Wednesday, February 26, 2020

"Economic Market Snapshot AM 2/26/20"

Gregory Mannarino, PM 2/25/20
"Must Watch! 
Today A Crack In The Debt Bubble Has Now Occurred"
-  https://www.traderschoice.net/
MarketWatch Market Summary, Live Updates

CNN Market Data:

CNN Fear And Greed Index:

Buffett Indicator: Where Are We With Market Valuations?
"As of 2/26/20 (updates daily): The Stock Market is Significantly Overvalued. Based on historical ratio of total market cap over GDP (currently at 156.7%), it is likely to return -3.1% a year from this level of valuation, including dividends. As of today, the Total Market Index is at $34066.3 billion, which is about 156.7% of the last reported GDP. The US stock market is positioned for an average annualized return of -3.1%, estimated from the historical valuations of the stock market. This includes the returns from the dividends, currently yielding at 1.79%."
https://www.gurufocus.com/stock-market-valuations.php

Daily Job Cuts, Updated daily.
https://www.dailyjobcuts.com/

Daily Essentials, Updated Frequently:
"You could look it up." - Yogi Berra
You should...
2/25/20:

And soon enough, the End Game...

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

"How Many Cases of Covid-19 Will It Take For You to Decide Not to Frequent Public Places?"

"How Many Cases of Covid-19 Will It Take For 
You to Decide Not to Frequent Public Places?"
by Charles Hugh Smith

"How many cases of Covid-19 in your community will it take for you to decide not to frequent public places such as cafes, restaurants, theaters, concerts, etc? How many cases in your community will it take for you to decide not to take public transit, Uber/Lyft rides, etc.? How many cases in your community will it take for you to limit going to supermarkets and ask your boss to work at home?

One of the most unexamined aspect of the Covid-19 pandemic is the human psychology of risk assessment and fear. The default human response to novel threats such as the Covid-19 virus is denial and abstraction: it can't happen here, it won't happen to me, it's no big deal, etc.

This careless denial of danger and urgency characterized the official response in China before the epidemic exploded and it characterizes the lackadaisical sloppiness of official response in the U.S.: few facilities have test kits, thousands of people who arrived on U.S. soil on direct flights from Wuhan have not been tested, confirmed carriers have been placed on flights with uninfected people, and the city of Costa Mesa, CA had to file a lawsuit to stop federal agencies from transferring confirmed carriers to dilapidated facilities that are incompatible with thorough quarantine protocols.

This lackadaisical sloppiness didn't hinder the spread of the virus in China and it won't hinder it in the U.S. That means each of us will eventually have to make our own risk assessments and decide to modify our routines and behaviors or not.

Hence the question: what's your red line number? Do you stop going out to public places and gatherings when there's ten confirmed cases in your community, or is your red line number 50 cases? Or is it 100?

For many people, even a handful of cases will be a tremendous shock because they were unrealistically confident that it can't happen here. The realization that the virus is active locally and can be spread by people who don't have any symptoms shatters the comfortable complacency and introduces a chilling reality: what was an abstraction is now real.

Human psychology is exquisitely attuned to risk once it moves from abstraction to reality. Why take a chance unless absolutely necessary? For many people, the first handful of local cases will be enough to cancel all exposure to optional public gatherings: cafes, bistros, theaters, concerts, etc. Many others will decide to forego public transit, taxis and Uber/Lyft rides because who knows if the previous fare was an asymptomatic carrier?

If you doubt this impulse to over-reaction once abstraction gives way to reality, look at how quickly market shelves are stripped in virus-affected areas. Once we understand what rationalists might declare over-reaction is merely prudence when faced with difficult-to-assess dangers, we realize that there's a bubble not just in the stock market and Big Tech but in complacency.

Once a consequential number of people decide to avoid public places and gatherings, streets become empty and all the businesses that depend on optional public mixing - cafes, bistros, restaurants, theaters, music venues, stadiums, etc. etc. etc.-- dry up and blow away, even if officials maintain their careless denial of danger and urgency. All the jobs in this vast service sector will suddenly be at risk, along with the survival of thousands of small businesses, many of which do not have the resources to survive weeks, much less months, of a sharp decline in business.

