Weighing the Week Ahead: Good Questions but Poor Answers

The economic calendar includes several important releases, but few reflect the COVID19 effects. Everyone knows the economic news is dismal. Just how dismal does not seem to matter.

Investors want to know whether we have seen the bottom in stock prices. They ask, “When will people return to work?” Is it time to start buying stocks? If so, which ones? Serious market observers are discussing letters representing the future economic path: V, U, L, or W. (I wanted to create a memorable acronym from these letters and sought help from Mrs. OldProf. She admitted that some help from Vanna would be needed).

These are all good questions, attracting plenty of attention and many answers. The problem?

We are faced with many good questions but only poor answers.

Last Week Recap

In my last installment of WTWA, I attempted to demonstrate the need to understand the complex models diving key medical, economic, and government decisions. There was plenty of discussion on each of the key themes but little effort to show the relationships. The new issue of Barron’s had an article on each! It illustrates the need for a framework.

The Story in One Chart

I always start my personal review of the week by looking at a great chart. This week I am featuring Jill Mislinski’s version, an excellent combination of the most important information.

The market gained 12.1% on the week. The trading range during the week was 9.5%, or 13.3% if we include the closing price from Friday, April 3, in the calculation. You can monitor volatility, implied volatility, and historical comparisons in my weekly Indicator Snapshot in the Quant Corner below.

For an interesting long-term look at daily trading ranges, here is another of the many great chart’s in Jill’s weekly update.

The News

Each week I break down events into good and bad. For our purposes, “good” has two components. The news must be market friendly and better than expectations. I avoid using my personal preferences in evaluating news – and you should, too!

New Deal Democrat’s high frequency indicators have always been a valuable part of my economic review. Eventually our focus will be on a turn in the economy. This source will be helpful for that purpose, as it was in identifying potential weaknesses going into the recession. The short leading and coincident indicators remain terrible. Long leading indicators continue to reflect the aggressive policy responses. Here is a key portion of NDD’s own conclusion:

The long-term forecast, buoyed by interest rates and Fed money supply intervention, remains just above neutral. As I said last week, public policy decisions made at the very top in Washington will determine the shape of the economic response to the pandemic, including whether short-term severe disruption becomes a credit and liquidity crisis, and whether a wage deflationary spiral (the subject of another post) begins to take root.

The Good

Until we have more relevant data, I will just hit the highlights and provide some interpretation. The pre-COVID19 reports continued to show strength. Job openings remained near the highs. Inflation data was low on the core readings (0.1% for CPI) and negative for the headlines. This was the result of low energy prices, making low gasoline prices another piece of good news for the few who are driving around!

The Bad

Everything else plummeted, often missing even the lowered expectations. NFIB small business optimism dropped to 96.4 in March from February’s 104.5.

The decline inrail traffic is the largest since the Great Recession. (Steven Hansen, GEI).

Nearly a third of U.S. apartment renters did not pay rent in April (NYT).

Over one-quarter of the U.S. economy has gone idle. (WSJ).

Initial jobless claims hit 6.6 million, down from the prior week’s 6.9 million but worse than the expected 5 million. With the rapid shutdown of so much of the economy the spike in claims is not really a surprise. We simply have no background to evaluate the large numbers or how long the surge might last. Most of the layoffs are described as temporary and many are covered by increased unemployment insurance under the CARES Act.

Mortgage applications dropped 17.9% from the prior week and are now tracking the weakest years in recent history.

Michigan consumer sentiment dropped to 71.0. Jill Mislinski notes that this was the lowest reading since 2011 and the largest monthly decline in history.


The Ugly

The pandemic has inspired many acts of generosity, but it also brings out the worst in some.

People are luring Instacart shoppers with big tips — and then changing them to zero
[Jeff – seems like this could be fixed pretty easily, and it should be.]

Feds Warn Alex Jones to Stop Hawking Coronavirus Scams

Hospitals say feds are seizing masks and other coronavirus supplies without a word
[Jeff – One of many such stories I saw this week, as local administrators scramble for resources while seeing the peak needs approaching.]

The Week Ahead

We would all like to know the direction of the market in advance. Good luck with that! Second best is planning what to look for and how to react.

The Calendar

The economic calendar will include some important reports that cover at least part of the time after the spread of the COVID19 virus. We will see some effect in most reports and a full effect in mortgage applications, initial jobless claims, and leading indicators. I will keep running the calendar, but (as I have been emphasizing for weeks) we must remain conscious of the collection dates for data rather than the release dates.

