things are down.

spartana

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #72 on: March 12, 2020, 05:43:54 PM »
It's funny, for years and years and YEARS all we heard about on this board is how "stocks are overpriced!"  Now that we've had an actual drop in prices, no one seems to be reacting like "Yay, stocks are on sale".  I mean, you people DID want some re-alingment of CAPE, didn't you?  Well here it is.  I thought you'd all be happy....

Yes, it is great for those still working on their way to FIRE, but for those who are already FIRED are seeing it drop daily like down $100k after a few weeks. How would you feel?

I'm FIRE. Can honestly say that I'm not worried or bothered by what the market is doing.

As part of FIRE I already had a certain percentage of my portfolio in conservative investments to help absorb a stock market panic. So I'm pulling from cash reserves and bond funds instead of equities. With some belt tightening we can do this for about 2 years, maybe longer if we really got aggressive with cost cutting. This will eventually pass and the markets will recover. The losses in the stock market only matter if you sell when things are down.
This is what I did in 2008 and what I will do now. Back then as a fairly new FIREee with nothing but investments and some "cash". I was a bit scared but it worked out OK and I was able to live comfortably on my EF with very now expenses. I'm in a better position now so not too worried but I do feel bad for new investors who may wind up losing their job and all their investments if things spiral down too far. 

Bernard

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #73 on: March 12, 2020, 05:57:35 PM »
I don't want to be a party pooper, but to bring this into perspective, when I was a young lad, this planet had 2.3 billion people living on it. Today, a good 50 years later, it's 7.4 billion. What this planet really needs for long term survival of the human race is not more Teslas and not a flu virus, but a meteor that takes about 4,000,000,000 to their creator, primarily in Africa and South East Asia.

On a related note, every weekend more people get shot to death in Chicago's gang ghettos than die from the Covidvirus nationwide. To predict that a million people in the US will die from it is beyond wacko.

Telecaster

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #74 on: March 12, 2020, 06:10:20 PM »
On a related note, every weekend more people get shot to death in Chicago's gang ghettos than die from the Covidvirus nationwide. To predict that a million people in the US will die from it is beyond wacko.

Careful.  We're in the very earlier stages.  It takes a while to infect people, and it takes  while to die.  As more and more people become infected, more and more will die, up to the inflection point.

Now, one million is on the high side of every estimate I've seen, but hundreds of thousands is plausible.  Especially based on our government's Keystone Kops approach to dealing with it.

FINate

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #75 on: March 12, 2020, 06:15:13 PM »
I don't want to be a party pooper, but to bring this into perspective, when I was a young lad, this planet had 2.3 billion people living on it. Today, a good 50 years later, it's 7.4 billion. What this planet really needs for long term survival of the human race is not more Teslas and not a flu virus, but a meteor that takes about 4,000,000,000 to their creator, primarily in Africa and South East Asia.

On a related note, every weekend more people get shot to death in Chicago's gang ghettos than die from the Covidvirus nationwide. To predict that a million people in the US will die from it is beyond wacko.

Based on per capita energy usage per country, I would say that the world would be better off if said meteor hit the wealthy western countries: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_energy_consumption_per_capita#/media/File:World_Map_-_Energy_Use_2013.png

However, I don't wish for the death of anyone anywhere and find this abhorrent, so...

PDXTabs

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #76 on: March 13, 2020, 08:21:46 PM »
I noticed today that the CDC's own worst case US death count is 1.7 million. I'm not saying that is a likely outcome, but it's in their ballpark of reasonable.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #77 on: March 13, 2020, 10:01:21 PM »
I don't think COVID-19 by itself will cause a recession. A month or two of collapsing aggregate demand might.

When an entire planet decides to stay home from vacations, restaurants, shopping, entertainment venues, business travel, etc. - even if just for a couple of weeks - that puts a dent in growth, which had been trending to be flat anyway. If consumer spending drops just 5% for just 2 months, let's just all agree that's a guaranteed recession. Take a look at Mint or Personal Capital and ask yourself how your spending is doing over the last week or two?

We have yet to see bankruptcies and downgrades from the bloated junk bond and B rated bond markets. According to my search screen, these include a lot of retailers and oil related companies that have only been kept afloat by the continued availability of cheap liquidity. They may now be unable to refinance or have their revolving credit revoked as earnings fall below covenant levels. A few defaults could drive a devaluation of low-grade bonds that could expand deeper into investment grade and cause a liquidity crisis to rival the mortgage bust of 2007-8.