All the official reassurances won't be worth a bucket of warm spit. After being assured the risk of the virus spreading in North America was "low," the arrival of the virus will destroy trust in official assurances. People will awaken to the need to control their own risk factors themselves. And as empty streets and shelves attest, people taking charge of risk has dire economic consequences.

Musical Interlude: The Traveling Wilburys, "End Of The Line"

The Traveling Wilburys, "End Of The Line"

Musical Interlude: Hezekiah Jenkins, “The Panic Is On”, 1931

Hezekiah Jenkins, “The Panic Is On”, 1931

Covid-19 Update: “The Self-Evident Stage: The Coronavirus Pandemic Is A Crisis Now Obvious To All”

(Skip to actual information.)
Chris Martenson, “The Self-Evident Stage: 
The Coronavirus Pandemic Is A Crisis Now Obvious To All”

"Is It the End of the World as We Know It?"

"Is It the End of the World as We Know It?"
by David Stockman

"The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!"
– President Donald J. Trump, 
Statement via Twitter, February 24, 2020

"European stocks opened higher Tuesday but quickly slipped into the red as the spread of coronavirus continues. Japan was down more than 3% in its first trading session of the week. Meanwhile, U.S. futures pointed to a green open as of 8:00 a.m. ET. The yield on the U.S. Treasury note is down to 1.371% this morning.

Chris Scott has been pulled away from his usual reporting on the U.S.-China relationship to focus on a special project for our publisher, so we won’t have his usual Tuesday contribution. But, in an email thread late last week, he did share this coronavirus tidbit: "Not sure how much I’m going to be able to contribute over the course of the next few weeks, but just to continue our running conversation in this space, I heard the best quote yet about coronavirus. 

Chris Buckley, the long-time New York Times correspondent who’s been in Wuhan since the news of the outbreak first broke, said in a podcast speaking from the city that he saw political graffiti for the first time recently when he was walking in the streets.  Among the people there is a mixture of anger and despondency, he noted, but added that because of the nature of the crisis it can't manifest itself because people have to stay inside and isolated… but the graffiti suggested that shouldn't be mistaken for resignation. 

“Good will be repaid with good, evil will be repaid with evil. It’s not that we won’t do anything, it's just that the time isn’t ripe,” he paraphrased the graffiti as saying."  Here’s the podcast.  the best window into the crisis you can find.

Meanwhile, in lieu of Chris’s narrative, here are a few pertinent and deteriorating data points, courtesy of Zero Hedge and Goldman Sachs (an odd combo, indeed, in these strange times…).

Let it be said that historians will surely marvel – and soon – at the grand delusion of the present era. Namely, the near universal belief that central bankers could print, peg, and palaver the Main Street economy into unfailing expansion and ever-rising prosperity and that there were essentially no macro-risks to soaring stock prices that their toolkits couldn’t contain and counteract…

This misbegotten belief is having huge untoward consequences. It’s made economies brittle with too much leverage, financialization, and speculation, and too fragile without sufficient shock absorbers, insurance mechanisms, and contingency plans.

Now comes the Black Bat of 2020 – or whatever snappy name they’ll pin on it – with its toxic economic contagion. Racing with virtual lightning speed through an infinitely complex and deeply integrated global supply chain anchored in the Red Ponzi, the breakdown of economic activity is already proving that our monetary central planners are not omnipotent after all…"
http://deepstatedeclassified.com/

"Is It the End of the World as We Know It?"
Short answer: yes.