As you can see from the expected results, the economists providing estimates are “going low.” So far, the guesses have not been low enough. Since everyone knows that a big chunk of the US economy is idle, the focus has turned to the likely length of the shutdown. (The Capital Spectator)

It is also the beginning of earnings season, normally a major topic for us. The conference calls will be especially important. Investors will look to company executives to provide some guesses about the impact of current events on their present and future business.

And of course, we will have many briefings, tweets, and political comments from all sides.

Briefing.com has a good U.S. economic calendar for the week. Here are the main U.S. releases.

Next Week’s Theme

The economic calendar includes several important releases, but only a partial reflection of the COVID19 effects. Everyone knows the economic news is dismal. Just how dismal does not seem to matter.

Investors have quite a different list of questions:

  • Have we seen the bottom in stock prices?
  • When will we re-start the economy?
  • Is it time to start buying stocks?
  • If so, which ones?
  • Will the future economic path resemble one of these letters: V, U, L, or W.

These are all good questions, attracting plenty of attention. Many answers are offered. The problem? None of the answers are any good!

We are faced with many good questions but only poor answers.

The current investor challenge is finding a few nuggets of valuable information. To do this requires some structure to our thinking.

Background

Last week I described the importance of models for current investment decisions. The work is complicated and has serious limitations. That said, it has already provided important results.

  • Policymakers have a better sense of how the virus is spreading and the steps required to slow that spread. Would any government have undertaken such dramatic steps without strong analysis of the flawed data?
  • Medical personnel and leaders can better anticipate upcoming service demands.
  • Estimates of economic impact justified policy responses that would have been unthinkable without strong evidence.

The framework I built remains important, but it does not lend itself to my WTWA posts. There are hundreds of articles and news items on each aspect of the problem. Many of them are good. In my semi-retirement quest to be as helpful as possible, I am combining two approaches.

  1. I will maintain the basic model structure and a long list of good sources in a separate area. (Please be patient with this work in progress. If I get too stressed, Mrs. OldProf will try to reduce my work hours!)
  2. In the WTWA posts I will highlight the most important developments I found that week.

Most of what I read always winds up on the cutting-room floor, but this process will make more information available to those who are interested in deeper study.

Remember the basic structure of models – Pandemic, Economy, Corporate Earnings, Stock Prices. There is no sound way to skip ahead in the chain. Each will get a link from the main page.

And finally, here is a friendlier description of the problem, Loose Lips: The Psychology of Rumor During Crisis. Here are some current examples.

With the spread of the virus came the rampant spread of rumors from many sources: news media, social media, neighbors, and websites. Some of these are harmless. Perhaps you read of dolphins swimming in the canals of Venice, taking up the space previously inhabited by boats. Some are wishful, like those indicating a vaccine will be available in the next few months or that gargling with salt water will stop the virus from entering the lungs. Others are divisive, like those stating that China deliberately manufactured the virus as a biological weapon. I am guessing you heard at least one of these rumors; none of them are true.

This is an interesting and readable article. I especially liked the WWII comparisons.

Taylor’s analysis appears to be drawn from work done by Allport, Knapp, and others in World War II. After analyzing 1,100 wartime rumors, Allport and Postman created the “basic rumor formula”: r = I × A, expressing the idea that rumor is a direct function of importance and ambiguity. When faced with highly important but highly ambiguous situations, rumor will be rampant.

The formula helps us understand why we embrace information that has no stated margin of error.

Let us now turn to the current update on the key model segments.

Scientific developments highlight apparent successes.

And the looming challenges.

Economic news includes the problem with small businesses.

The Cares Act was supposed to help save small businesses, but independent restaurants remain in dire straits

And Small Businesses Wait for Cash as Disaster Loan Program Unravels

Is it possible to put the economy “on hold” for a few months? Timothy Taylor explores both the attractiveness of the policy as well as some long-term consequences.

Policy choices center on when the economy might reopen and what privacy sacrifices might be required.

Antibody testing and retests? (Barron’s)

U.S. Is Nowhere Close to Reopening the Economy, Experts Say

Yet people expect a sooner end. (Stat).

Stock Prices could make a big move.

INDUSTRY ANALYSTS PREDICT THE S&P 500 WILL CLOSE ABOVE 3200 IN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS

The Stock Market Has Had a Heck of a Bounce. Why It’s Time for Another Drop.