If you disagree with my bond concerns, Royal Caribbean bonds (CUSIP: 780153AU6) now yield 10% and are technically still investment grade. Go for it!

Telecaster

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #78 on: March 14, 2020, 11:27:13 AM »
There is no question in my mind we are headed for a recession.  In Seattle, already many restaurants have closed and the staff laid off.  Hotel bookings are way down.  Airplanes sit idle.  Those companies will be laying off soon.  Companies that service those companies will be laying off after that.  European countries are going into lockdown which will crater their economies.  That will affect our companies who do business over there.

The good news is that AFAIK, unlike 2008 there is nothing systemically wrong with the economy, so I would expect a fast recovery. 

HuskiesUnited

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #79 on: March 14, 2020, 01:21:04 PM »
There is no question in my mind we are headed for a recession.  In Seattle, already many restaurants have closed and the staff laid off.  Hotel bookings are way down.  Airplanes sit idle.  Those companies will be laying off soon.  Companies that service those companies will be laying off after that.  European countries are going into lockdown which will crater their economies.  That will affect our companies who do business over there.

Economies shutting down are unprecedented.

What you describe is exactly the kind of chain reaction I foresee happening throughout the economy.

My wife is an audiologist who sells hearing aids and does hearing tests at a doctors office.  Most of the front desk staff and nursing assistants make at most $12-13 per hour and live paycheck to paycheck in a HCOL area.  The doctors schedules are getting a large number of cancellations as any type of elective appointment no one wants to come in for.  My wife sends a lot of hearing aids for repair, but that stopped a couple weeks ago as no parts from China means canít do the repair at the repair facility in the US.

One staff members daughters boyfriend has tested positive for the virus.  The daughter lives with the staff member.  The doctors told the staff member to go home for two weeks.  Lucky for her, she is the biller and probably the only one who can work from home.

However, with a declining patient load, and lower associated revenue to cover the business expenses, all staff will likely soon be working fewer hours.  This wonít matter for my wife and I, we could be FIREd but donít mind our jobs.  But it is a big deal to the other staff.  If anyone has to isolate at home, the business manager says it will be without pay ... the small doctors office canít afford extra sick pay at a time when business is way down.

Beyond that, I see all the schools and park districts around me closed and will be refunding all classes.  Fees used to fund coaches and instructors wonít be getting paid, so the coaches and instructors wonít be paid. Another example of people not getting paid.

My wife and I have tickets to a theatre near our house and see 5 plays per year.  They are closed through May 1.  The shows are pushed out.  In the interim, Iím guessing the actors, actresses, and crews wonít be paid.

Restaurant business is seeing a huge drop.  Owners will need to slash schedules and pay to whatever demand they have.  They will be ordering less food from their suppliers.  Fewer trucks needed for delivery.  One domino after another.

At what point do we see a massively reduced flight schedule? No one is traveling.  Pilots, baggage crew, maintenance crews, flight control, airport restaurants, etc will be furloughed.

All schools are closed.  Day care facilities closed.  People at my place of employment (BigTechCo) are going to have to stay home with the kids.  BigTechCo probably isnít going to offer to pay BigTechCo salary rate extra sick pay.  Then BigTechCo has a problem getting all of its work done and meeting project deadlines.  Not sure where this goes.  Does BigTechCo cut back on projects and lay people off?

In the next few weeks, I think we are going to see a huge drop in demand and a huge drop in GDP.  Small businesses going bankrupt.  Liquidity problems.   Massive further drop in the stock market.  Things may start getting better later this year, if we are able to get the virus under control.  People are returning to work in China, the virus is improving, but will a relapse be avoided?
« Last Edit: March 14, 2020, 02:01:15 PM by HuskieJoe »

dividendman

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #80 on: March 14, 2020, 01:29:51 PM »
I think the megacap tech companies (GOOG, AAPL, MSFT, AMZN) are going to make out like bandits in this.

1) They have the capital to last any downturn
2) A lot (or all) of their services can be used and be paid for without actually going to a particular place - demand is actually increasing for various WFH software services
3) Their mid-tier and lower competition doesn't have 1) so they can be bought on the cheap or go bankrupt
4) They can cut costs by not having as generous raises/perks/etc.

All of that being said... I'm still just doing my usual indexing per my plan.

better late

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #81 on: March 14, 2020, 01:30:12 PM »
When we were in quarantine we went days without making a purchase; typically I canít go 24 hours without some type of transaction.