"How It Really Is"

"Economic Market Snapshot PM 2/25/20"

Gregory Mannarino, PM 2/25/20
"Must Watch! 
Today A Crack In The Debt Bubble Has Now Occurred"
-  https://www.traderschoice.net/
MarketWatch Market Summary, Live Updates

CNN Market Data:

CNN Fear And Greed Index:

Buffett Indicator: Where Are We With Market Valuations?
"As of 2/25/20 (updates daily): The Stock Market is Significantly Overvalued. Based on historical ratio of total market cap over GDP (currently at 158.4%), it is likely to return -3.3% a year from this level of valuation, including dividends. As of today, the Total Market Index is at $34434.7 billion, which is about 158.4% of the last reported GDP. The US stock market is positioned for an average annualized return of -3.3%, estimated from the historical valuations of the stock market. This includes the returns from the dividends, currently yielding at 1.73%."
https://www.gurufocus.com/stock-market-valuations.php

Daily Job Cuts, Updated daily.
https://www.dailyjobcuts.com/

Daily Essentials, Updated Frequently:
"You could look it up." - Yogi Berra
You should...
2/25/20:

And soon enough, the End Game...

Musical Interlude: Neil H, “From Start to Finish”

Neil H, “From Start to Finish”

"A Look to the Heavens"

“A jewel of the southern sky, the Great Carina Nebula, also known as NGC 3372, spans over 300 light-years, one of our galaxy's largest star forming regions. Like the smaller, more northerly Great Orion Nebula, the Carina Nebula is easily visible to the unaided eye, though at a distance of 7,500 light-years it is some 5 times farther away. This gorgeous telescopic close-up reveals remarkable details of the region's central glowing filaments of interstellar gas and obscuring cosmic dust clouds. The field of view is over 50 light-years across. 
Click image for larger size.
The Carina Nebula is home to young, extremely massive stars, including the stars of open cluster Trumpler 14 (below and right of center) and the still enigmatic variable Eta Carinae, a star with well over 100 times the mass of the Sun. Eta Carinae is the brightest star, seen here just above the dusty Keyhole Nebula (NGC 3324). While Eta Carinae itself maybe on the verge of a supernova explosion, X-ray images indicate that the Great Carina Nebula has been a veritable supernova factory.”

Chet Raymo, “To Love The Darkness”

“To Love The Darkness”
by Chet Raymo

    "You darkness, that I come from,
    I love you more than all the fires
    that fence in the world,
    for the fire makes
    a circle of light for everyone,
    and then no one outside learns of you.
    But the darkness pulls in everything:
    shapes and fires, animals and myself,
    how easily it gathers them! -
    powers and people -
    and it is possible a great energy
    is moving near me.
    I have faith in nights."

"I have long pondered these verses by the poet Rainer Maria Rilke (here translated by Robert Bly). I think I first mentioned them in something I wrote 25 years ago. Perhaps I have quoted them previously on this blog. The words seem shocking, somehow. Human have a terrible need to know. We invent stories and myths to explain away our ignorance. And sometimes, because we are unwilling to say "I don't know," we turn our stories into Truths. Knowledge then becomes a fence that seals us off from most of what exists.

Consciousness has arisen out of the dark abyss of time. We see the flame that burns around us: birds, insects, grasses, and flowering plants - tens of millions of species of living things. We are in it up to our necks. A zillion bacteria inhabit our guts. Mites creep in the forests of our eyelids. Viruses swim in our blood. We depend utterly upon plants to capture the energy we get from the sun. An uncountable number of creatures that live in the sea maintain the air we breathe.

But what of the darkness that we came from? The billions of years of hidden history, the patient crafting of complexity, the long unfolding of diversity? Every cell of our bodies remembers the eons; we are related to every organism on Earth by common descent. Our atoms are the dust of stars.

We split open sedimentary rocks along their seams and spill fossils into the light after millions, or billions, of years of darkness. Like hieroglyphics on the walls of a newly opened Egyptian tomb, the fossils are a record of our past. "The past is continually erased, and the record of the most distant time survives only by a chain of minor miracles," writes the paleontologist Richard Fortey. What other wonders await us in the unopened pages of sedimentary rocks? "One of the glories of the fossil record is that it continually surprises," says Fortey. We look into the dark abyss of time and are made humble in the face of what we do not know.”

"Just Remember..."

