Daily Bread for 3.12.20

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will see scattered showers with a high of fifty-nine.  Sunrise is 7:09 AM and sunset 6:59 PM, for 11h 49m 40s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 88.8% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the one thousand two hundred twentieth day.

  On this day in 1933, Pres. Roosevelt delivers his first Fireside Chat (audio embedded below).

Recommended for reading in full —

David J. Lynch reports Fears of corporate debt bomb grow as coronavirus outbreak worsens (‘Risks in financial markets that were ignored during long expansion are being exposed’):

The coronavirus panic could threaten a $10 trillion mountain of corporate debt, unleashing a cycle of layoffs and business spending cuts that would hit the economy just as some analysts are warning of a recession.

Financial markets already are showing signs of major stress. Investors are demanding higher interest payments in return for lending to less creditworthy companies; some businesses are delaying their planned bond sales while they wait for Wall Street to settle down; and ratings agencies are moving toward downgrading the shakiest corporate borrowers.

The mammoth debt bulge includes a significant increase in borrowing by firms with the lowest-quality investment grade — those rated just one level above “junk.” More than $1 trillion in “leveraged loans,” a type of risky bank lending to debt-laden companies, is a second potential flash point.

Watchdogs including the Federal Reserve have warned for years that excessive borrowing by corporations, including some with subpar credit ratings, might eventually blow a hole in the U.S. economy. Now, as Wall Street wrestles with a global epidemic, the debt alarms show how investors are reassessing risks they overlooked during the long economic expansion.

“It is a big concern,” said Ruchir Sharma, chief global strategist for Morgan Stanley. “We’re dealing with the unknown. But given the enormous increase in leverage, the system is fragile and vulnerable.”

Daniel Dale and Tara Subramaniam report A list of 28 ways Trump and his team have been dishonest about the coronavirus [full list at linked article]:

February 26: Trump wrongly says the flu death rate is “much higher” than Dr. Sanjay Gupta said
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN chief medical correspondent, told Trump, “Mr. President, you talked about the flu and then in comparison to the coronavirus. The flu has a fatality ratio of about 0.1%.” Trump said, “Correct.” But Trump later disputed the figure, saying, “And the flu is higher than that. The flu is much higher than that.” — February 26 coronavirus press conference

Facts FirstGupta was right, Trump was wrong. Even if Trump meant that the flu has a “much higher” fatality rate than 0.1% — rather than meaning that the flu’s mortality rate is “much higher” than that of the novel coronavirus — he was wrong, according to Fauci, other experts and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.<


March 5: Trump wrongly claims the virus only hit the US “three weeks ago”

Trump said, “We got hit with the virus really three weeks ago, if you think about it, I guess. That’s when we first started really to see some possible effects.”

Facts FirstThe US had its first confirmed case of the coronavirus on January 21, more than six weeks before Trump spoke here.

Iran Played Down the Coronavirus. Then Its Officials Got Sick:

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