Isn't it amazing about this whole situation that the economy suffers so terribly
when people only buy what they really need for 8 weeks?
Isn't that bad? Isn't it?
8 weeks of buying only food and what is really needed and the economy goes down the drain.
That means that we only buy crap that we don't really need.
The truffle is appreciated by some people as a particular culinary speciality. For a rather "smelly" mushroom they are very expensive and actually over many centuries they were mainly part of the rural cuisine, probably because of their strong aroma.
As it is the case with specialities, they suddenly become valuable only because nobody wants to eat them anymore. The truffle seekers lost their business and invented lots of fairy tales about why the truffle is allegedly so fabulous.
And because people like to believe, this same trick works the price begun rising astronomically beyond any reasonable, rational argument. This is exactly the principle by which a consumer society functions: A product is described as sensational without any real evidence, but the fact that so much attention is paid to it gives the fairy tale credibility.
So, the "speciality" suddenly becomes a profitable product and is then used by the "haute cousine", like all fashionable dishes do if their ingredients, like, intestines brain; lung, stomach etc, are having a completely unrealistically market-price.
There are still many truffle pigs around, but most truffle these days found by dogs. It took my little Rottweiler a day to understand what to detect near oak-trees for and then to exchange it for a piece of dried turkey breast. Unfortunately his strength proved to be unsuitable, - he dug the stinky mushroom out of the ground in a few minutes, but the mushroom was also destroyed by his claws.
The park recovers totally.
I am used to the fact that most people in the park do not get too close to me when they see me with my Buddy, the little gentle Rottweiler. And we avoid the busybodies anyway.
But for sure this insane, and in its use completely unproven "Lock-UP-2020" is the best thing that could happen to the park:
No people, 1-2 joggers in 2 or 3 hours.
The birds are carelessly screaming around as if they were politicians.
And nobody tears out the red poppies.
Life is good for the time being.
And about the poor businessmen who hopes for the welfare state, which should bail him out, we'll think later.
He was like our pet bird for a long time. Fed and cared for during the winter, protected by the Rottweiler during the summer from neighbour's cat.
But since a few months I could observe that the tits did not even fly away when Clyde was standing next to them. At first I thought it was habituation but now studies have been published in Germany claiming that tits are also dying en masse from some kind of pneumonia.
Bacterium Suttonella ornithocola causes death of blue tits.
(Text in German)
The largest economy in the EU has already lost more than 20%.
I'm really not an economic expert, so I research what the trends are, what the experts say and then mix that with my rather sceptical view of humanity's reasonable actions.
The Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung, GFK, is one of the leading economic analysts in Germany. I am not writing anything about Italy or France here. Nor does Merkel carry any weight here. She is rather, as usual, with her strangely calm way of speaking, suitable to calm and comfort the people. It is the average German citizen who is worried. And when they do, other EU member governments should should do too...
The reality in Germany looks like this:
The GfK "consumption barometer", which measures the buying mood of consumers, has fallen to a record low. The study, entitled "Corona shock: consumer climate reaches historic low" and it describes:
1. consumers expect recession
2. income expectation in free fall
3. consumption is carried along by income expectations
Production shutdowns, shop closures and the catering trade have brought economic activity to a virtual standstill in many areas. In addition, interrupted supply chains hinder production in many areas of industry. Many companies are making use of the possibility of short-time working to avoid redundancies. Nevertheless, it will not be possible to prevent a rise in unemployment in the further course of this year. The resulting fear of job losses is weighing on sentiment.
While the economic outlook is currently still getting off lightly given the severity of the crisis, income expectations have suffered an unprecedented slump. Compared with the previous month, the indicator lost 47.1 points and now stands at -19.3 points. Never before since the start of the monthly survey of consumer sentiment in 1980 has a higher monthly loss of income expectations been measured.
One does not need a mathematical genius to calculate the consequences of the loss of about 20+% of the current VAT of 20% in terms of loss of tax revenue. When unemployment is rising and rich individuals run for the hills (or tax heavens), were is the money supposed to come from?
According to the Federal Employment Agency (BA), just under one in three of the 2.2 million companies with at least one employee subject to social insurance contributions has registered for short-time work. More jobs have already been cut in the service sector than at the height of the financial crisis recession in April 2009. In the manufacturing sector even before Corona, Daimler Benz, Mercedes, had decided to cut up to 15,000 jobs. VW was already pushed into the defensive thanks to strange methods of a lobbyist NGO, "Deutsche Umwelthilfe".
But it is by far the largest employer, the medium-sized companies that are now being led to the slaughterhouse to be gutted by ominous tax avoidance hedge funds like Black Rock who will sell their patents and pension funds to the highest bidders.
The forecasts for the increase in unemployment from the current 2.3 million, which fluctuates between 700,000 and 2.5 million. increase, so to speak. This could lead to a total unemployment of 5 million.
The job index of the Federal Employment Agency (BA-X), an indicator for the demand for labour in Germany, fell by 20 points in March 2020, April has not yet been recorded and is due to be published on 30 April.
As of the fourth month in Corona short-time work, employees whose working hours have been reduced by at least half will now receive 70 and 77 percent, respectively. From the seventh month, the rates will increase to 80 to 87 percent. The reserves of the Employment Agency amount to almost 26 billion euros.
For me it is more than questionable whether the government's decisions will stabilise consumer demand. This is completely open because Corona will act as a booster for the use of artificial intelligence.