"I know the world seems terrifying right now and the future seems bleak. Just remember human beings have always managed to find the greatest strength within themselves during the darkest hours. When faced with the worst horrors the world has to offer, a person either cracks and succumbs to ugliness, or they salvage the inner core of who they are and fight to right wrongs. Never let hatred, fear, and ignorance get the best of you. Keep bettering yourself so you can make the world around you better, for nothing can improve without the brightest, bravest, kindest, and most imaginative individuals rising above the chaos."
- Cat Winters

The Poet: Rainer Maria Rilke, "Book of Hours II, 16"

"Book of Hours II, 16"

"How surely gravity's law,
strong as an ocean current,
takes hold of even the strongest thing
and pulls it toward the heart of the world.

Each thing-
each stone, blossom, child-
is held in place.
Only we, in our arrogance,
push out beyond what we belong to
for some empty freedom.

If we surrendered
to earth's intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.
Instead we entangle ourselves
in knots of our own making
and struggle, lonely and confused.

So, like children, we begin again
to learn from the things,
because they are in God's heart;
they have never left him.

This is what the things can teach us:
to fall,
patiently to trust our heaviness.
Even a bird has to do that
before he can fly."

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

The Daily "Near You?"

San Bernardino, California, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"First Of All..."

"First of all, although men have a common destiny, each individual also has to work out his own personal salvation for himself in fear and trembling. We can help one another to find the meaning of life no doubt. But in the last analysis, the individual person is responsible for living his own life and for "finding himself." If he persists in shifting his responsibility to somebody else, he fails to find out the meaning of his own existence. You cannot tell me who I am and I cannot tell you who you are. If you do not know your own identity, who is going to identify you?"
- Thomas Merton

"They Got What They Wanted"

"They Got What They Wanted"
by Robert Gore

"Maybe it was the proposal at work you knew was wrong, but didn’t fight. Maybe it was the argument on principle you knew you had to have, but avoided to keep an unsatisfactory peace. Maybe it was the jerk who berated and humiliated a store clerk who wasn’t at fault, and you didn’t challenge him. Battles that were never fought - surrender and capitulation without resistance. A handful, the scrupulously honest with themselves, identify the ensuing inner darkness, that collapsing sensation, as self-betrayal, breeching personal standards of right and wrong.

The holiday we Americans call Independence Day is a historical commemorative, nothing more. You don’t celebrate the day a seed is planted; you celebrate the harvest. Independence has been surrendered without resistance. The nation’s founders planted a seed, but seeds must be tended, nurtured, and protected. Having failed to do so, America has reaped a bitter harvest.

Independence carries an obligation to act, to provide, to think for one’s self, and it requires its own defense. Americans couldn’t be burdened. Asking only what their country could do for them, they accepted the state’s promises, propaganda, provender, and protection - from mostly spurious threats - without reckoning the price. The promises were illusory, not the price. The pall dimming the fireworks is the confusion, anxiety, and antagonisms of a nation that’s badly lost its way.

Taxes, it’s been said, are the price of civilization. For a brief, shining historical moment, Americans freed themselves from the state’s exaction of their income. Tragically, they faltered, allowing themselves to be deceived, accepting the state’s forcible extraction of their labor, time, and production and never questioning how the coercion that is its bedrock could possibly be “civilized.” Sold, as the state’s depredations always are, as a limited measure, 100 years later the state recognizes no limits on its power to tax, reserving special persecution for those who question it too volubly.

At the same time, America handed control of the nation’s money (and subsequently its debt), to a bankers’ cartel. Supposedly an elasticized and discretionary “money” would prevent financial panics, bank runs, and economic contractions. The new money was worth less every year than the year before, and it wouldn’t prevent contractions more severe than the ones that preceded its introduction. Only the cranks, immediately quarantined by the force of “respectable” opinion, questioned the new money. Only “dangerous” fringe elements insisted on their right to their own production, exchangeable for honest money, its value free from bureaucratic and political whim.

Predictably, the new money inflated a bubble that popped. Faced with adversity, the so-called greatest generation opted for the crank solutions of a socialistic demagogue and his band of charlatans. They turned the ensuing downturn into the most severe contraction in the nation’s history. By acclamation the people surrendered their economy, more of their incomes, and their right to own gold - real money - to the government, accepted the future bondage of increased debt, and enshrined the “right” of the politically favored to live off the labor of the productive unfavored. Henceforth, the latter would have a duty to support the former. The megalomaniac who peddled this abnegation of America’s freedom - and consequently its greatness - was reelected three times.

