Catastrophe cascade

Hope it was worth it, panic ninnies.

Hardly anyone expected that things would get this bad in 2020. Once the pandemic hit and states all over the country started instituting lockdowns, economic activity collapsed dramatically. U.S. GDP was down 31.4 percent during the second quarter of 2020, and that was a drop without parallel in all of U.S. history. In fact, that decline was more than three times as large as the previous record. But eventually states started to “reopen” their economies, and U.S. GDP for the third quarter is expected to show a significant rebound when the numbers are finally released. Of course we still aren’t even close to where we used to be, but at least things weren’t as bad as they were in the second quarter.

But now as the fourth quarter begins, it appears that economic conditions are heading back in the wrong direction again. 

Follows, a list of fifteen truly grim portents, which are just the tip of a very, very big iceberg. No matter how desperately TPTB try to juggle and parboil the numbers, we’re only in the very beginning stages of an unprecedented, wholly self-inflicted disaster. It’s going to get worse, and may well never get much better.

Then again, the economy could well turn out to be the least of our worries before the year is out.

Now we are less than a month away from a presidential election that promises to be incredibly chaotic, and the extremely deep divisions that already exist in our nation are likely to get even worse. Many believe that this election will produce even more civil unrest, and that will likely depress economic activity even further.

I truly wish that economic conditions would “return to normal” and that all of us could get back to our old patterns.

But there isn’t going to be any “return to normal” any time soon.

Instead, very dark days are ahead, and those very dark days will shake this nation to the core.

Yep, that’s my conclusion too. Better get used to it, folks; as I keep saying, this is our New Normal, like it or not. Another one of those times when I hope and pray that I’m wrong, but…well, it ain’t looking like the way to bet.

14 thoughts on “Catastrophe cascade

  1. Huh:

    Regal, AMC Entertainment, most movie theaters in the country to eventually close down permanently – All fallout from Hollywood’s collapsing, and all money makers for the enemy. Not a loss for us.

    Rents falling in San Francisco – Enemy stronghold, reaping what its sown. No bitter tears shed.

    Government Motors, err, General Motors falling – Possible loss, but they’ve also been failing for years even with their bailout.

    American Airlines and United Airlines – TSA makes that just deserts rather than a major loss.

    Retail store closings – How many in the Blue Hives and more of a result of BLM/Antifa rioting than COVID? Self inflicted gunshot wound.

    Bankruptcy filings in New York City – Self inflicted gunshot wound in an enemy stronghold.

    almost 90 percent of New York City bar and restaurant owners – Self inflicted gunshot wound in an enemy stronghold.

    Ah dunno, Mike. I’m gonna go with my lying eyes over Zerohedge’s gloom and doom. My lying eyes tell me that the bulk of this fallout is in the Blue Hives and the Blue States where they’ve shot themselves in the heads with continual shutdowns/lockdowns and RiotLootBurn. I’m not seeing it in areas like mine.

    I still say that the bulk of the economic crashes look to be regional rather than nationwide, and the regions are in our enemy’s turfs.

    1. Agree, Ironbear. Snyder is a permanent doom-n-gloom type. While he raises some interesting points at times, every single one of his articles is about how the world is ending, all is lost, disaster is inevitable, etc.

      The worst of the economic damage has been in the blue zones, and much of it to industries that have been in decline for years or even decades. GM has been dying for decades. Movie theaters have less and less to offer in this era of high definition screens and quality sound in the home, plus most of Hollywood’s product has been blatantly anti-American (and getting more so) for years.

      I have a lot more sympathy for the folks who own and operate restaurants and bars and similar small outfits. That is a tough business with thin margins at the best of times, and the COVIDIOTS just crushed their entire industry by fiat.

      Now if we could just get someone or something to knock some sense into Abbott here in Texas….

      1. For example GM has 103 Billion in debt and 37 Billion maturing in 2020.
        I wonder how they’ve been able to roll over that debt. How much higher interest rates? That’s what, 9 billion a quarter. As the lockdowns continue who knows.
        Ford had a lot of cash and suspended their dividend.
        I sit holding Ford stock hoping Trump wins. Just a small position but it would hurt.

      2. Add the airlines in that, Haz: they’ve been in decline for decades even before 9/11 and the TSA. They’ve also been increasingly Woke over the years even before “Woke” was a thing.

        Add in the sports and media industries: both were hemorrhaging viewership – and readership, in the case of print media – long before COVID.

        Heh. Not sure what the deal is with Abbott, nor what to do to slap some sense into him. He has such good instincts on a lot of things, but he’s gone COVIDiot on this Chink-flu hoax.

        I have kind of the opposite with Stitt here in Oklahoma: I disagree with a number of his non-COVID policies and decisions, but he’s handled the COVID mess almost as well as the South Dakota gov. Probably why our economy isn’t in the toilet here: we shut down for the bare minimum, and started opening back up even before his May 1st date.

        SEOSU, unlike all of the other colleges, is open campus for fall classes, also, and seem to be doing fine. And almost all of our schools have fall sports going, despite COVID.

    2. Except every bank has massive exposure to those bankruptcies and they are also your local lender.
      Who do you bank with?
      Almost all of them are down 50% from their stock price highs and with good reason.
      If the Blue Areas were truly separated from US we could watch and laugh.
      The Commies ALWAYS take us down with them.

    3. Not that I disagree entirely with you, ‘Bear, because as you know, I don’t. But at some point, things like riots, looting, burhning, general mayhem, and of course the authoritarian lockdowns as well cannot be tolerated by an otherwise reasonably civilized society. As the great Wilford Brimley said in Absence Of Malice: That stuff ain’t legal. And by God, it just ain’t right.

      And then there’s the not-small matter of a guy like me, trapped trying to eke out a living in the perennially-liberal shitrapy of North Carolina. I personally know five people who are actively looking for work and not finding any, thanks to an economy they had nothing to do with destroying.

      That’s the thing about leftists: sure, you can let ’em all sink and drown in their own sea of self-wrought woe. Maybe you even should. But one way or another, they’re going to take an awful lot of good people down with ’em as they do.

      The key here, I suppose, is this: never, ever let the Left anywhere NEAR any sort of power. If they try it, shoot ’em in their fucking heads.

  2. I think there is a lot of wisdom in what Iron Bear writes.

    We’ve faced worse, albeit with a much larger group of tough people. I’m still amazed at just how resilient the economy has proven to be. I think we have a long road ahead – Trump wins and it creates opportunity. Harris wins and we’re dead.

  3. If Trump wins another term (which basically means if the Dems are prevented from stealing the election via mail-in fraud), there is a decent chance of continuing economic recovery. A Dem-controlled House means little chance of getting decent legislation through, but just removing the threat of a Harris presidency would help a lot. And Trump can do a lot on the executive side on things like regulations and red tape, plus stuff like limiting “refugees” and H1-Bs and similar labor pool dilution.

    For the deep blue states, I don’t think there is much that can be done. The pressure to maintain the lock downs will get a lot less urgent once the election is over, whatever the result. But the left loves their jackboots and will not surrender their “emergency” powers willingly, as Newsome and Whitmer have proven. I have sympathy for good folks in those states, but it could hardly be clearer that there is little hope for them if they don’t leave and move to somewhere better.

    1. Haz, I expect that after the reelection of Trump, the blue state residents that don’t leave will reopen their states. Even progs like to eat.

      It’s hard to know just how long it takes to return to a pre china/electionVirus economy. Given the unprecedented purposeful economic destruction we did it doesn’t seem to act like a normal downturn. I have customers that are booming as a result and some that are laying off people. For me they balance out, fortunately. I did not expect it. The rental business for vacation property on the coast turned out to be booming as are sales of properties. Another very unexpected turn. Maybe someone smarter than I could have predicted some of this, but I don’t think anyone did. It’s just not a figurable outcome in my opinion, other than it isn’t a good thing and certainly slows down the march to 4-5% growth I think we were on.

      1. Maybe the strength in rental properties on the coast is due to people looking to get out of the riot-prone urban areas?

        Any reovery is likely to be very uneven, I agree. The hurt-the-Bad-Orange-Man’s-re-election-prospects motive for maintaining the shutdowns will be gone after the election, however it turns out, and that should help somewhat.

        The intentional destruction of the best period of economic growth in more than a generation will have long-lasting effects.

        1. Oh yea, the people in the lock down area’s with riots certainly contributed to the exodus to vacation lands. Hatteras Island probably benefits from the wide open spaces and rental houses. All those people determined to take their vacations – 1) did not want to stay in a hotel this time and 2) did not want to go to a crowded area. Thus we saw an increase in houses rented on Hatteras Island. I could have my house rented through Nov if I had wanted. It’s closed no until spring. Friend is there this week and I’m going tomorrow.

          “The intentional destruction of the best period of economic growth in more than a generation will have long-lasting effects.”

          That’s a certainty. But every adversity creates opportunity. With Trump in the lead I believe we can get it back to sustained growth in a year or so.

          1. I’ll just add, normally I get maybe one 2 week rental every year. otherwise they are one week rentals. This year, three of them, two of two weeks and one that extended a two weeker into three weeks. That extended one was early in the season. Clear evidence people were getting away.

            On May 16 when I left as the first renter was coming in, I had a total of 3 weeks rentals. It appeared this year was going to be a disaster. Instead it beat my best season by one week, and that only limited by my listed availability.

            I thought this year would be a disaster and it was for a lot of people. I just Read Kenny below and he notes how some were good through the great depression. This year is good for me personally. I do worry where it goes in the next few.

      2. In the Depression for those who had an income from a steady job coming in did quite fine. Especially since the purchasing power of the savings went up due to outright deflation.
        My grandfather and his new bride both worked for a 400 Family who owned an Insurance company. Through savings, frugality and thrift, and deflation, they were able to buy their first house during the 1930’s.

        For the 20-25% Unemployed though it was a devastating and destructive time.

        What we have is an artificial Depression. It was created by the Lockdowns and for the most part relieved as the Economy is allowed to open. So those that were “essential” and kept getting paid had nothing to spend it on for months. When they realized that this was nothing they had a huge windfall in accumulated savings. For those that were closed and now are returning to the jobs that were always there but not “essential” they have at least an income and perhaps lost a few months expenses out of savings. Maybe not even that much because Unemployment was so generous.

        What we don’t know but will slowly find out is when we get close to full reopening and we start noticing the places that never came back. Like I said, I am starting to see For Lease signs in places that were filled in February. I’m seeing places that lie dormant and probably won’t ever reopen because the people just walked away.

        The true nature of this Forced Depression will not be known for another while. I hope it’s better than i fear it might be, but thus far I have been seeing numbers (like growing Employment but at a slowing pace) and anecdotally signs I am closer to being right rather than pessimistic.

        PS they are talking about reopening my schools. Let’s see how many crossing guards and bus drivers they still need if people fell off the wagon or some went elsewhere to find jobs.

        1. “The true nature of this Forced Depression will not be known for another while.”

          Yea, I’m with you on the hope thing. I’ve certainly been surprised, pleasantly, by many things…

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