TomTX

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #82 on: March 14, 2020, 01:33:06 PM »
Not a depression, no. Talk to your grandparents about what the Great Depression was actually like.

It is a challenge. Some projections suggest 150,000 deaths in the US are possible. But we forget how catastrophic 1929-1932 was. 25% unemployment rate. 33% contraction in GDP.
I will be shocked if we only have 150,000 direct coronavirus deaths in the USA.

Don't forget - when the hospitals are swamped with coronavirus cases, they can't treat the patients from usual car wrecks, heart attacks, strokes, cancer, etc.


Mighty-Dollar

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #84 on: March 14, 2020, 09:30:24 PM »
I agree that if you are just now deciding to sell, you are a fool. You already missed the train to safety. At this point you might as well just ride it out.

FINate

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #85 on: March 14, 2020, 10:23:33 PM »
I've been invested in the market continuously since 2001 and as such have lived through multiple cycles. In every single up turn the exact same thing happens: overconfidence, people bragging about how well their investments are doing...everyone is an investing genius when a rising tide lifts all boats. Then suddenly the mood changes: doom and gloom, new normal (remember that one), things will never recover this time.

In 2001 I graduated with a CS degree into a moribund tech economy. It was fashionable at the time to claim Software Engineering was a dying profession because all the jobs were being outsourced. This wasn't the view of a few cranks, it was the consensus opinion among all the talking heads. Am I ever glad I ignored all this and instead pressed on with my career!

My point is that people are idiots. I'm an idiot, and so are you. We are idiots because we all concoct coherent yet false stories based mostly on emotion, and we cherry pick data to confirm our biases. Your only hope is to remove emotion from the equation by being a principled investor based on the only method demonstrated to work long term: buy and hold passive index investing.

Anyone thinking they (or others) are fools for not selling earlier doesn't understand the fundamentals of investing. If you're stressed and worried about what's going on right now this tells me that you had an inappropriate asset allocation, either because you weren't honest with yourself about your risk tolerance and/or you incorrectly assessed your investment horizon.

I'll kindly suggest that such folks should not be in the market. It's not worth the stress, and you'll do better saving in CDs and other safe investments vs. buying high when you're full of confidence followed by selling in a panic. Better yet, read up on how to invest for the long term and follow your plan without worrying about all the noise.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2020, 10:27:14 PM by FINate »

PDXTabs

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #86 on: March 17, 2020, 06:08:39 PM »
Imperial College says that 1.1 million dead in the USA is the best case. Unmitigated is double that.

American GenX

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #87 on: March 17, 2020, 07:18:08 PM »
This is a case of a cure being worse than the disease.The virus doesn't scare me, 1-3% mortality, mainly the old and sick. Our economy is grinding to a halt based on that. The sky is falling mentality will kill us not the virus. We have been raised so long on doom and gloom, armageddon around the corner, that we jumped the shark.

That's sad and selfish.  You don't care about older people dying and suffering because it hurts your stash.  I say, grind everything to a halt.  Yes, this is devastating and crippling to the economy and will be a long and depressing recession or depression.  But I think things will start looking better in several years.  Keep investing and don't cry about today's temporary losses.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #88 on: March 17, 2020, 07:32:16 PM »
This is a case of a cure being worse than the disease.The virus doesn't scare me, 1-3% mortality, mainly the old and sick. Our economy is grinding to a halt based on that. The sky is falling mentality will kill us not the virus. We have been raised so long on doom and gloom, armageddon around the corner, that we jumped the shark.

That's sad and selfish.  You don't care about older people dying and suffering because it hurts your stash.  I say, grind everything to a halt.  Yes, this is devastating and crippling to the economy and will be a long and depressing recession or depression.  But I think things will start looking better in several years.  Keep investing and don't cry about today's temporary losses.

The time will come when we will have to confront the possibility our attempts at containment have failed and the virus is circulating out of control in all communities. The social distancing measures will have done whatever good they can do flattening the curve, and a few million people will have already recovered and developed immunity. When that point comes, there will be a nasty debate between those who want to lift social distancing and avoid a depression and those who want to save lives by continuing the social distancing measures. Of course, poverty kills people all the time, particularly in the U.S, so it's something of an academic exercise to ask which will kill more people - the virus or the depression.