By the time President Eisenhower warned of the military-industrial complex, it was too late. That he waited until his farewell address to issue his warning speaks volumes. The complex had been in control since World War II and would never willingly relinquish the commanding height on which atomic bombs and the world’s most productive economy has placed it.

Confederated and unchallenged global empire was the seductive goal; “leader of the free world” was how it was sold to the American people. They bought it, never questioning the complex’s machinations and skullduggery in Iran, Guatemala, Vietnam, and other remote backwaters. Alliances with corrupt and repressive regimes, propaganda, rigged elections, US-sponsored rebellions and coups, war, terrorism, and assassinations were necessary countermeasures to Soviet evil. Whatever the US did, the USSR - since its acquisition of nuclear weapons was an existential threat - was worse, always worse.

Vindicating the few who said command economies couldn’t work, the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Existential threats always make it easier to amass power and money, and curtail liberty. One was conjured - Islamic extremism. How a rough band of guerrillas in Afghanistan’s caves posed the same threat as one of the largest empires in history, with the world’s second largest nuclear arsenal, was a question most Americans would not ask. Just keep us safe, they bleated.

Wars based on concocted intelligence, the Patriot Act and other eviscerations of the Bill of Rights, a huge and intrusive new cabinet department - Homeland Security - the militarization of local police, and the vast expansions of the military and intelligence agencies’ power and funding went through with nary a bleat. There were few bleats a decade later when whistleblowers revealed an America under a degree of surveillance that would make Big Brother green with envy. Deflated footballs stirred more controversy.

Americans celebrate freedoms they no longer have, freedoms they and those greatest generations that preceded them surrendered on a golden platter. The Philippine’s House of Representatives recently passed a bill: singing the national anthem at public gatherings “shall be mandatory and must be done with fervor.” What an insight into the minds of those who would rule us, Filipino, American, or whatever. You’re not just to submit; you’re to worship your submission to those to whom you submit. It conjoins Orwell, Islam (which means submission), and all those pain-is-pleasure perversions.

They’re not just claiming your life and your freedom, they’re claiming your soul. That’s what they were after all along. The Faust legend is wrong. Surrendering one’s soul, for both individuals and a nation, is a long series of capitulations, not some shadowy one-time bargain. Which prompts the question: can souls that have all too willingly been surrendered ever be redeemed?”

"God Grant Me the Courage..."

“God grant me the courage not to give up what I think is right, 
even though I think it is hopeless.”
- Adm. Chester W. Nimitz

"The Sickness in the American Soul"

"The Sickness in the American Soul"
by Daniel Johnson

"As you read this, there are tens of millions of Americans who are sick at heart, in despair; overwhelmed by desolation, hopelessness and despondency. Some are suicidal; some are near suicidal. These are your friends and neighbors who have lost or are about to lose their homes, their jobs, their self-respect - and in every case their place in society. For tens of millions of people the American dream has become a nightmare. These are people who have come to rely on food banks, food stamps and private charity just to eat and feed their families (One in seven Americans, and one in four children, are on food stamps). They have been ground down in front of their children who will consequently internalize feelings of inferiority and impotence. Cast aside by society, many will give up, thinking - what's the use?

In the Michael Douglas movie "Falling Down," Vondie Curtis-Hall plays a man protesting outside a bank because they will not approve him for a loan. Eventually, a police car arrives and takes him away because he loudly protests to all and sundry that he is, according to the loan officer, not economically viable. This is the economic condition that increasing numbers of Americans find themselves in. Their crime? Believing in America and the American dream.

What is right in front of everybody's eyes is the fact that America, for all the mythology and pretending, is a savage society. It's all about business and making money that goes right to the founding of the nation. As forty-two year old Canadian freelance writer Brennan Clarke wrote in 2008: "As the holder of not one but two undergraduate arts degrees... I am quickly reminded by the working world that being intelligent and capable is no longer enough. You have to do something that makes somebody money."