Eddy Elfenbein on the “tentative news that social isolation policies are having an impact….Markets are celebrating, and it may be premature.”

Paul Schatz hedges his bets with 3 Scenarios for the Stock Market in Q2.

Quant Corner and Risk Analysis

I have a rule for my investment clients. Think first about your risk. Only then should you consider possible rewards. I monitor many quantitative reports and highlight the best methods in this weekly update, featuring the Indicator Snapshot.

For a description of these sources, check here.

Both long-term and short-term technical indicators continued at the worst reading and are not close to improvement. The C-Score improved slightly. It will now have a new purpose. It put us on recession warning last May, but the confirming coincident indicators never pushed us beyond the tossup level. Conditions are sufficiently clear that I expect an “official” recession call from the NBER that will set the starting date some time this year. It will not be March, since the March data do not really meet the dating criteria. It takes a large and prolonged decine across the economy. It is certainly going to be a large decline, but prolonged will be a matter of judgement. We also might escape the traditional two negative quarters, say some economists. For our purposes, none of this really matters. We will reset our thinking and let the C-Score work at helping us forecast the next cycle bottom.

I am treating forward earnings and the resulting measures as not meaningful until we get more clarity. The data in the table represent best guesses from the best sources.

I contine my rating of “Neutral” in the overall outlook for long-term investors since I would be neither a buyer nor a seller at this point.

The Featured Sources:

Bob Dieli: Business cycle analysis via the “C Score”.

Brian Gilmartin: All things earnings, for the overall market as well as many individual companies.

Doug Short and Jill Mislinski: Regular updating of an array of indicators.

Georg Vrba: Business cycle indicator and market timing tools. The most recent update of Georg’s business cycle index has signaled the recession, but the full indicator impact will not be seen until June.

Guest Commentary

Do low levels of investor stock allocations lead to higher returns? Check out the analysis at Of Dollars and Data for a helpful “maybe.” But then check out his On Buying Stocks After Big Rallies.

Insight for Investors

Investors should understand and embrace volatility. They should join my delight in a well-documented list of worries. As the worries are addressed or even resolved, the investor who looks beyond the obvious can collect handsomely.

Best of the Week

If I had to pick a single article for investors to read this week, it would be my friend Rob Martorana’s How to Read Financial News: Coronavirus, Confirmation Bias, and Political Bias. He clearly explains the links between emotions and biases and our decisions. He stresses the current relevance, writing “Now more than ever we need to read the news with a clear eye about our emotions and biases…”

He provides an excellent framework, discussing each step in turn.

One problem in finding bias in stories is that people cling to their favorites and label opposing viewpoints to be “fake.” Rob draws upon Vanessa Otero’s work which includes this helpful chart. (Here is a larger, interactive version).

And finally, out of many other great points, he makes a personal observation that is confirmed by many current polls:

I read all types of news, from conservative to liberal, and everything in between. I have noticed that clients are reacting to coronavirus in a wide variety of ways, based on their worldviews and their political views. In general, I have found that politically conservative clients view coronavirus one way, and politically liberal clients view coronavirus another way.

Helping clients this way is an important part of providing sound investment advice.

Stock Ideas

Here are a few ideas to consider, but do not skip my recommended analytical process!

Chuck Carnevale discusses his current shopping list of quality stocks. Like many of us, he suspects more volatility ahead and hopes it will be a short time. He defines that as perhaps less than a year. Read the full post for his ideas and of course, watch the instructive video. He sees this as a time for preparation and research. I agree.

So, what is an investor to do? For me personally, I’m acting like Santa Claus -I’m making my list and checking it twice. My rational mind says that quality is supreme in this environment, and in that same regard cash is king. Therefore, I am actively conducting research on the highest quality companies that I can identify and find. Then I am building lists of high-quality stocks that fit various investment objectives. For example, I have put together a list of dividend growth stocks as well as a list of pure growth stocks that I believe will not only prevail during this crisis, but perhaps even prosper.

Too late to buy Zoom Video (ZM). Beth Kindig discusses the impressive post-IPO record of the company as well as the recent surge in price. She believes that it will still continue to outperform the market but is cautious about the current high valuation. Read the entire post for her nuanced conclusion. What makes the Zoom product more attractive than competitors? She writes as follows:

There are a few key product features that help Zoom Video stand apart from the competitors. These features may seem simple, but they are actually quite difficult to bake into a product.