Use your brain and if not, keep an enormous supply of flour, yeast, pasta and toilet paper - that will help.
In principle you are not allowed to leave the house, but if you want to, you can.
For your security you better wear masks. Even if masks are useless, but you should definitely wear one, because it can save lives. Then you are protected for your retail therapy because all the shops are closed except the ones that are open. There is no lack of food in the supermarket, but there are many things missing and others are not there at the moment.
Yes of course this virus is deadly, but not too scary, except that it may lead to a global catastrophe in which case many people will die. That’s why everybody has to stay at home, but should not forget that it is also important to go outside, especially in sunshine, but it is better not to go outside, except for sports of course, but actually no ...
The virus has no effect on children, except for those it affects. And animals are not affected, but there is still a cat that tested positive in Belgium in February, when nobody else was tested, plus a few tigers here and there and rarely dogs, actually no dogs, but sometimes they do ... Any surface, except the fur of your pet, can naturally transmit the disease.
You will have many symptoms if you are ill, but you can also get ill without symptoms, have symptoms without being ill, or be contagious without having symptoms, as well as visa versa. This is the reason why you cannot go to old people's homes or visit your grandparents, but you have to take care of the elderly and it is best to bring food and medicine.
The virus remains active on different surfaces for two hours, no four, no six, no, did I say hours, maybe days? But it needs a humid environment. But actually not necessarily. Eventually the virus doesn't actually stay airborne, but it does from time to time. Especially in an enclosed space. It's not a smear virus but a smear infection is possible.
We should remain locked up until the virus disappears, but it will only disappear if we achieve a collective immunity, that is, if it circulates. We can't be cooped up too much for that, so we’re better staying at home most of the time.
Anyway if you have been sick, you may get sick again later, but in between you are immune.
Otherwise do it like we, get a boat...
— we are going into meltdown:
(again such a huge text part, but it's still too early to photograph the carcasses of the upcoming melt-down. That will come at the end of this year. So stay tuned ...)
First came Austerity in 2008, then came CoVid and soon comes the debt which will lead to a ruinous recession or a European Union, even the world and its societies so debt-laden that they all will be at the mercy of the ‘moneymen’ for decades to come, - also in "communist" China.
The government will have no choice but to practically nationalise the economy. In about two months time, half of all the airline operators in the world will be insolvent and so will overseas shipping companies. This will effect supply chains, which will cause factories to close which will cause growing numbers of workers to struggle to secure their livelihoods and pay the bills as the economic consequences of each broken link in the chain unravels.
It’s already clear, many will be told to go home without pay, many more will lose their jobs. Then, in another three months local pubs, shops and small businesses will shut by the summer, forget about revenues coming from tourism, so also “re-creational” regions will stutter like a broken motor.
Tax revenues will fall as companies will fail to pay quarterly VAT bills or any other tax bills. Finance ministries will be unable to react as they are swamped with requests for delayed payments. Crucially, they won’t be able to demand payment either.
With the autumn the economy will have entered a recession. Estimates from economists are already replicating a 15 per cent in GDP by the year end. The government will provide low-cost loans, insurance to employers, lost income payments to employees and all kind of tricky interventions to make it look like it is in control.
Laws will be changed and most of national governments will be able to wield as much power as China’s president. Police will be given new legal capabilities and the mainstream media will be co-opted to fall into line.
For two years whistleblowers, journalists and editors will face personal problems for publishing any leaked documents (as Assange, Snowdon and many others do already now)all to keep the public in the dark on matters relating to coronavirus infections and deaths and other matters, which will still leak through social media.
The national debt in EU countries is already an 71% per cent of GDP in Germany and 171 % in Greece… The recent budget will mean the EU will be facing its national debts at in the trillions by 2024 (without the additional billions for the coronavirus stimulus packages with no prospect of doing anything but continuing to rise for years to come.
The debt-interest service cost will this zero interests ECB means the average nation in Europe may have to pay a billion per week… And better not getting started with private household debt which is already at a record high, - set to explode over the next twelve months. Unsecured debt will see two spikes, the first will be the scale of new loans, the second will be the scale of defaults. Car loans last year were already staggering and many will default this year.
So will corporate debt get out of control. It has risen by 75 per cent since 2011. Many listed companies used surplus cash to buy back their own shares to inflate the price in order that executives got paid more.
To add to the loading, the global economy is slowing, meaning less demand for manufactured goods and services. Trump’s trade wars are completely silly and don’t help of course. To take up the slack the government will start rapidly spending, even going as far as printing more money and as the ECB base rate is reduced, fiscal rules are loosened – borrowing will increase, defaults will follow as will bailouts.
As the fog of the coronavirus crisis clears later in the year and we are still burying its victims many people will come to realise what is really unfolding. Austerity undermined the proper functioning of society and COVID has all but destroyed the economy, loading heavy debts over all sectors.
Right now the money men are running for the hills – the Euro has plunged in value against the USD, but the US$ is basically worthless if you see the debt mountain of 23 Trillion due to the senseless wars waged.
To put it simple: It’s the sign of an economy staring over the cliff and ready to dive into the abyss. But make no mistake, the vultures (bankers, hedge funds, billionaires, etc) will be back when the country is at it weakest and from their lost profits will demand their pound of flesh.
The last blow, and perhaps the hardest:
I’m used to politicising your societies death I did it in the many areas of conflict I was working as a photo-journalist and writer. And I can sense it, feel it: There is so much anger yet to come. I just hope it burns clean. For the sake of my children and grandchildren.