After year of writing and observing, analyzing and commenting on American society, I had come to see the United States through different eyes. America is a kakistocracy (rule by the worst), and by this I don't mean President Trump and his ilk. I refer to the capitalists, the money men, who through their greed have nearly (and may still) destroyed the global economy. (Andrew Cuomo said: "They think of themselves as kings and queens.") I don't need to elaborate on what they have done to American society. You can see it all around you; read it in the newspaper headlines; and hear the news anchors belaboring it. (You might live in one of the 25% of houses whose mortgages are underwater.)

Bob Herbert: "We still have a hideously dysfunctional public education system, one that has mastered the art of manufacturing dropouts and functional illiterates." As Susan Jacoby writes: "Our lack of a national curriculum, national teacher training standards and federal financial support to attract smart young people to the teaching profession all contribute mightily to the mediocre-to-poor performance of American students, year in and year out, on international education assessments."

In 1988 Jon Miller, director of the Public Opinion Laboratory at Northern Illinois University, conducted a survey of Americans for the National Science Foundation asking people about 75 questions to test their knowledge of basic science. The results showed that more than half - about 55 percent - of adult Americans didn't know that the Earth revolved around the sun once a year - of the 72 percent who answered correctly, 17 percent said one day, two percent said one month and nine percent didn't know. Miller concluded that "on very basic ideas, vast numbers of Americans are scientifically illiterate" (Associated Press, Oct 24, 1988). Based on a similar survey from 1985, the result was that only about five percent of adult Americans could be considered scientifically literate.

Twenty years later New York Times columnist Bob Herbert in a column appropriately titled "Clueless in America" (April 22, 2008) reported that "Ignorance in the United States is not just bliss, it's widespread. A recent survey of teenagers by the education advocacy group Common Core found that a quarter could not identify Adolf Hitler, a third did not know that the Bill of Rights guaranteed freedom of speech and religion, and fewer than half knew that the Civil War took place between 1850 and 1900."

He ended his column saying "nearly 20 percent of respondents did not know who the U.S. fought in World War II. Eleven percent thought that Dwight Eisenhower was the president forced from office by the Watergate scandal. Another 11 percent thought it was Harry Truman."

Bob Herbert: "The United States is broken - school systems are deteriorating, the economy is in shambles, homelessness and poverty rates are expanding - yet we're nation-building in Afghanistan, sending economically distressed young people over there by the thousands at an annual cost of a million dollars each." It's also a fair indictment of American society that many young men have to risk their lives in order to get ahead, when their luckier brethren do not. On this Bob Herbert says: "The idea that fewer than 1 percent of Americans are being called on to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq and that we're sending them into combat again and again and again - for three tours, four tours, five tours, six tours - is obscene. All decent people should object."

The sickness at the core of America's soul is selfish greed based on the misguided idea of American exceptionalism. Virtually from the beginning, Americans have believed they are a special people chosen by God. As a nation they believed (and continue to believe) that they had the God-given right to rule the earth and do whatever they wished. This has made America a rogue nation. Over the last century or more, they have overthrown and undermined legitimate governments all over the world. America, even today, feels no hesitation in starting wars and invading countries on the flimsiest (even bogus) pretexts. Over the last half-century, with only 5% of the world's population, the United States has gobbled up more energy and resources than any other nation. Americans today use a quarter of the world's energy and fossil fuels.

Can such profligacy continue? Not very likely. I never would have imagined it but it appears that we are seeing the unravelling of the United States before our very eyes. This does not mean that the physical country or its people will disappear. But a reorganization of the middle of the North American continent is overdue. As Bob Herbert concludes: "If America can't change, then the current state of decline is bound to continue. You can't have a healthy economy with so many millions of people out of work, and there is no plan now that would result in the creation of millions of new jobs any time soon."