Of course, best case scenario is a vaccine or treatment is developed during this time we're buying right now. For that reason the social isolation measures should go on. But the pressure to reopen businesses and schools is about to get very real. Losing one's stash is one thing - mass homelessness looms for the majority of Americans who live paycheck to paycheck. Yet the elderly are the ones who vote. The fight will get nasty.

American GenX

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #89 on: March 17, 2020, 07:46:28 PM »
This is a case of a cure being worse than the disease.The virus doesn't scare me, 1-3% mortality, mainly the old and sick. Our economy is grinding to a halt based on that. The sky is falling mentality will kill us not the virus. We have been raised so long on doom and gloom, armageddon around the corner, that we jumped the shark.

That's sad and selfish.  You don't care about older people dying and suffering because it hurts your stash.  I say, grind everything to a halt.  Yes, this is devastating and crippling to the economy and will be a long and depressing recession or depression.  But I think things will start looking better in several years.  Keep investing and don't cry about today's temporary losses.

The time will come when we will have to confront the possibility our attempts at containment have failed and the virus is circulating out of control in all communities. The social distancing measures will have done whatever good they can do flattening the curve, and a few million people will have already recovered and developed immunity. When that point comes, there will be a nasty debate between those who want to lift social distancing and avoid a depression and those who want to save lives by continuing the social distancing measures. Of course, poverty kills people all the time, particularly in the U.S, so it's something of an academic exercise to ask which will kill more people - the virus or the depression.

Of course, best case scenario is a vaccine or treatment is developed during this time we're buying right now. For that reason the social isolation measures should go on. But the pressure to reopen businesses and schools is about to get very real. Losing one's stash is one thing - mass homelessness looms for the majority of Americans who live paycheck to paycheck. Yet the elderly are the ones who vote. The fight will get nasty.

Things will change eventually, but now is not that time.  Too many people complain that this is an overreaction.  Based on the modeling, it's actually a late reaction.  The main thing is to slow the spread so that the healthcare industry isn't overwhelmed with massive numbers of patients at the same time, like in Italy.   We will have a better idea once the SHTF.

magnet18

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #90 on: March 17, 2020, 08:08:45 PM »
UK response is interesting

Basically tell the old to lockdown hard, and let the young work through it like the common cold, minimizing economic impact

Looks like they may be walking it back though

Time will tell if it backfires for them majorly

ChpBstrd

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #91 on: March 17, 2020, 08:58:31 PM »
This is a case of a cure being worse than the disease.The virus doesn't scare me, 1-3% mortality, mainly the old and sick. Our economy is grinding to a halt based on that. The sky is falling mentality will kill us not the virus. We have been raised so long on doom and gloom, armageddon around the corner, that we jumped the shark.

That's sad and selfish.  You don't care about older people dying and suffering because it hurts your stash.  I say, grind everything to a halt.  Yes, this is devastating and crippling to the economy and will be a long and depressing recession or depression.  But I think things will start looking better in several years.  Keep investing and don't cry about today's temporary losses.

The time will come when we will have to confront the possibility our attempts at containment have failed and the virus is circulating out of control in all communities. The social distancing measures will have done whatever good they can do flattening the curve, and a few million people will have already recovered and developed immunity. When that point comes, there will be a nasty debate between those who want to lift social distancing and avoid a depression and those who want to save lives by continuing the social distancing measures. Of course, poverty kills people all the time, particularly in the U.S, so it's something of an academic exercise to ask which will kill more people - the virus or the depression.

Of course, best case scenario is a vaccine or treatment is developed during this time we're buying right now. For that reason the social isolation measures should go on. But the pressure to reopen businesses and schools is about to get very real. Losing one's stash is one thing - mass homelessness looms for the majority of Americans who live paycheck to paycheck. Yet the elderly are the ones who vote. The fight will get nasty.

Things will change eventually, but now is not that time.  Too many people complain that this is an overreaction.  Based on the modeling, it's actually a late reaction.  The main thing is to slow the spread so that the healthcare industry isn't overwhelmed with massive numbers of patients at the same time, like in Italy.   We will have a better idea once the SHTF.

True. I think the timing of this debate will have implications for whether we get a recession or a depression.

However, even this may be optimistic. Really there are no good options from an economic POV:
     -Throw everything at slowing the virus and you get a depression, but maybe beat the virus.
     -Admit defeat and try to save the economy, and you get the economic losses of lots of dead/sick people which might by itself cause a depression.

MustacheAndaHalf

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #92 on: March 18, 2020, 04:41:23 AM »
Consider who went to prison for the 2008 financial crisis?  One guy, maybe.  Fraud and theft everywhere - but it was only money.  But murder can carry a life sentence, because there's a much higher value placed on life than on money.