“Viral mechanic” refers to the spread of growth across users as a built-in mechanism to the product. Zoom has a viral mechanic due to lowering friction.

Competitors such as Cisco’s (NASDAQ:CSCO) Webex, Microsoft Skype and LogMeIn (NASDAQ:LOGM) require bulky user accounts, downloaded applications and software, which restricts the one-to-many model. Technically, Google Hangouts also wants you to be logged into a Gmail account. This doesn’t work for enterprise teams on Microsoft Outlook. Corporate teams are also increasingly mobile, switch between devices, and need to join meetings very quickly.

Again, joining a video conference without downloading an application or software may seem minor, but it’s actually a driving force in adoption and virality. This micro improvement has an effect on the speed at which Zoom’s conference URLs are shared from one-to-many users.

Blue Harbinger suggests that some high-yield mREITs and bond CEFs have important support from the Fed. As a result, these are more attractive than other high-yield products. He explains the reasons, but it is wise to go gently and carefully with the high-yield products.

Colorado Wealth Management joins in with Rumors Of Mortgage REIT Demise Were Greatly Exaggerated.

The Great Rotation – Now the Great Reset

I have made it easier for readers to join my “Great Reset” project. I hope you will give it a try. There is no charge. We will not share your email. Most importantly, I hope we can learn from each other.

Ben Carlson describes the decline of small cap value stocks and the weaker rebounds. He next looks ahead to performance in the wake of a bear market, cautioning that each case is different.

Some analysts are already discussing how the Great Reset may help to start the Great Rotation. Scott Welch, Chief Investment Officer – Model Portfolios at Wisdom Tree, begins by mentioning the market valuations of small- and mid-cap stocks. How this plays out depends on the business cycle. Here is an example.

The full article has additional ideas of what the shift in the business cycle might bring.

We understand how difficult the current market conditions are, and how difficult it can be to look past the volatility, stress and anxiety, and take a longer-term perspective on portfolio allocation. But, as we have suggested before, we do believe this will end, and the market will recover. We don’t know when, and we accept that we may have further down to go. But the current crisis will end, and the market will recover.

In anticipation of that time, we believe now is an excellent opportunity to think about and plan how to lean back into the markets. History suggests that there are certain investment styles, strategies and risk factors that will lead the way once the recovery begins.

Watch out for

Shale oil stocks. Kirk Spano takes note of the bankruptcy potential in these companies. His conclusion: “Sell your shale oil stocks now.” Read his entire post for the financial analysis and a few possible exceptions.

United Airlines (UAL). D.M. Martins Research continues the analysis on this sector concluding that there are “better options” than UAL.

Final Thought

Why the big market rally? It is mostly a result of the overwhelming response of government – much more than anyone expected. Except me. I have been writing about this for weeks. I am better at forecasting what is likely to happen than how the markets will react. By now I should realize that factoring in policy changes is a continuing error of nearly everyone in the investment community – intense skepticism about government powers and willingness to act. It puts so many on the wrong side of the market and then biases their future analyses. I hope readers have found my comments helpful in keeping a balanced viewpoint and portfolio.

As we move down the chain of models, the conclusions from our sources become more contradictory. They often look like guesswork. You can find a billionaire investor or pundit on either side of the stock rebound question, especially given the loyalty to the “must retest the low” concept.

The economic effects are somewhat more conditional. Analysts realize that it depends on when a semblance of normality returns. There is still a very wide error band on these estimates. The results depend upon the willingness to take the risk of another virus round if measures are relaxed too soon. There is a vigorous debate about the implied morality of these decisions.

Try to check out credentials. Ignore economists speculating about what policies will become reality. Ignore politicians discussing the implications of scientific data. Ignore “global managing partner senior chief investment officers” who are discussing any of the above. Ignore sources that are “famous for being famous” without any real credentials. Ignore anyone guessing what the market will do.

With the remaining sources, follow Rob Martorana’s guide to reading investment news.

Investment Decisions

This is a special time and requires special care. Here are my conclusions and what I am doing.

What Will Not Work

  • Did you think you had an “all weather” portfolio?   You probably missed a chance to lighten up as recession odds increased. This will limit your chances to take advantage of the eventual rebound. Rebalancing your allocation will help, especially if you target purchases with the right stocks.
  • ETFs.  Many stocks will not survive. Do you want to own them? An ETF combines the bad with the good.
  • Market timing the bottom. Someone will guess right of course, but we don’t know who it will be.

What Will Work

  • Individual stock selection following a strict process.
    • Will the company survive? Verify the balance sheet, cash flow, and the Altman Z score.
    • Use an earnings model like FAST Graphs. Check the valuation sensitivity of a near-term earnings hit.
    • Use a revenue model like Prof. Damodaran’s to check out discounted FCF. This will provide another sensitivity test using different inputs and assumptions.
  • Selling volatility via covered calls or cash-secured puts.

This means doing your homework on each stock.  It takes time but avoids costly mistakes and finds the best opportunities. If you are sheltering in place you have time to do some extra study of stock valuation!

[This is the time when I (with the help of my team) can provide the most help. The stakes are high for both risks and rewards. Request a consultation via info at inclineia dot com].

I’m more worried about

  • Rumors, misinformation, and disinformation. Just when accurate information is most needed, some are more interested in inflaming fears or selling false hope.
  • North Korea. It feels too quiet.
  • Excessive public optimism about a return to work, pressuring policymakers into an unwise decision.

I’m less worried about

  • A great depression. There are signs of real progress. It will be a gradual return to work, and I will probably be in the last queue!

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15 comments

  • Sigmund Silber April 12, 2020  

    If people are not paying rent there will be no housing.

    If there is no housing there will be no spending by landlords.

    There will be no recovery for two years.

  • Ian April 12, 2020  

    You’re telling us to switch from our index ETFs to high quality individual companies with strong balance sheets. But the time to do that was two months ago. Strong balance sheet companies have already outperformed enormously. You can’t buy home insurance when your house is already on fire.

    Last week the riskiest index funds, like small cap funds, outperformed the strong balance sheet companies. What this tells you is that a lot of the insolvency risk in these funds has already been priced in.

    The question that has to be answered is how much insolvency risk has been priced in. You could make an argument that quality is still worth buying, but it needs to be an argument that’s much more sophisticated than the one you’re making.

    You’re talking to us about the Altman Z score. But what do you really know about it? I recently read that Altman Z predictions for bankruptcy were 98% false positives. Have you really evaluated this metric?

    And are you seriously trying to tell us that a publicly available number that’s easy for everyone to look up will enable you to outperform? You know that attitude is death to portfolios. It doesn’t work like that.

    Your advice is yesterday’s news and will likely lead to underperformance in portfolios. Someone needs to start doing the math of valuation here. I’m hoping that person will be you, but given your performance of the past two weeks, I’m not holding my breath.

    There are a lot of good links in this week’s post, and I’m still finding you worth reading. But the quality of your commentary has dropped a lot in the past two weeks and I’m hoping you get back to your old self soon.

    • oldprof April 12, 2020  

      Ian — Sorry you do not like the recent posts, but it is important for me to pick topics that are most salient. If you check the record, you will see that I have been a week or two ahead of most developments and farther than that on government action.

      ETFs versus stocks and what is priced in the market — It is always hard to know, but your focus seems to be on finding the cheapest alternatives. Mine is on finding the safest. I am disqualifying stocks that might not make it through the crisis. It is my plan, not advice to anyone else. I have explained why it makes sense, describing several tests I plan to use.

      I had to chuckle about your Altman Z comment and the article you read. As a regular reader, why would you suspect me of including something I don’t know about? Altman and I were both expert witnesses in a big lawsuit in Federal court some years ago. His estimates were central to the case, so I learned quite a bit about them.

      Jeff

      • Ian April 12, 2020  

        Just raising cash is safer than buying stocks without regard to valuations

  • Sebastian April 12, 2020  

    “I’m less worried about
    A great depression. There are signs of real progress.”

    To which I would respond:

    “Mortgage lenders are tightening standards as coronavirus crisis worsens”

    https://www.housingwire.com/articles/mortgage-lenders-are-tightening-standards-as-coronavirus-crisis-worsens/

    And…

    “JPMorgan Chase to tighten mortgage borrowing standards as economic outlook weakens”

    https://www.thenational.ae/business/banking/jpmorgan-chase-to-tighten-mortgage-borrowing-standards-as-economic-outlook-weakens-1.1004868

    Jeff, I don’t see how you can be so blase and dismissive of the recent stock market behavior when the economy is so clearly at or near the early stages of major recession.

    In a recession there is no true safety or hiding in the stock markets, only relative (they all go down, just some not as much as others.

    Respectfully,

    Sebastian

    • oldprof April 12, 2020  

      Sebastian — Blase? Not really. I have raised cash in portfolios and reported on the deep dive in current economic data. It will not be like the Great Depression because we know this is going to end in the next year or so. Some vaccine or treatment will be found. Our focus as investors ought to be on what happens next, since you are correct in saying there is nowhere to hide in the market.

      Are you suggesting that long-term investors should sell everything? Right now?

      Thanks for the links!

      Jeff

  • Phil April 12, 2020  

    There is one good question that has a good answer namely when to restart the economy and the answer is NOW. The experts would have us all under house arrest until all are vaccinated. Tho pols are hiding in the tall grass under “expert” cover. Suggestions to begin opening back up are met with denigration and ridicule. Money over people and blood on your hand and more rotgut. There is a middle ground and unless we are prepared for more suffering caused by prolonged inactivity the cure will in fact be the new pandemic. Those calling the shots and bloviating about being in this altogether are not the ones seeing there life’s work being obliterated nor their families scratching for rent and food. There is no stimulus rather band aids and life rafts for those thrown overboard by government fiat. Initial harsh measures probably necessary but plenty of time for the blame game later. Time to start moving forward even if a few small steps. Lack of progress on this front is all the more reason for market caution. This thing is manageable but easily blown.

  • Sigmund Silber April 12, 2020  

    We now have a virus that takes out the old and the next virus may take out the young. That does not leave very many does it? Those who are blase about throwing the old under the bus will deserve what they get.

    If I survive for a while I will do my best to make sure the candidates that advocate for a rapid restart are not elected. I have experience in politics and can be very effective.

    To me those who advocate for an immediate restart are degenerates and I wish them the worst.

    There are ways to gradually increase the level of economic activity in the U.S. We will have more people who have acquired immunity. There will be rapid increases in PPE. Many methods of providing goods and services can be handled in ways that are less likely to lead to disease transmission. Medical treatments are improving and will continue to improve without having a more perfect solution such as a vaccine. Suppressing outbreaks will improve. Human creativity can solve many problems.

    I have zero sympathy for those who simply want to return to normal and do not give a damn about others. To me these are not comlete human beings. G-d will deal with them. They represent the decline in the civilization of the U.S. They disgust me.

  • wkevinw April 13, 2020  

    Oldprof- Thanks for the update.

    I think the decision about “reopening” the economy is one of the most difficult any group of experts will have to make. Ultimately, the POTUS will be held accountable, just like always. They are held accountable for all kinds of things that are really only weakly in their control- recessions, surprise military attacks, etc. (Bad)Stuff like viruses happen.

    The blinders that people operate with are very interesting. Example- there are (at least) two other serious contagious disease types that could spread: hemorrhagic and intestinal. Do you see people saying we need to get prepared for that now? No, for exactly the same reason you didn’t see it for a respiratory disease (covid19)- the public/political awareness of risk is questionable.

    I think we will go back to an open economy in stages, with protocols. Also, as should be done, the local officials will be given lots of latitude depending on their situation.

    My reading of history, and indicators, suggest setting up for another sell signal. I think we retest the stock market bottoms, at least. It will be a slower grind, I am guessing. I am about 75% sure of this. As usual, it’s all probabilities, which most people can’t navigate effectively.

    Thanks again.

  • Mike April 16, 2020  

    I may have missed it in previous articles but do you think this lends any attention to the importance of sufficient government infrastructure (i.e. CDC, pandemic response team, etc.)? I’m a long time reader of yours and throughout the years you’ve mentioned the significance of sensible and effective regulation. It seems as though the cutting of particular agencies greatly exacerbated the spread and response to the pandemic.

    • oldprof April 19, 2020  

      Mike —

      Of course it does! Finding the balance and a sensible amount of regulation is a challenge. It is not helped when you are losing your most experienced and talented people.

      Thanks for pointing this out.

      Jeff

  • Sigmund Silber April 19, 2020  

    I do not agree with the concept of balance. We have the opportunity to basically eradicate this virus with six more weeks of strong action. But we have a lot of people adverse to that. The cost of having so many working against eradicating the virus will far exceed any short term benefits.

    We do not have sufficient jail space to lock them up and but I wish we could send them to an island and let them infect each other and develop herd immunity or die.

    Their actions IMO will lead to a Democratic Party landslide victory and we then will have to deal with that set of issues.