Insured Losses From Riots Reach ‘Catastrophe’ Levels, May Rival Record

Rioting that erupted in cities across the United States after the Memorial Day death of George Floyd in Minneapolis may rival the 1992 Los Angeles riots to become the most costly civil disorder in United States history.

The civil disturbance in Los Angeles after the videotaped police beating of Rodney King in April and May 1992 caused $775 million in damages — or $1.42 billion in today’s dollars, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Those riots, however, were largely confined to one metropolitan area. Destruction and looting that erupted after Floyd’s death was reported in at least 25 cities, and spread into many suburbs as well. The extent of damage was unknown as of late Monday, but a sample of local news reports suggests that it is widespread:

  • In Pittsburgh, the Public Safety department reported 50 businesses and properties in downtown area were damaged.
  • The Downtown Seattle Association reported that 50 businesses had damaged downtown and in the neighboring Chinatown-International District.
  • The Chicago Loop Alliance said at least 45 property were damaged in the downtown area by rioting that also spread into the cities suburbs.
  • In Madison, Wisconsin, 75 businesses were damaged and some were looted.

The National Guard reported on Monday that it had deployed troops in 24 states to protect lives and property.

“We expect this to be a significant loss event as the impact is being experienced in large and small markets across the U.S.,” stated III spokesman Mark Friedlander. “However, because it is an ongoing event, it is premature to determine the volume of property loss that will be incurred.”

Civil disturbances generally cause modest property losses when compared to natural disasters, data from the Insurance Information Institute shows. Rioting in Los Angeles in August 1965 — the second costliest civil disorder — caused $357 million in damages, measured in 2020 dollars. Together, riots in Baltimore, Chicago and New York City in April 1968 caused $231 million in damages in today’s dollars.

By comparison, Hurricane Harvey in 2017 caused an estimated $20 billion in damages.’Verisk’s Property Claims Service over the weekend declared the riots a catastrophe event, which means it projects damages of more than $25 million.

Dow Jumps More Than 800 Points, Nasdaq Hits a Record After Surprise Jobs Surge Boosts Recovery Bets

Stocks rallied on Friday after an unexpected surge in U.S. jobs raised hope that the economy is starting to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Nasdaq Composite became the first of the three major averages to climb back to an all-time high, advancing 2.0%, or 198.27 points, to 9,814.08 on Friday and touching an intraday record of 9,845.69. After tumbling as much as 25% earlier this year, the tech-heavy index is now 9.3% higher for 2020.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 829.16 points, or 3.1%, to 27,110.98. The S&P 500 rose 2.6%, or 81.58 points, to 3,193.93.

US shocks economists by adding 2.5 million jobs in May as unemployment declines to 13.3%.

Economists were shocked on Friday as the Bureau of Labor Statistics said US employers added 2.5 million payrolls in May, defying expectations of 7.5 million jobs lost. The surprise increase came on the heels of the record 20.5 million jobs lost in April.

The unemployment rate declined to 13.3%, bucking forecasts of a near-record 19% rate. April’s 14.7% reading was the highest since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The May report suggested that the US economy might be past the peak of the coronavirus pandemic’s devastation. By the end of the month, all 50 states had relaxed at least some restrictions, even as the US’s COVID-19 death toll surpassed 100,000 people.

“Today’s data suggests that the US economy is more resilient than expected,” said Seema Shah, the chief strategist at Principal Global Investors. “Certainly the initial signs suggest that the reopening of economies has already started to heal the labor market.”

In Tough Times, Support American-Made Products

We are all facing tough times today, and that of course applies to our “made in the USA” businesses. Both sportsmen and women should consider buying only American-made products next time they need to purchase ammunition, firearms, or outdoor gear. The financial fallout from the COVID-19 virus will most likely be felt for years to come. Let’s do all we can to support our home-grown businesses no matter the product.

When it comes to the shooting and outdoor industry, below is just a sampling of American companies that have excellent track records and products to boot:

Henry Repeating Arms
Henry Repeating Arms is a company that stands on its slogan of “made in America or not made at all.” Henry offers a wide variety of quality lever, pump, and single action long guns, as well as its famous AR-7 survival semi auto rimfire. Henry truly supports communities and the USA through the its ongoing tradition of giving back. The company continually demonstrates this through their “Guns for Great Causes” program. Take a look a Henry Repeating Arms the next time you’re looking for a unique firearm.

