I don’t really feel like writing.
I’m depressed. I’m frustrated. I’m sick of this.
A plague of fear has destroyed this country. The recovery will take years.
Many will never recover. Many businesses here in Missoula won’t reopen when the authorities finally tell them it’s time.
I don’t know if I’ll have a job to go back to.
Anyways, here we are.
Might as well write something. I’d rather seek answers than throw out political attacks.
I’m not concerned about the election; most Americans aren’t.
Biden’s at 47% and Trump’s at 49%, according to recent polls. Still, many are frustrated that Biden has ‘become a prisoner’ in his Delaware home, where all he can do is put out lame videos from his rec room. Meanwhile, 60% of Americans favor the way Trump is handling the crisis.
There’s a rising chorus in the country that Biden is not the man; Cuomo is. People forget how utterly unpopular Cuomo is with his own Party in New York.
Here in Montana, Daines all but cemented his election victory this past week. He did so with the coronavirus stimulus package.
$7.5 million will go to Montana’s eight tribes, with the Blackfeet getting the most…$1.9 million. American Indians have never received as much money from the federal government as they are now.
Daines was smart enough to get himself on the Indian Affairs Committee. Now he’s handing out millions of dollars to save the tribes’ gaming business, to offer unemployment relief.
Daines has a good working relationship with the tribes. He knows Bullock’s only hope of winning is getting enough Indians to the polls. Daines is currently peeling that support away from Bullock, and I don’t think Bullock is going to get it back over the next 239 days.
Of course, much of this comes down to the economy.
88% of Amerians believe the virus “poses a major threat to the economy,” with 65% figuring this will cause a recession, and another 17% saying a depression is in the offing.
I fall in the latter category, myself.
We’re long overdue. Over six months ago we knew the repo markets were a mess. One of the main reasons for this was over-leveraging by investment firms, specifically four banks.
The Bank of International Settlements refused to name those four banks.
This is important, as just five banks control 82% of the $280 trillion derivatives market (derivatives were at $185 trillion in 2008).
We’re in a recession now. March could pull down the entire first quarter, and we know the second quarter is shot already. I’m not sure we’ll recover by the third quarter.
Real estate and rents and mortgages will play a big role.
Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are in for real trouble. These are companies that own and finance income-producing properties.
When people sit at home for weeks or months at a time, there’s little need for offices, hotels, and malls.
Here in Missoula, our mall was already in dire straits. Now things will get worse. Washington Prime Group, which owns the Missoula mall, saw its stock go from $3.75 back in January to $1.03 today.
How are REITs going to fare around this country when tenants stop paying rent? Currently there’s an idea that mall landlords might allow a tenant business to not pay rent for a few months if they agree to a multi-year extension of their lease.
I’m not sure.
For a business that can’t pay its rent...how can it possibly know if its even going to remain a viable, going concern a year from now?
I suspect many businesses will simply go out of business. Cheesecake Factory is one of these.
The California-based company laid-off 41,000 workers (90% of their workforce) and admits it won’t be able to pay rent on 300 of its locations for April.
Many businesses around this country are in the same boat.
Can the already over-leveraged banks sustain such a hit? The Fed’s been bailing them out via the repo markets for over six months now, injecting trillions of dollars into their ‘house of cards’ operations.
How much more can the Fed inject...and where exactly is that money coming from?
Well...out of thin air, that’s where.
The consumer price index already rose by 2.5% in January, and once these stimulus checks go out it’ll go up more.
Beef prices already jumped last fall by $6 a kilogram, and I’m sure they’ll stay in that range, if they don’t increase.
Consumers are going to get pinched in the coming months.
But there’s a good chance I’m wrong about everything.
Chances are good that this plague will subside over the next month. The economy can improve. Trump has a good chance of winning again.
The corporate media is worried about that, so there’s this new narrative emerging that the virus could come back this fall.
I think it will, just like the flu comes back each year and during certain seasons.
Will we shut down the country again this fall? Will we do so a couple times a year for the rest of our lives?
We’ll regain our reason and our sanity; we’ll begin to apply logic once again.
The hot heads will turn into cooler heads. Even the talking heads on corporate media will cool off once their company’s ad revenue goes in the tank and their jobs are put on the line.
Once that happens, calls to reopen and stay open will be heard loud and clear.
I’m just so saddened that we lost our cool this spring, and ruined this country in the process. We don’t know how long-term the damage will be, but let us hope and pray that it sets us back months and not years.