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Gramarye

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  1. Athersys is up to over $3 now, but I've been burned a few times in high-volatility speculative biotech stocks. I'm staying away from it, even if I'd have almost doubled up in five days in this particular instance (and it's close to triple the $1.17 or so it was at within the last month). I've found that moderate risk-aversion has given me basically as good of returns as the home-run swings like experimental biotech, if not better. My portfolio is down for the month, and I'll get the official numbers tomorrow (Fidelity only updates performance figures monthly, at least for lowly retail investors like me). But I'm down about 10% and the Dow is down about 24%. In large part, that's because my portfolio is dominated by large-caps that provide essential and/or affordable goods and services: Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Costco, Mastercard. Even Disney has rebounded surprisingly well from its low; we can reasonably predict it will get plastered in its theme park and cruise division this summer, but the rollout of Disney+ could barely have been timed better than right before a time when millions of kids were suddenly forced to stay home. I guess I'll put it this way: Only a very small number of companies in my portfolio are not names the average poster here would recognize. And those less-familiar names, like some in cloud computing and infrastructure and software-as-a-service, are still multi-billion-dollar companies.
  2. Seriously, why so misanthropic? No one needs to experience this. Ever. It is not inevitable and no one should have a goal of making it inevitable just to "break" kids to the "real world." Maybe, but banks don't generally want massive amounts of foreclosed properties on their hands if they see light at the end of the tunnel, i.e., a borrower that will be able to resume making payments if given a brief forbearance. Now, if the temporary economic downturn becomes more structural, i.e., people are not actually able to go back to work even when the health-emergency shutdown ends, then banks may choose to foreclose because they don't have a viable exit strategy in continuing to work with their existing borrowers. The federal government may also be prepared to make forbearance mandatory in many cases for those whose jobs were impacted by shelter-in-place orders. Critically, I haven't seen that much evidence that banks are as overextended as they used to be. Things have started to get a little silly in the last year, perhaps, but not like 2006-2007. And, of course, that bubble inflated for years, arguably starting in 2003 or so. Banks haven't been lending on zero equity and gambling on the equity prices increasing to justify loans that otherwise would be nonsensical for the borrower's income.
  3. Cleveland Whiskey making hand sanitizer for Cleveland Clinic https://www.cleveland.com/coronavirus/2020/03/cleveland-whiskey-making-hand-sanitizer-for-cleveland-clinic.html
  4. I think the implication is that most of the "Alpha" world cities were probably hit very early and just didn't know it yet--their exponential growth curves had longer to pick up steam before everyone started pressing the panic button. The WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, but we know it was growing for two months before that in the background. If it reached NYC just a few days before Cleveland, it actually makes a surprisingly big impact. The power of compound growth, of exponential growth, is staggering when given enough time to work. That is a beautiful thing when it's working in your favor in the stock market. It is a terrible thing when it's a pandemic of a potentially lethal disease.
  5. Likewise. My wife is Indian and her parents still live in India. Their trip to the US in early June is likely to be cancelled. India waited a surprisingly long time to enact stay-at-home measures, and there are limits to how effective even those kinds of policies can be in a place with so many cities that have densities that would make the densest European metros blush. Barcelona is considered a very dense European metro and has 41,000 per square mile. Mumbai has 73,000 and Chennai, 69,000. From my trip there, in which we hit both of those cities, as well as "smaller" (still large) cities like Bangalore and Goa, Indians, at least those who live in cities, have zero cultural concept of social distancing. Neither their cities nor their minds are built for it. My in-laws are upper-middle-class in Indian society and live in a condo that's about 1400 square feet, in a complex of 5 floors that probably has 100+ such units. That's considered spacious. Cranes were all over the skyline of Mumbai, most building residential towers. People walk everywhere, which is usually a good thing, but those walks even outside of major downtowns are crowded. I live in West Akron, not out in the townships. Lots here are around 0.2 acres. When they come, they're always like, "wow, we can't believe you live so far out with no people around!"
  6. I certainly hope that Spain has passed the peak of the curve even for an unprepared nation that was hit hard and early by the virus, because this is not the kind of thing that should happen in a developed country: Madrid to Use Ice Rink as Morgue for Coronavirus Victims https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/03/23/world/asia/23reuters-health-coronavirus-spain-morgue.html MADRID — A Madrid ice rink is to be used as a makeshift morgue for coronavirus victims, as the number of cases in the capital rose to 10,575 and 1,263 deaths, city authorities said on Monday.
  7. The coronavirus has tested positive for Harvey Weinstein and will be compelled to spend time in isolation with him. My sympathies to the young virus. https://www.thedailybeast.com/jailed-harvey-weinstein-tests-positive-for-coronavirus-report
  8. There are two ways to lower the body count: Reduce the infection/transmission rate and reduce the morbidity/fatality rate. Both are important, but the former is more beneficial because there are plenty of bad outcomes possible short of death that happen to infected people. If we could produce another million ventailators by tomorrow and get them all into every hospital system that needs or will need them, that would be great--but even better would be avoiding the need to put a million people on ventilators (even if that still beats the alternative of needing a million ventilators more than we have).
  9. Agreed. Also, while we shouldn't minimize the economic impacts of this, we shouldn't maximize them, either, because if you actually look at the Stay at Home Order, a lot of businesses are considered "Essential," on top of government functions that are also a considerable portion of the economy: https://www.scribd.com/document/452781877/Ohio-Stay-At-Home-Order (I didn't see if anyone had linked the actual order above, so sorry if that was a duplicate link.)
  10. It is, however, quite appropriate to be worried about people being worried about looting, or other possible pretexts for actual martial law and, even more critically, the suspension of elections. The big cancellation by DeWine that I understand as a matter of epidemic containment but personally would still have let go forward anyway was polling. (I generally trust that DeWine isn't a closet autocrat but I don't like the precedent being set for other people who may not deserve the benefit of the doubt on that point.)
  11. What are you suggesting they should have done, and when should they have done it? The Democrats have had unified control of the political branches for two of the past 20 years. They used it to get Obamacare passed. We'll see if they get that kind of control again after an election dominated by the coronavirus. And you can say that I'm a biased observer in this thread since I'm a conservative and I'd have been one of the people trying to stop draconian and inevitably-fruitless measures aimed at curbing climate change (which is what I always assume is the only real topic whenever I see the generic reference to "environmental issues," "the environment," of course, even though that category is really vastly larger). And of course Obama did try to do a great deal of environmentalist policymaking without the support of the arm of the government that is supposed to actually make policy. Much of that overreach has been rolled back by Trump, one of what I consider his signature policy successes. But it's not like Obama didn't at least try to get you what you are apparently seeking, and Obama's VP is likely to try to swing the pendulum right back there again if he wins.
  12. Not to suggest an external factor, nor to take anything away from DeWine's decisive actions, but if this virus was spreading unseen in February before it was confirmed ... then it's entirely possible that it was present and spreading unseen and unknown on Mardis Gras, February 25, 2020. That would affect Louisiana considerably more (especially on a per capita basis) than Ohio.
  13. Ironically, we've had one of the handheld-shower bidets in our house for 2-3 years now because we installed it for my Indian inlaws. Maybe TMI, but: Unfortunately, it doesn't do as good a job as it needs to. It maybe reduces toilet paper consumption by half but definitely does not eliminate it.
  14. Another one that has been going gangbusters even through (perhaps even because of) the coronavirus recession is Zoom Video Communications (ZM). I've never actually used it myself but I've been confronted with it twice in the past day now: Once when it was recommended by the Motley Fool, and then right on cue, a board that I'm on just scheduled its next meeting--for the first time ever--via Zoom. so I'm about to find out how it works.
  15. Saying that we are "dismantling" the economy is hopefully overstating the case. Hopefully it's even overstating the case with respect to the restaurant, hospitality, travel, and live entertainment industries. Consider the case of shuttering schools and daycares. Do you really think those will never reopen? Of course not. They're essential. Public schools can't go bankrupt. Consider the trillions of GDP that is generated "behind the scenes," not directly public-facing or otherwise dependent on being directly open to the public. Farms. Mines. Wells. Factories. Refineries. Fisheries. Timberlands and sawmills. Data centers. Power plants. Landfills. Freight rail and other logistics. Yes, they all need staff, but they're not so crowded as to be the elevated risks that have warranted quarantines. Consider how much more capable the white-collar office sector of the economy is of working from home now than just five years ago, let alone ten (let alone 100 years ago when the Spanish flu hit). What's happening in much of the white-collar office sector now is disruptive but I think it's alarmist to say dismantling. So on and so forth. I don't want to minimize the economic impacts, I recognize that the DJIA is down about 9,000-10,000 points from its high, but we should keep in mind that the bulk of those impacts are more salient because they necessarily affect the most visible sectors of the economy.
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