The United States is what I have come to see as an artificial country, i.e., it is a patchwork of regions who have little or nothing in common other than pretending they belong to one nation (just like what is called the former Yugoslavia). Texas and California (25 and 36 million people, respectively) are so different than the rest of the country, that the citizens would probably be happier as their own sovereign countries. The same applies to the New England states as a group, and some of the states in the Pacific Northwest. There are other fracture lines, as well. A decade, a few decades from now will Europeans, Chinese and Japanese be talking about "the former America" just like today they talk about the former Soviet Union?

I can already see the comments by some American "patriots" declaring me wrong on every count and saying that America is powerful and will always prevail. They are in denial, arguing against the global evidence. But I'm not actually counting America out, not quite yet. There's an old saying that God looks after drunks and fools."

- http://www.sott.net/

"How It Really Is"

"Economic Market Snapshot AM 2/25/20"


PM 2/25/20, Updated frequently as available.
Gregory Mannarino, AM 2/25/20
"CRITICAL UPDATES:
 If Stocks Fall Again Today, More Losses Will Follow"
-  https://www.traderschoice.net/
MarketWatch Market Summary, Live Updates

CNN Market Data:

CNN Fear And Greed Index:

Buffett Indicator: Where Are We With Market Valuations?
"As of 2/25/20 (updates daily): The Stock Market is Significantly Overvalued. Based on historical ratio of total market cap over GDP (currently at 158.4%), it is likely to return -3.3% a year from this level of valuation, including dividends. As of today, the Total Market Index is at $34434.7 billion, which is about 158.4% of the last reported GDP. The US stock market is positioned for an average annualized return of -3.3%, estimated from the historical valuations of the stock market. This includes the returns from the dividends, currently yielding at 1.73%."
https://www.gurufocus.com/stock-market-valuations.php

Daily Job Cuts, Updated daily.
https://www.dailyjobcuts.com/

Daily Essentials, Updated Frequently:
"You could look it up." - Yogi Berra
You should...
2/24/20:

And soon enough, the End Game...

"South Korean Crisis-Response Coordinator Commits Suicide As Cases Near 1,000; 11 Deaths: Live Updates"

"South Korean Crisis-Response Coordinator Commits 
Suicide As Cases Near 1,000; 11 Deaths: Live Updates"
by Tyler Durden

Update (0650ET): "It's not even 7 am in the US, and it looks like a new outbreak is beginning in Central Europe. Local news agencies report that Croatia has confirmed its first case, while the Austrian Province of Tyrol has confirmed two cases. In South Korea, meanwhile, officials have just confirmed the 11th coronavirus-linked death, a Mongolian man in his mid-30s who had a preexisting liver condition.

Over in India, where President Trump is in the middle of an important state visit with the newly reelected Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the president struck an optimistic tone once again claiming that the virus will be a "short-term" problem that won't have a lasting impact on the global economy. "I think it's a problem that's going to go away," he said. Trump also reportedly told a group of executives gathered in India that the US has "essentially closed the borders" (well, not really) and that "we're fortunate so far and we think it's going to remain that way," according to CNN.

Last night, a post written by Paul Joseph Watson highlighted commentary from a Harvard epidemiology professor (we realize we've heard from pretty much the whole department at this point in the crisis, but bear with us for a moment) who believes that, at some point, 'we will all get the coronavirus'.

Well, up to 70% of us, but you get the idea: The notion that this outbreak is far from over is finally starting to sink in. Stocks are struggling to erase yesterday's losses, with US futures pointing to an open in the green after the biggest drop in two years. More corporations trashing their guidance, and more research offering a glimpse of the faltering Chinese economy (offering a hint that all the crematoriums are keeping air pollution levels elevated even as coal consumption and travel plunge) have seemingly trampled all over the market's Fed-ensured optimism.

And across Europe, the Middle East and the Far East, headlines tied to the outbreak hit at a similarly non-stop pace on Tuesday. With so much news, where to start?

In China, data out of the Transport Ministry revealed that barely one-third of China's workforce has returned to work, despite state-inspired threats. CNN reported Tuesday that only 30% of small businesses in China have returned to work. The problem? Travel disruption has left millions of migrant workers stranded. There's also the question of schools: Some cities, including Shanghai, are offering students the option of completing their studies online after March 2.