Federal Premium Ammunition
If you’re a hunter or shooter you have no doubt used Federal Ammunition. I have personally used it for everything from plinking with my favorite 22 to hunting waterfowl and big game hunting. The company has been around for nearly 100 years since its beginnings in 1922 and is based in Anoka, Minnesota. At this year’s 2020 SHOT Show the company introduced several new lines of ammo for every application from hunting to self-defense

I’ve used Leupold rifle scopes for years in a wide variety of field conditions. Located in Beaverton, Oregon, the company is more than 100 years old. All of their rifle scopes, binoculars, and spotting scopes have a lifetime guarantee. I can personally attest to the quality of optics and Leopold’s customer service including lifetime warranty on riflescopes, binoculars and spotting scopes.

There is little arguing that the name Coleman is synonymous with hunting camps, summer fishing trips, and classic lanterns — and has been for 120 years. The company started out in Kingfisher, Oklahoma in 1900 and now headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. Known for all camping essentials including, tents, sleeping bags, lanterns, coolers and more. If you’ve spent any time in the field over the years, chances are you’ve used a Coleman product of some kind.

Case Knives
Over 130 years of making classic knives. Not sure what else to say except that Case pocket knives have been some of the most carried, collected, and admired for well over a century now. The company’s headquarters is in Bradford, Pennsylvania, but was originally located in Little Valley, New York. Attesting to the admiration of Case knives, there is currently a Case collectors’ club with thousands of members nationwide.

Only the Beginning
This short list is only the beginning. There are hundreds of USA-based companies that produce all manner of gear and equipment for the great outdoors. They employ tens of thousands of Americans, working hard at making products that help us all get more out of our time in places less traveled. Let’s do our best to support them in these challenging times.

Biden can’t ‘get it‘. He’s incapable of that intense of a mental process.

Liz Peek: George Floyd rioting – Biden doesn’t get it. It’s the safety, stupid

President Trump has promised to quell the violent attack on our country, and said: “Where there is no safety, there is no future.” He is correct.

Never before in our country’s history have our elected officials – officials who have taken an oath to uphold our laws and pledged to keep us safe – stood aside and let rioters destroy our communities. It is unconscionable, it is reckless and it will be very, very costly to repair.

In a “virtual roundtable” with several Democrat mayors of cities under siege, Joe Biden said he believed the terrible death of George Floyd, captured on a video seen by millions, was a turning point for the nation. “The blinders have been taken off”, the presumptive Democrat nominee said, “People are ready for real institutional change.”

The former vice president, somewhat scrambled by his habitual word salad, appeared to suggest that tackling “systemic racism” would require that, among other things, minority communities be given better access to capital with which to start businesses; further on in his comments he stressed the importance of small businesses.

Yes, investment in minority communities is essential to their prosperity; it is also impossible without firm law enforcement. History tells us so.

That’s why the tragedy is not that luxury stores on Rodeo Drive or Madison Avenue are being vandalized and Louis Vuitton handbags carried off by greedy criminals, though those acts are despicable. The tragedy is that poor black neighborhoods, already ravaged by COVID-19, have been ransacked, destroying stores, livelihoods and dreams.

The former can and will be rebuilt; the latter may never recover.

A look back at Ferguson, Mo., where riots broke out in 2014 because of the fatal cop shooting of Michael Brown, suggests just how tough rebuilding can be. The Wall Street Journal reported last summer on the fifth anniversary of those protests that unemployment in the St. Louis suburb was 5.5 percent compared to 3.3 percent in St. Louis County, while the poverty rate was 23 percent, compared to 10 percent in the region.

Crime in the city is higher than in most neighboring towns and worse than in 90 percent of other U.S. cities.

Small-business revenue in the community, five years out, was down by roughly 50 percent.

And that is in spite of considerable new investment in Ferguson.

A devastated block of West Florissant Avenue, where the unarmed teen was shot, now hosts a new $12 million Boys and Girls Club, and the Urban League built a job training center on another burned-out block. But the bulk of new investment has gone into wealthier white neighborhoods…………

Joe Biden never mentioned how he would restore order. He cannot. He desperately needs the support of African-American voters, and is tainted by his association with the 1994 Crime Bill, which many see as having resulted in the mass incarceration of blacks.

If elected, Biden would not help create the environment where small firms can flourish and opportunity can grow. Joe Biden would be exactly the wrong person at the helm.

Yes, indeed. Prices here have been going up on many items. Dairy and meat products in particular.