So countries that place their economies above saving lives are going to be tested, hard.  I don't see how politicians will be able to remain in power as the death toll rises higher and higher.  At the very least, people will become more isolated out of fear, even if the government doesn't order a lock down.  I have doubts that any country will hold firm with a herd immunity approach as the pressure mounts.

Paper Chaser

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #93 on: March 18, 2020, 06:10:56 AM »
Imperial College says that 1.1 million dead in the USA is the best case. Unmitigated is double that.

Across what kind of timeline? 1.1 million deaths over 1 year? 10 years? 100 years?

Data from the WHO's most recent update ( https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports) indicates that globally there have been 179,111 confirmed cases, with 7426 deaths attributed to this virus. So across all of the various situations and demographics in humanity, the mortality rate is 4.1% of those infected being killed.

If your concern is that not enough people have been tested, then that likely increases the number of cases more than the number of deaths because they're only testing the most obvious or likely cases at the moment. If you have minimal symptoms you may have COVID-19, but you're probably not getting tested, and you're definitely not dying from it. That means the actual mortality rate is likely to be much lower than what the current data reflects.

But, if we use the WHO's 4.1% mortality rate as a constant moving forward for the US (possibly dubious), that would mean that we'd have to have over 26.8 million confirmed cases to see your 1.1million deaths estimate. That would be about 8% of the US population contracting the virus. Is there any country on Earth that's even seeing 1% of the total population contracting this yet? How long would it take for the US to see 8% of the population contract this?


Using the same WHO data, there have been 3503 confirmed cases with 58 deaths in the US. That's a mortality rate of 1.6% to this point in the US (Obviously it's currently a limited data set). But the point is that many countries have done a lot less preparation, and have worse health care systems. They're dragging the mortality rate up, while the US is likely to drag it down.
If the current mortality rate in the US continues, then it would mean 68.75 million cases of COVID-19 would have to occur to see 1.1 million deaths from it. That's roughly 20% of the US population. It's going to take more than a couple of months to go from the current 3k cases to almost 69 million cases in the current environment.

Edit: I read the report. It's basically a study on Herd Immunity vs complete Social Distancing. Their estimate of 1.1 million deaths is for a 2 year time period using what they call the "mitigation" strategy, which sounds like the "herd immunity" approach they were planning on in the UK. They're defining mitigation as- "combining home isolation of suspect cases, home quarantine of those living in the same household as suspect cases, and social distancing of the elderly and others at most risk of severe disease."

Their alternative strategy is being called "suppression" defined as "suppression will minimally require a combination of social distancing of the entire population, home isolation of cases and household quarantine of their family members. This may need to be supplemented by school and university closures"

« Last Edit: March 18, 2020, 07:10:57 AM by Paper Chaser »

Paper Chaser

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #94 on: March 18, 2020, 06:33:16 AM »
As for the economic impacts of the current situation, I find comparisons to 2008 a bit apples to oranges. 2008 started with Wall St and impacted Main St. It was a mess, but life went on for the average person, even if there was more financial stress.

What we're seeing now is more or less working the opposite direction. Wall St is reacting to Main street not just slowing down, but shutting down almost entirely. And it's not just the US either. It's the entire developed world retreating to their homes at the same time. Commerce has mostly stopped completely, and they're still shutting things down. It hasn't bottomed out yet.

I'm not one to make predictions, but I do think this will have very severe economic impacts that will take a few years to recover from.

fattest_foot

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #95 on: March 18, 2020, 08:07:02 AM »
This is a case of a cure being worse than the disease.The virus doesn't scare me, 1-3% mortality, mainly the old and sick. Our economy is grinding to a halt based on that. The sky is falling mentality will kill us not the virus. We have been raised so long on doom and gloom, armageddon around the corner, that we jumped the shark.

That's sad and selfish.  You don't care about older people dying and suffering because it hurts your stash.  I say, grind everything to a halt.  Yes, this is devastating and crippling to the economy and will be a long and depressing recession or depression.  But I think things will start looking better in several years.  Keep investing and don't cry about today's temporary losses.
And if more people die from the repercussions of cratering the economy?

This is pretty unprecedented right now. We've got entire cities shutting down for an indefinite period of time.

They were talking about how "store shelves will still be stocked." But will they? You shut down all schools and daycares, so now people have to make the decision to take care of their children or go to work. So the factories that produce the products on the shelves stop showing up. Eventually, the entire economy grinds to a halt. And without people producing ANYTHING because we've shut it all down, people will die.

We've reached the point where the solution is way worse than the problem.

TomTX

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #96 on: March 18, 2020, 08:21:28 AM »
Using the same WHO data, there have been 3503 confirmed cases with 58 deaths in the US. That's a mortality rate of 1.6% to this point in the US (Obviously it's currently a limited data set). But the point is that many countries have done a lot less preparation, and have worse health care systems. They're dragging the mortality rate up, while the US is likely to drag it down.
If the current mortality rate in the US continues, then it would mean 68.75 million cases of COVID-19 would have to occur to see 1.1 million deaths from it. That's roughly 20% of the US population. It's going to take more than a couple of months to go from the current 3k cases to almost 69 million cases in the current environment.

Update for today: US has 6519 confirmed cases and 115 deaths.

Keep in mind that death is a seriously lagging indicator. It's 24 days from infection to half of the deaths (median time to death)



https://covid19info.live/

CrankAddict

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #97 on: March 18, 2020, 08:31:00 AM »
I'd like to understand from those who think high death tolls are ridiculous where that notion comes from?

I'm a computer programmer, not a doctor and certainly not an infectious disease expert. So all I can do in a situation like this is try to parse the information from those most likely to have the answers.  And admittedly, most of these people still seem to be saying "there's a lot we don't know at this point".  But here are the numbers I have seen:

40-70% of global population gets the virus at some point
4% of those infected will die

Now let's say I'm a super skeptic and I take their lowest number of 40% and still say no way, it'll only be a quarter of that.  Fine, 10% of the world gets it.  And let's say I do the same and assert at most 1% mortality rate.  We're still talking about 7.7M deaths worldwide.  327K deaths in the US.  And this "optimistically low" number is based on absolutely nothing.  A gut feeling put up against the world's expert's best guesses.  I don't get that.  If the US casualties of 100 9/11s hang in the balance, is it not wise to error on the side of caution?

I think we could all use some good news and some reason to think this will be less severe than we fear, so I'd love to see some credible information that suggests this could be the case.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2020, 08:32:41 AM by CrankAddict »

Paper Chaser

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #98 on: March 18, 2020, 08:46:41 AM »
Using the same WHO data, there have been 3503 confirmed cases with 58 deaths in the US. That's a mortality rate of 1.6% to this point in the US (Obviously it's currently a limited data set). But the point is that many countries have done a lot less preparation, and have worse health care systems. They're dragging the mortality rate up, while the US is likely to drag it down.
If the current mortality rate in the US continues, then it would mean 68.75 million cases of COVID-19 would have to occur to see 1.1 million deaths from it. That's roughly 20% of the US population. It's going to take more than a couple of months to go from the current 3k cases to almost 69 million cases in the current environment.

Update for today: US has 6519 confirmed cases and 115 deaths.

Keep in mind that death is a seriously lagging indicator. It's 24 days from infection to half of the deaths (median time to death)



https://covid19info.live/

I've intentionally only used data from the WHO as it's generally a trusted source, and their data represents the whole globe.
The downside is that their data lags as it's based on the previous day's numbers. Obviously, the numbers for both cases and deaths are likely to climb and do so quickly at this point as testing becomes more widespread and results are compiled. The promising thing with the data you presented is that he mortality rate is still just 1.7%

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #99 on: March 18, 2020, 08:48:10 AM »
I look at the semi-log plots on the wiki article for covid-19 and you'd have to extrapolate the current trend for months before the death toll gets into the 7 figures. I don't think the virus transmission is going to spread for months because in a matter of 2 weeks the world has gone from "lax" to "full shut down mode" and I think that will stop the rate of transmission.

Moreover, I'm extremely sceptical of figures such as 40-70% of the world's population likely to be infected, etc. I don't believe that's the 50th percentile (EV) at all. I believe that's probably a very high band, maybe a 90-99th percentile figure. I don't trust health authorities to give us a proper 50% percentile EV at all. I believe public health authorities are always skewed towards prevention (since prevention is better than cure) so they will tend to provide figures that err heavily on the side of safety - they are not likely to provide figures that represent the true EV.

This is on the basis that people's lives are not a lottery or gambling chart. Fine. All the same, it means that I think those high estimates are unlikely.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2020, 08:50:50 AM by Bloop Bloop »