China's rapidly advancing tech sector has responded to the crisis by unleashing a wide range of technologies outfitted for specific tasks, including ferrying supplies to medical workers, fitting drones with thermal cameras and leveraging computer-processing power to aid the search for a vaccine. 

In a televised interview, one health official said it might take 28 days to safely say an area is free of coronavirus, while another official insisted that "low risk" areas should "resume normal activity" on Tuesday. The government is dividing the country outside Hubei and Beijing into three 'risk' tranches, and will mandate that those in the lowest tranche get back to work, school or whatever they were doing before the virus hit.

Investors are clearly concerned that, instead of the 'v'-shaped recovery promised by the IMF, the economic bounce-back from the coronavirus might be closer to a "u"-shape. On top of that, as cases proliferate in South Korea, Italy and the US, pundits are beginning to worry that the rest of the world is where China was two months ago - in other words

Throughout the day, South Korea confirmed 144 more cases, bringing the country-wide total to 977, the highest number outside China. As the Korean government warns that foreigners shouldn't travel there, Korean Air Lines and Asiana Airlines, to South Korean airlines, said they would halt flights to Daegu until next month, leaving the door open to a longer shutdown. On Tuesday afternoon, South Korean President Moon Jae-in traveled to Daegu, the city where more than half of the country's cases have been detected, and advised its residents to stay indoors but pledged to avoid the draconian restrictions Chinese authorities implemented in Wuhan.

Outbreak-related news in Seoul took on a more morbid tone Tuesday following reports in the local press that a civil servant from the Ministry of Justice's Emergency Safety Planning Office jumped off a bridge in Seoul at around 5 am local time Tuesday. The official was one of several individuals charged with overseeing the government's response to the virus. As cases soar and hysteria mounts, we suspect this news won't exactly help quiet the public's nerves.

A Singaporean government minister warned that the city-state could impose sweeping travel restrictions targeting South Korea if the outbreak gets worse.

Minutes ago, Italian authorities confirmed another 8 coronavirus cases, 54 of which have been confirmed on Tuesday, bringing the total to 283. More than 100,000 Italians in 10 villages are under lockdown in the 'red zone' in northern Italy, where the military has been deployed and people have been told to stay inside. Fears about the virus spreading throughout the region were validated yesterday when Spain reported a third case, an Italian traveler. On Tuesday, Reuters reports that Spanish authorities have closed the Tenerife Hotel on the Canary Islands and are testing all of its occupants.

Most of the cases have been recorded in Lombardy (200+), while Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont, Bolzano, Trentino and Rome have all confirmed at least one case. The UK government warned that any British travelers in northern Italy should self-isolate, according to the Washington Post.

In Japan, the "J League", Japan's professional soccer league, has announced that it will postpone all games until at least March 15, saying in a statement that it's "fully committed" to stopping the spread of the coronavirus. The decision followed a government recommendation to cancel all public events and gatherings.

Embracing a markedly different approach from Beijing, Japan has announced a new policy on Tuesday designed to focus medical care on the most serious cases, while urging people with mild symptoms to treat themselves at home. According to the FT, the new strategy of containment announced by a panel overseeing the virus response acknowledged that simply testing everyone potentially exposed to the more than 100 cases outside the 'Diamond Princess' would overwhelm its health-care system. It is radically different approach from that adopted by China, though it hasn't announced new cases in a day or so, Japan has confirmed 840 cases of novel coronavirus so far, with nearly 700 of them linked to the 'Diamond Princess' cruise ship.

Iran's 'official' death toll climbed to 14 on Tuesday, with 61 cases confirmed so far. Despite a wave of border closures that left Iran virtually isolated by its neighbors, more cases have started to bleed across the border: Iraqi health ministry officials have confirmed four coronavirus cases in Kirkuk, all of whom are members of a family. Even more embarrassing for the Iranians than having a local lawmaker expose the horrifyingly real death toll: on Tuesday, the government confirmed that a Deputy Health Minister had been sickened by the virus.

We suspect we'll be hearing more bad news from the Middle East as the full scope of the Iranian outbreak becomes more clear."