We Are Being Told to Prepare “To See High Prices at Grocery Stores” And “It’s Likely That Shortages May Only Get Worse”

If you have been to a grocery store lately, then you already know that prices are higher than usual and that there are shortages of certain items. Many Americans have been assuming that as COVID-19 restrictions are slowly rolled back that these shortages will eventually disappear, but now even the Washington Post is admitting that “shortages may get worse” in the weeks and months ahead. Of course there will still be plenty of food available in the grocery stores, but you may have to do without some of your favorite products for a while. And you should also brace yourself for significantly higher prices for many of the products that do remain available. As WBTV has noted, this will especially be true for basic meat staples such as ground beef and chicken…

Seig Heil
Right in Der Führer’s face!

Michigan restaurant owner defies Gov. GretchenFührer Whitmerless’s order in last-ditch effort to save family business

The owner of a restaurant in western Michigan is defying Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order by reopening in a late-ditch effort to save his business.

Jim Cory resumed dining service at Jimmy’s Roadhouse in rural Newaygo and now faces a threat by the state health department to revoke his licenses, he said Sunday on “Fox & Friends Weekend.”

“It’s just been one different set of rules after another,” Cory said of the state’s ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

Whitmer, he complained, “throws up something different every time you turn around.”

Cory made the comments two days after Whitmer, a Democrat, extended her stay-at-home order to June 12 — the fifth extension of a mandate that has put her at odds with Republican lawmakers and sparked anti-lockdown protests.

The order, called “Safer at Home,” will extend temporary business closures and movement restrictions in an effort to combat the pandemic. Whitmer also extended her state of emergency through June 19, WJBK-TV reported.

In a statement, she said that while Michigan COVID-19 cases and deaths are declining, “we are not out of the woods yet.”

Cory said Jimmy’s Roadhouse has been in his family since 1970 but he wonders if the business can survive the outbreak.

Cory estimates he’s lost about $65,000 since mid-March, when Whitmer told restaurants to close dining rooms and offer only takeout.

While Cory says he received a loan from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, he said the money can only be used to pay his employees.

They really do think this way

By Donald Sensing

This is one reason the stakes are so high this November.
The Left really does think this way.

I erased the middle letters of the f-word. As someone commented at the post, it seems obvious that not only have the shutdowns been far more severe than they needed to be, even some on the Left are starting to understand that there is no medical justification for continuing them. But that means that Democrat politicians such as Governors Gavin Newsom and Gretchen Whitmer will no longer be able to rule by diktat and the power of the statists will lessen. That is unacceptable.

So the pivot: it does not matter that the shutdowns are not medically necessary. We find them politically desirable because we know never to let a crisis go to waste.

So let’s try this:

If a medically-informed response to a pandemic creates economic hardship so serious that the economic impacts are more deadly than the virus, you change your idea of what “medically-informed” really means when it kills more people than it saves, you Communist totalitarian murderer.

But we could tell that Dusti Sage, whoever she is, was really serious and very insightful because she used the f-word. That is reserved for only the highest levels of discussion among the self-anointed elite.

Update: When Dusti Sage speaks of the destruction of the economy, with permanent effects, everyone needs to understand that destruction of the existing economy is a longstanding goal of the Left. Covid is their excuse, not their reason. They do not need a reason, just an opportunity.

That “This is not a natural disaster, but a manmade one” is a distinction of no relevance.

Businesses need to be able to adjust? Please. GUBBERMINTS need to.

Plans for Extended Unemployment Benefits, Wage Subsidies Risk Creating a Zombie Economy
Businesses need to be able to adjust to a world where COVID-19 remains an ongoing concern.

House Democrats’ introduction of a fourth coronavirus relief bill has kicked off an intense debate between liberals and populists on both the left and right. At issue: how best to keep the country’s economy in suspended animation until we can return to pre-pandemic normality.

Meanwhile, local leaders’ decisions to constantly push back the dates for when they plan on phasing out their lockdown orders—not to mention the anemic effects of the phase-outs that have already happened—suggest that we may be a long way from anything approaching business as usual.

All the plans to keep the economy in stasis until then, whatever their details, run the risk of creating a zombie economy that is prevented from adjusting to the economic needs of a country where COVID-19 is an ongoing concern.

The current fight is over Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s introduction of the 1,800-page, $3.2 trillion Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. The bill includes an extension of already-boosted federal unemployment benefits to January 2021. Those expanded benefits, which give recipients $600 on top of the money they’d already be entitled to, often mean people can make more money staying home than returning to work.

The HEROES Act also expands existing tax credit programs that cover fixed costs and payroll for businesses that have shut down, been forced to close, or seen significant revenue declines because of COVID-19.

“The hardship of losing a job or tragically losing a loved one doesn’t take a pause. This is an historic challenge and, therefore, a momentous opportunity for us to meet the needs of the American people,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as she introduced the bill on Tuesday.

These measures have not proven enough for Democrats like Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D–Wash.), co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus, who slammed Pelosi’s extension of jobless benefits as essentially accepting mass unemployment.

“With more than 33 million people filing for unemployment in 7 weeks, workers are looking for certainty about how we end mass unemployment and how they’ll get their next paycheck,” tweeted Jayapal. The HEROES Act “doesn’t end mass unemployment and it doesn’t get paychecks back into their pockets.”

Dierenbach: Is it time for a new approach to coronavirus?

In New York City, an antibody survey found that 21% of the city’s population had been infected with the coronavirus. This indicates that over one and a half million of New York City’s 7.2 million residents under the age of 65 had been infected. Furthermore, approximately 78% of them had no underlying medical condition that puts them at risk from coronavirus. Around the time of the antibody survey, New York City had recorded only 58 deaths of people under 65 with no underlying condition.

In the U.S., 79% of coronavirus deaths are people 65 and older. In the 23 states releasing long-term care facilities data, 27% of deaths have occurred in such places. The Washington Post reports the share of fatalities in nursing homes may be 50%. In Colorado, the share is 50%.

Yet our reaction isn’t to protect the elderly and those with underlying conditions. No, instead we decide to force over 214 million people under 65 with no underlying condition who are under virtually no threat from coronavirus to restrict their activities, socially distance from each other, and go into lockdown.

Instead of targeting the vulnerable population for assistance and infection avoidance, we shut down our economy. Many of the vulnerable are elderly and out of the workforce, yet we target the workforce and push 33 million people out of their jobs. We destroy countless small businesses, risk food shortages due to the supply disruption, drive oil prices so low that it could devastate thousands of Coloradans and cause political instability and international conflicts to rise, scare people who need medical attention away from emergency room visits, and cause domestic violence to rise.

What we’re doing is unsustainable.

Protests against the lockdowns are erupting across the country. Lockdown supporters call the protesters self-centered murderers who only care about getting haircuts or going to bars. Arbitrary orders create confusion and social unrest. In Michigan, you couldn’t sell seeds, while in Colorado, you can have a gathering of 10 people, but they aren’t allowed to play a game of basketball. The mayor of Los Angeles has threatened longer lockdowns as punishment for disobedience.

In the beginning, the logic behind locking down was sound. Coronavirus is a highly transmissible disease with a significant number of carriers who are asymptomatic and contagious at the same time. The experts said if the virus remained unchecked, it would produce a surge of victims that would overwhelm our healthcare system and result in excess deaths due to lack of care for both coronavirus sufferers and others needing medical attention. News from China and Italy confirmed this possibility.

But “flatten the curve” morphed into “hide until solution;” the solution being a possible vaccine or effective treatment at some undeterminable point in the future. States that never saw a surge went into lockdown and remain there today. New York City, which is well past their peak medical usage, remains on lockdown. Many states that are ostensibly opening up are doing so at an extremely slow pace. Colorado, which is supposedly opening up (but not really), is attempting to keep the coronavirus cases at a level that is so low, herd immunity might not be reached for years.

To combat the virus, every state is pulling the social distancing lever trying to figure out what level of distancing can slow the spread of coronavirus such that they are able to reach their goal of managed herd immunity, or slowing the spread while waiting for a medical solution. Some states pull hard and lockdown tight, while other states try to move forward with a lighter touch. But even the lighter touch states are acting in a way that kills jobs and restricts freedom to an unsustainable degree. For example, Texas has announced it is opening up again, but mandates restaurants only operate at 25% capacity.

A new approach is needed.

This difference in effects of coronavirus between people under 65 with no underlying conditions and those with underlying conditions and/or over 65 should be the primary driver of policy.

Extrapolating the New York City data, if the 214 million plus healthy U.S. citizens under 65 all contracted coronavirus, they would suffer around 10,000 deaths. Two thirds of our population would have immunity and we would be well on our way to herd immunity. By contrast, if 214 million randomly selected Americans were infected at New York State’s estimated infection fatality rate of 0.5%, over 1,000,000 people would die. The actual rate is likely closer to 0.36%, but even at that rate, there could be 770,000 fatalities.

This begs the question: What if the people who won’t die from coronavirus abandon social distancing? And totally abandon it: no masks, have social get-togethers, attend basketball games, start shaking hands again, etc. Is that possible and what would it look like?

The program would look like this: if you are not elderly or vulnerable, you would not practice social distancing among the non-vulnerable. If you get the disease, you get over it and move on.

If you are vulnerable, for at least the next several weeks as we push toward herd immunity, when in public wear a mask, self-quarantine as much as possible, and practice social distancing. A mask would be the sign to everybody that you wish to avoid the disease. The non-vulnerable population would respect your wishes and practice social distancing in your presence. At work, non-vulnerable employees could wear masks when they know they will be close to vulnerable co-workers. In parks and other public situations, the unmasked could be asked to respect those with masks and maintain their distance. Subways or buses could have special cars or sections where people with masks could maintain safe distances.

What this plan would do is speed up the process of achieving herd immunity while protecting the vulnerable to a degree comparable to what we are doing now. We have learned how to do social distancing over the past several weeks; we all understand the methods and reasoning. We can now take that skill and apply it in a targeted fashion to protect the vulnerable, potentially lowering fatalities significantly, perhaps by hundreds of thousands. Instead of waiting a year or more to achieve herd immunity, we could do so in weeks or months.

A first reaction may be that “targeted” social distancing is not social distancing at all since it is not being performed by everybody in society and therefore will not be as effective at protecting the vulnerable. However, that isn’t accurate: targeted social distancing still requires everybody, vulnerable and non-vulnerable, to participate.

Shops and other businesses could have special hours where extreme care would be taken to observe social distancing rules and provide an environment that is as clean as possible. For example, a grocery store could have early morning shopping where carts and commonly touched surfaces are vigorously disinfected and social distancing and mask wearing is strictly enforced, but could operate normally for the remainder of the day. Having the special time in the morning would allow for disinfection, both through active efforts and through the passage of time since the previous day’s crowds.

If the lockdowns ended for most of the population, government assistance could be targeted at the at-risk individuals. For example, a teacher with hypertension who wishes to isolate could be allowed to work from home teaching vulnerable students that are also staying at home. An at-risk store clerk could be given unemployment benefits.  Such targeted assistance would be far less costly and more efficient than the current policy of mass disbursements.

Why delay the inevitable?

Most all of us are going to get coronavirus eventually, so why destroy our economy to delay the inevitable when the delay itself means higher risk for the vulnerable people? The risk for healthy people is miniscule and almost entirely non-existent for children. Healthy people are hiding from a phantom threat at the real cost of prolonging the very real threat to the vulnerable. Every day that goes by with coronavirus prevalent in our society is another day it has an opportunity to rip through a nursing home.

Finally, this isn’t ignoring the danger to others or claiming coronavirus is a hoax. The virus is absolutely deadly to the elderly and those with underlying conditions. This also is not trading lives for jobs. By accelerating the attainment of herd immunity via healthy, younger people, this path saves lives and jobs. It allows the economy to start up again and results in less loss of life than any other approach out there.

This is the healthy acting together and taking on risk to protect the most vulnerable among us in the most efficient and effective way possible. I understand doing nothing to protect yourself from a known virus is frightening, but if you are not part of the vulnerable population, the odds of being killed by coronavirus are incredibly low. This is the best possible solution to a horrific problem. We the healthy should accept the slight risk associated with a possible coronavirus infection, both to protect the vulnerable like our parents and to preserve our quality of life for our children.

Governor Polis relies on the COVID-19 Modeling Group to provide to him estimates of outcomes for various responses to the pandemic. The Group is comprised of public health experts, mathematicians and others. So far, it appears if they have presented various options where everyone in Colorado practices the same level of social distancing. The Group should model a bifurcated social distancing regimen where the vulnerable self-quarantine and remain in lockdown, the non-vulnerable practice social distancing when in the presence of the vulnerable, and the non-vulnerable abandon social distancing among themselves.

As described above, this plan could potentially reduce overall fatalities and economic hardships so please urge the Group and the Governor to at least explore the possibility.

‘What We Are Confronting Now is Really Unprecedented.’ Coronavirus-Related Lawsuits Are About to Flood the Courts.

Nurses and retail workers are suing their bosses for allegedly subjecting them to unsafe conditions during the coronavirus outbreak.

College students are demanding tuition money and consumers want their cash back from concert ticket vendors, gyms and airlines.

Businesses allege insurance companies are trying to sidestep their coverage obligations and some people say they’re being deprived of stimulus checks.

And that’s only the beginning.

Major catastrophes and downturns can unleash a torrent of lawsuits, and the coronavirus pandemic is no exception. At least 917 federal and state lawsuits have been filed in relation to the pandemic, according to a database run by Hunton Andrews Kurth, an international law firm.

That tally is just starting, says Torsten Kracht, a partner running the project. “I can easily foresee litigation directly related to COVID-19 continuing to be filed for the next two, three years at least. It will be litigated for the next decade, likely.”

Der GretchenFuhrer is a pain in the posterior for Michiganians

Michigan militia members say they won’t allow police to arrest 77-year-old barber defying Democratic Gov. Whitmer’s shutdown order

Members of the Michigan militia said they won’t allow police to arrest 77-year-old Karl Manke who opened his Owosso barbershop last week in defiance of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s coronavirus shutdown order, WEYI-TV reported.

“We are here to make sure he doesn’t get arrested,” Daniel Brewer told the station Saturday. “We’re willing to stand in front of that door and block the entrance so the police will have no entry there today.”

The barbershop has been open since last Monday against state order and received a packed lobby of customers his first morning — as well as two citations before Friday, WEYI said in a previous story.

Still dozens of supporters gathered outside Manke’s barbershop Saturday, and 15 customers were waiting in line outside the door for haircuts.

Consider the mighty power of ‘and‘.

Are Endless Lockdowns the Result of Malice or Stupidity?

In a harrowing article for PJ MediaDennis Prager argues that the COVID-19 global lockdown is “possibly, the worst mistake the world has ever made,” leading to a mortality rate eclipsing anything the virus could have delivered. Widespread famine in Third World Countries and extreme poverty across the globe are now imminent, “all because of the lockdowns, not the virus.” A study released on May 4 by the nonprofit research institute Just Facts confirms Prager’s argument, concluding that “the total loss of life from all societal responses to this disease is likely to be more than 90 times greater than prevented by the lockdowns.”……..

Prager writes: “The lockdown is a mistake; the Holocaust, slavery, communism, fascism, etc., were evils. Massive mistakes are made by arrogant fools; massive evils are committed by evil people.” I suspect the razor applies to many government leaders who simply did everything wrong and then doubled down on their error rather than admit mortal fallibility. They were stupid—and too proud to acknowledge their mistake. They ensured that the remedy would be worse than the disease, but they cannot be blamed for malice aforethought.

The same acquittal would not apply to the denizens of the hard left, whether in government or the media, who are certainly actuated by malice and, quite possibly, by evil. Many government officials—whether national, state or local—may prolong the lockdown to enforce their hold on power, entailing the consequent reduction of a free and prosperous citizenry to a debased condition as wards of the State, a tactic dear to leftist administrations. 

In any event, the motives of our political and media elites are as suspect as their credulity; it is no surprise that they readily adopted the false Coronavirus models and statistical projections of a charlatan like British science guy Neil Ferguson, with the result of near-universal social and economic calamity.

UK Enters Deepest Recession on Record, Bank Warns

The Bank of England on Thursday warned that the UK economy is heading towards its deepest recession on record, as the British economy will shrink by 14 percent this year. The Covid-19 pandemic was “dramatically reducing jobs and incomes in the UK”, it said. Bank governor Andrew Bailey told the BBC there would be no quick return to normality. The EU has forecast an eight-percent contraction for the UK.

EU Set for Record Recession, Putting Euro at Risk

The EU is heading for a historic economic recession on the back of the coronavirus pandemic, and a patchy rebound could put the single currency at risk.

The eurozone is projected to contract by 7.75 percent and the EU to be hit by 7.5 percent this year, according to a forecast published by the commission on Wednesday.

US weekly jobless claims total 3.169 million, bringing seven-week tally to 33.5 million

Unemployment rolls continued to swell in the U.S. last week, though jobless claims hit their lowest level since the economy went into lockdown made to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

First-time filings for unemployment insurance hit 3.17 million last week, bringing the total to 33.5 million over the past seven weeks, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The total was slightly higher than the 3.05 million expected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones and below the previous week’s 3.846 million, which was revised up by 7,000.

Chart of weekly initial unemployment claims from 2007 through the week ending March 2, 2020.

Stock market futures reacted little to the data and continued to indicate about a 300-point gain at the open for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Reynolds, Trump predict meatpackers ‘fully back up’ in 10 days or less

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and President Donald Trump predicted Wednesday, during a meeting at the White House, that meatpacking plants would be “fully back up” within a week to 10 days.

“Maybe sooner,” Trump said.

Reynolds said South Dakota plants are coming back on board “and we’ll have most of our facilities up and going and … we’re going to hopefully prevent what could have been, you know, a really sorry situation where we were euthanizing some of our protein supply and really impacting the food supply not only across the country but throughout the world.”

Reynolds said the response from the industry and government “I think has really maybe prevented what could have been really a serious situation.”

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue agreed, although he noted that meatpackers that have experienced outbreaks will take time to be operating at full capacity.

“But we think the stores will see more variety and more meat cases fully supplied,” he said.

Reynolds added, “We’re still monitoring it. We’ve turned a corner.”

Trump said Reynolds had “a great talk with the owners of the plants. The top people. Big people, these are big companies actually, you wouldn’t believe how many plants they have. And I think it was a very strong talk and I think they got the message.”

The remarks come a day after Iowa’s largest grocery store chain announced it would limit customer purchases of meat due to supply interruptions and customers stockpiling food during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Iowa public health officials reported Tuesday that more than 1,650 workers in four meatpacking plants had tested positive for COVID-19, including 58% percent of workers tested at the Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Perry.

Reynolds noted that the Perry plant “came back up at 60 percent capacity, which is really, that’s a strong startup.”

Vice President Mike Pence praised the president’s Defense Production Act executive order that “made it clear that our objective was to keep meat processing plants open.”

Asked whether workers were really being protected, Pence cited the deploying of Centers for Disease Control personnel to plant sites and federal assistance in supplying workers with personal protective equipment such as face masks.  “In most of these meat processing plants, we end up testing everyone in the facility and the people that are healthy are able to return with new countermeasures and new protection” such as masks and gloves.

Pence referred to Reynolds as a “great heartland governor” and said, “One of the great stories of the coronavirus outbreak has been how our food supply has continued to work every day from the field to the fork, from the grocers to the meat processors and thanks to the president’s decision to use the Defense Production Act, we now have uniformity and the objective is to work every day to keep those meat processing plants open and the ones that are coming down are going back online.”

Asked by a reporter about the soaring price of beef, Trump said he’d asked the Justice Department to investigate. Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller on Tuesday joined attorneys general in 10 other states seeking an investigation into what they called possible price manipulation by meatpackers.

“I’ve asked them to take a very serious look into it because it shouldn’t be happening that way and we want to protect our farmers. But they’re looking into that very strongly.” Trump said. “They looking into the disparity, what’s going on. Are they working with each other? What’s going on.”

The Great Reset

My county out here in Krazifornia ostentatiously banned single-use plastic bags back in 2012, to “save the planet” naturally. So I whooped a whoop of joy through my mask when the local grocery store bagged my haul in plastic bags over the weekend. My guess is plastic bags will be back for good.

The aftermath of the virus crisis is going to change a lot of things—a process I’m calling “The Great Reset.” A lot of bad things are going to happen. A number of businesses have closed down for good already. Many others are going to shrink. Several department stores, like Macy’s, were already in trouble before the virus crisis, and J. Crew has filed for bankruptcy. General Electric has just announced that it expects to cut 25 percent of its workforce in its jet engine division permanently.

But not every business change will for the worse. The Wall Street Journal reports that another casualty of the COVID-Crash is corporate “sustainability” and other virtue-signaling luxuries of “corporate social responsibility.” The article opens with the confession of a green entrepreneur who specializes in selling products with minimal packaging and living a “zero-waste” lifestyle:

Ms. Singer, who prided herself on producing no trash that needed to be landfilled, stocked her kitchen with packaged food that would last for weeks. “I sacrificed my values and bought items in plastic. Lots of it.” She also learned a lesson: “I have many values and sometimes, as circumstances change, one of those values may take priority above another.”

Funny how that happens when things get real.

Today, every occupant of every C-suite is trying to figure out what they’re willing to throw overboard as the economic storm spawned by the pandemic is swamping their ships. Businesses that were planning to help save the world are now simply saving themselves. . .

Others are making their own cuts in response to the downturn. Unilever PLC suspended a number of its “change initiatives” that tackle complex social and environmental problems. (The company’s initiatives include water conservation and sustainable farming.) General Motors Co. killed its car-sharing program. Ford Motor Co. canceled an electric-car projectand postponed autonomous vehicles. Starbucks has paused the practice of filling reusable cups.

The end of nonsense is even spreading, like a contagion, to decadent Europe. Behold this report from the Financial Times:

Investors Blast EU’s Omission of Oil from ESG Disclosures

Investors, politicians and campaigners have hit out at EU regulators’ “ludicrous” exclusion of oil and gas from a definition of fossil fuels, arguing it will lead asset managers to understate their environmental risks. Under draft proposals for the EU’s sustainable disclosure regime, the European authorities responsible for banking, insurance and securities markets define fossil fuels as only applying to “solid” energy sources such as coal and lignite. This means asset managers and other financial groups would have to follow tougher disclosure requirements for holdings in coal producers than for oil and gas company exposure. . .

The latest EU proposals represent a significant watering down of its ambitious sustainable disclosure rules, which aim to give end investors clear information on the environmental, social and governance risks of their funds. . .

Wolfgang Kuhn, director of financial sector strategies at responsible investment group ShareAction, said that the EU regulators’ proposal was “like disclosing the amount of fat in a chocolate bar, but conveniently failing to mention the sugar content”.

According to Mr Kuhn, the exclusion of oil and gas “could, at best, result in an underestimation of the true investment risk, and at worst, contribute to further support for energy sources incompatible with Paris goals”.

Yes, I think ignoring the Paris goals is precisely the point of this bowing to reality. The EU apparently (or conveniently) “forgot” that while coal takes the most heat for its pollution, the main target of environmental campaigning for 50 years now is the oil industry.

Meanwhile, in Britain, demand for electricity is expected to be so low this weekend that utilities want to reduce the load on the grid, lest an overloaded grid suffers blackouts. So how do they propose to accomplish this load-shedding? You’d think this would be the time for renewable sources to shine, so to speak. But no. The intermittency of renewables destabilize the grid in these circumstances. Heh:

Blackout risk as low demand for power brings plea to switch off wind farms

Britain could be at risk of blackouts as extremely low energy demand threatens to leave the electricity grid overwhelmed by surplus power.

National Grid asked the regulator yesterday for emergency powers to switch off solar and wind farms to prevent the grid from being swamped on the May 8 bank holiday, when demand is expected to be especially low.

In its urgent request to Ofgem, it warned of “a significant risk of disruption to security of supply” if the “last resort” powers to order plant disconnections were not granted.

National Grid has to keep supply and demand balanced to ensure stable voltage and frequency on the network. When there is an imbalance the network can become unstable, leading to blackouts.

In other words, corporate America and corporatist Europe are relearning Milton Friedman’s understanding of “corporate social responsibility”: “There is one and only one social responsibility of business— to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits.” Because if you don’t have profits, you can’t hire back a lot of the 30 million Americans who have lost their jobs. Think of it as the economic equivalent of Dr. Johnson’s famous quip about how the prospect of hanging concentrates the mind.

Nearly 20 Percent Of The U.S. Labor Force Has Filed For Unemployment Since Mid-March

Now in its seventh week, the U.S. unemployment crisis continues to deepen. According to Thursday’s data release from the Department of Labor, 3.8 million more Americans filed for unemployment insurance during the week ending April 25. Although that represents the fourth consecutive week of decline in seasonally adjusted initial claims, the number remains historic. (Remember, no single week prior to March 21 had ever seen even 1 million initial claims since 1967, the earliest year that data is available from the Federal Reserve.) If we add up all of the initial claims filed since the coronavirus recession began,1 more than 30 million people — or nearly 19 percent of the total U.S. labor force — have filed for unemployment claims over the past month and a half.

Experts have all had their eyes trained on initial unemployment claims, both because they tell us about the ongoing scale of the crisis and because they’re one of the rare weekly indicators of the economy at large. Some economists think this weekly trend of massive unemployment numbers includes industries that weren’t hit hard at first but are now beginning to feel the ripple effects of the recession as it spreads through the economy. “Job separations will likely remain high for a while, as softer demand spills over into industries not initially directly affected by shutdowns,” Citigroup economist Andrew Hollenhorst told Reuters. (This is corroborated by sources such as the hiring site Indeed, which has consistently seen 30 to 40 percent fewer jobs posted than the norm since late March.)

Sen. Kevin Cramer Leads Effort to Protect Firearm Businesses from Loan Discrimination During COVID-19

GOP Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) is spearheading an effort to ensure that firearm related small businesses do not receive discriminatory treatment from banks, after the Senate passed additional funding to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Sen. Cramer penned a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza asking the trio of administration officials, all of whom play a role in the execution of PPP loans, how this type of discrimination would be prevented. A group of GOP senators joined Sen. Cramer in defending the Second Amendment during COVID-19: