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320% Tuesday – Global Debt to GDP Makes New Records


That's what we just hit in Global Debt as of Q1 and, as you can easily see by adding up all the numbers in the chart on the right, our Global GDP is just under $80Tn so we're now hitting the 320% mark on the debt to GDP scale for the first time in human history.  And the US "only" has $22.5Tn of that debt so perhaps you are willing to ignore the complete inability of the US to ever pay that bill, but that still leaves $223,500,000,000,000 of debt divided by the remaining $60Tn, which means the rest of the world is getting very close to being 400% of their GDP in debt.

And what is the rest of the World doing about it?  The same thing we are – they are easing their policies and they are spending money on stimulus programs because NO ONE can afford a recession – even a mild one can quickly lead to a total collapse that will ignite this global debt bomb – and no one wants to see that happen so we are Globally "extending and pretending" and waiting for the debt fairy to come and forgive us our economic sins.  

While the Chinese Government is "only" about 100% of their GDP in debt, Chinese Companies make up for it with their own $21Tn pile of debt, 155% of their current GDP.  In fact, Chinese firms accounted for 42% of all Corporate Bonds issued in Emerging Markets this year and the IIF says there are now serious risks of default next year and in 2021.  Sonja Gibbs the IIF’s Managing Director for Global Policy Initiatives, said:

"It’s almost Pavlovian. Rates go down and borrowing goes up. Once they are built up, debts are hard to pay down without diverting funds from other goals, whether that’s productive investment by companies or government spending.”  

This is not a group of borrowers with long experience of managing debt over economic cycles. Once you get into a downturn, a lot of firms have a lot of debts that they will have difficulty in paying.”

There's been a shift to shorter-term borrowing in Emerging Markets as the yield curve widens and that leaves highly indebted firms more exposed to swings in global risk appetite.  Greece almost caused a global melt-down as that $200Bn economy experienced a melt-down due to rising debt costs – think about how many $200Bn companies are out there that can begin to default on their obligations if rates ever do go higher. is a pretty serious thing to be ignoring but it's kind of a slow-moving disaster – it's kind of like seeing the iceberg off in the distance on the Titanic and deciding there's still time for dinner and a show – and what a show it's going to be!  Even now, Windstream Holdings, who serve 1.4M telco customers are going through a Chapter 11 and investors have been withdrawing funds from US loan funds for 31 consecutive weeks, which lowers the supply of money available and could begin to drive up rates – Fed or no Fed…

The US leveraged loan market is now $1.2Tn and Collateralized Loan Obligations (CLOs), which are the new CDO's (which caused the last financial crisis) are now $700Bn and are both poorly regulated and poorly tracked.  Banks in the U.S. collectively have amassed about $90 billion of CLO holdings, as previously highlighted by Fed Governor Lael Brainard at a presentation for the Peterson Institute for International Economics in December.  

SNL Image

This is a function of people chasing returns and looking for anything that pays more than 1% and they are willing to take greater and greater risks to get there.  While we're certainly not repeating the mistakes of the past, where CDOs were based on ridiculously over-valued housing prices, CLOs are based on over-valued corporations whose cash-flow is based on low taxes and low interest rates, which allows them to borrow more than was ever loaned out in 2007.  Should any of these variables change significantly, CLOs can begin to look like the same house of cards CDOs became.

Consider Tesla (TSLA), which is about $12Bn in debt and may default if things take a bad turn.  That's 1/60th of the debt we're concerned about held by a single company where we can easily see the risk but there are 60x more debts like that in China and other developing nations that may be in well over their heads.  As Warren Buffett says:  "You never know who's swimming naked until the tide goes out."  This is high tide for the market cycle by any measure and $1.2Tn is a lot of debt to cover up when that tide begins to fall…


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  1. There you go again Phil – using logic and fundamentals! Debt is good, just ask our president. We will end up doing the same thing he did – not repay a penny of it. Maybe we do need someone with his experience in shafting lenders. #winning

  2. And this is what's driving the market:

    Value is for suckers!

  3. Looking over the last 10 years following the market bottom and making 10 predictions:

    1. The US stock market rose 338%, or 16% a year, on average, rising in 9 of 10 years.
    Prediction: This performance could be repeated, but it would be unlikely.

  4. Good Morning!

  5. How Trump Broke the Immigration Courts

  6. U.S. Retail Sales Post Broad Gains in June

  7. Hussman usually issues a monthly screed so a mid-month interim commentary is perhaps worth noting:

    They’re Running Toward the Fire


    One of the most important warnings offered by firefighters is simple: get out early. In the face of wildfires, some homeowners get the idea of staying in their homes and riding it out. As one firefighter warned “The point is to go.” But if you don’t, it’s better to stay than to panic and run in the midst of a firestorm of smoke and embers. It’s not the fire that gets you. It’s the heat. Even before the flames reach the house, it can be fatal to stand outside trying to protect what you have (h/t John Galvin).

    Similarly, our “Exit Rule for Bubbles” is straightforward: You only get out if you panic before everyone else does. You have to decide whether to look like an idiot before the crash, or look like an idiot after it.

    Worse, investors often capitulate into panic selling only after their losses have become extreme. By then, it’s too late. It’s not the fire that gets them. It’s the heat. Once the warning signs are flashing, get out early. Attempting to squeeze the last bit out of a vulnerable, hypervalued market is what value investor Howard Marks describes as “getting cute.”

  8. Silver may be breaking out to the upside despite strong dollar and no real movement in gold.

  9. Good morning!

    /NQ hit 8,000, that was a good shorting line.  We'll see how much of a pullback that gets. 

    Big Chart still looks free and clear.

    Shafting/StJ – There's no good way out of this other than hyperinflation that wipes out all debts by devaluing them.  Global default would send us back to the dark ages so better of two evils.  And that, by the way, is my bullish premise for the market – we will simply inflate our way to Dow 40,000 next decade.

    Getting out/Pstas – Once again I am going to be tempted to call a cash out but that's what the hedges are for – to give us a little extra time to make that final decision.  

    /SI/Albo – Yeah, nice move today.

    We'll see if WPM finally breaks over $25:

    Image result for what, me worry

  10. Senator is saying that FB is undermining our Democracy (hearings today) – this is getting very McCarthy-like.

  11. Here's the link to FB hearing.  

    This is really all about their Libra Crypto plan – too much of a threat to fiat currency.  

    FB is arguing that if we (US) don't take the lead on crypto, other countries will and then we'll be dependent on them to keep the official units.  Senate says "Sure, but not YOU".  

    Of course FB set up Libra in Geneva so that seems bad but they did it because the Swiss have the most hands-off approach and their banking system is already internationally accepted as a standard while the US is subject to the whim of a madman.

  12. pstas very good comment!!!!! The short puts are the greatest danger

  13. Bought some /GC.  Thinking it might follow silver.

  14. Closed out /GC.  Small loss.  Not getting any traction.

  15. Inflation / Phil – If there is some positive spin about this hyperinflation solution is that a) pretty much everybody will have to do it so the penalties for that will be minimal as far as losing buying power and b) the countries and regions who need it the most have the dominant currencies anyway. 

  16. is tos running december contracts for index futures already because ib is still on sept and nq hasnt come near 8000 on that contract   thanks

  17. /GC/Albo – Especially if the Dollar comes down, which it should off of 97.

    Well, time to start the portfolio reviews, we'll start with the easy one:

    Money Talk Portfolio Review:  We can't touch this one so it's easy to review.  Nothing wrong with not messing around as we're up to $136,583 (173.2%) which is up $20,540 since our 6/12 review and keep in mind this is a $50,000 base portfolio, so that's up about 40% for the month!   Clearly the markets are insane.  We do have a TZA hedge but very small and that was because it reverse split and the TZA hedge expired and, since I wasn't on the show last month – that left us very bullish – which was kind of the plan if we survived Q1 earnings and we did.  Now we're worried about Q2 but I can't change the portfolio 'till I'm on the show next month so we'll hope for the best.

    • SQQQ ended up being a $7,000 loss and TZA is not faring much better but we had a plan for what the rest of our positions would make if the market didn't head lower and, so far, we're executing that plan, with plenty still to gain if we stay on track.  
    • TZA – If all goes well, we expect to lose $6,360 on this hedge.
    • ALK – On track to gain $1,438 on the short puts.  
    • BNS – Net $2,750 on the $10,000 spread that's on track to make $7,250 (263%) more so good for a new trade.
    • CAT – Net $7,734 on the $15,000 spread is already over target with $7,266 (94%) left to gain.  
    • GIS – Net $9,388 on the $11,250 spread is pretty much done with $1,862 (20%) left to gain.  I know some people would LOVE to gain 20% in 6 months on a blue chip spread that's deep in the money but – yawn….
    • GOLD – Net $8,500 on the $12,500 spread means $4,000 (47%) left to gain and we're just about at goal on the put side and well over target for the calls.  
    • IBM – Net $2,740 on the $7,500 spread that's deep in the money has $4,760 (173%) left to gain, that's respectable for a new trade.  
    • LB – Net $7,020 on the $40,000 spread is about where we came in with $32,980 left to gain and we're $16,000 in the money so let's hope for nice earnings on 8/21.  
    • MJ – Net $5,850 on the $40,000 spread still has $34,150 (583%) left to gain so of course this is good for a new trade.  
    • MU – Net $4,812 on the $15,000 spread has $10,188 (211%) left to gain and that's very respectful.  
    • UNG – Net $260 is less than we paid on the $7,000 spread and the funny thing is it's $5,000 in the money with $6,740 (2,592%) left to gain – I'd say that's very good for a new trade!  
    • WPM – Net $11,918 on this $18,750 spread is well on the way and 100% in the money with $6,832 (57%) left to gain, so not too bad if you can be satisfied with 57% in 18 months for a trade that's 10% in the money to start.

    See, trading isn't that hard, is it?  I think we've only made one adjustment (LB) to this portfolio and, otherwise, these are all original trade ideas that were never otherwise touched.  If all goes well, the above trades will make another $117,466 by Jan 2021 less (so far) $6,360 we expect to lose on TZA.

    These trade are selected BECAUSE we feel they are fairly bullet-proof as we only do Money Talk once per quarter and we're already miles ahead of expectations.  That's why our last 3 Trades of the Year (WPM, LB, IBM) are in it and, in November, we'll be adding our 2020 Trade of the Year (I have no idea what yet) as well.  

    The lesson of this portfolio is you don't have to constantly touch your portfolio to make good money – just make a few good selections, budget your hedges and let nature take its course!  

  18. TOS/Tommy – You're right, they must have rolled it on the charts, which is kind of strange so early on (66 days left for Sept).

    Hemp Boca Portfolio Review: Very much like the MTP, the Hemp Boca Portfolio is traded live on a show but more room to adjust as I can go on the show any time (PSW Investments is an investor in Hemp Boca).  Still, the intention is the same and we're picking very high-probability stocks and, as this is brand new – if you wish you had caught the MTP early on – now's your chance with Hemp Boca!  

    Only up 0.4% in our first month.  Of course, when you set up new option spreads the bid/ask kills you so it always looks worse than it is, which is fine because it's better to have more than you think than less. 

    • IMAX – Net $1,075 on the $4,000 spread has $2,925 (272%) to gain in just 6 months and the target is not aggressive at all.

    • M – Net $607 on the $7,500 spread has $7,093 (1,168%) left to gain and we're a little aggressive with the short puts but I think M is ridiculously undervalued.   

    • MJ – Net $950 on the $10,000 spread is less than we paid for it and $9,050 (952%) left to gain and we're $5,000 in the money already.  

    • TAP – Net $4,450 on the $20,000 trade that's $8,000 in the money has $15,550 left to gain.

    Just 4 trade using about $7,000 of our cash but the potential to make $34,618 (69%) already and plenty of room to add more trades.  This is how we started Money Talk, adding about 2 trades per quarter.  You don't have to do a lot of trading to make a lot of money – you just have to pick quality trades that make good returns that have a high probability of hitting their targets.  

  19. Does anyone know why there has been such a big pop in WHR today (up $3.72 right now)?  I can't find any news.  Thanks.

  20. WHR/John – There were good consumer spending numbers, that might be it.

    Core retail sales come in fast

    • June Retail Sales: +0.4% M/M vs. +0.1% consensus; +0.4% prior (revised).
    • Retail Sales (less auto & gas): +0.7% M/M vs. +0.4% consensus; +0.5% prior.
    • Core Retail Sales: +0.4% vs. +0.2% consensus; +0.4% prior (revised).
    • Retail sales control group: +0.7% vs. +0.4% consensus; +0.6% prior (revised).

    Rivals get larger Prime Day boost – report

    • Adobe Analytics says large retailers ($1B+ in annual revenue) saw a 64% sales spike yesterday compared to the average Monday thanks to Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Prime Day. Last year's sale day had 54% higher sales than normal.
    • Smaller retailers (less than $5M in annual revenue) had a 30% increase in online sales.
    • Walmart (WMT -0.6%), Target (TGT +1%), and eBay (EBAY -1.5%) were among the large retailers hosting rival sales.

  21.  Note, Crude Oil taking a beating following Pompeo and Trump comments on Iran

    A lot of happy feel-good stuff suddenly going on there… a lot of progress, Iran coming to the table about missile program, US willing to work with current Iranian leadership regime, etc.

  22. Phil, what are your thoughts on WW?  I have a position with that is winding down and I am considering adding a 2021 position.  TIA.

  23. Butterfly Portfolio Review:  $184,736 (84.7%) is up $19,977 since our 6/17 review.  The Butterfly Portfolio is also very much hands off although we do try to sell short puts and calls to make money while we wait for our generally conservative spreads so, in any given month, we are either lucky or unlucky with our targets but, over time, the constant selling of premium generally works to our advantage as the only sure thing in the market is that premium expires worthless – no matter which way the stock goes. 

    • AAPL – Sometimes the short selling doesn't work out but the $5.70 premium we collected is indeed worthless and the $9.25 is all intrinsic value now.  Fortunately, longer months have more premium to sell and we'll just roll the 10 short July $195 calls at $9.25 along to 10 Sept $200 calls at $10.35 so we'll pocket another $1,000 and we only have to get lucky once for these short calls to expire worthless while our short callers have to get lucky 18 months in a row to get paid.  Meanwhile, we're fully covered by our longs so this is a nice, conservative way to sell lots of premium.

    Unlike our other portfolios, the net $125,000 potential (assuming we'll roll the short $195 calls at least to $210) of this net $88,550 spread doesn't tell the whole story as we are selling a good $18,000 worth of premium along the way and, when we do get lucky and the short calls go worthless, another $5,000(ish) drops in our pocket so figure that happens 4 times along the way and that's another $38,000 potential off this fairly conservative spread.  This one trade is enough to make this whole portfolio's goals (40%) for 2 years!  

    • DIS – Here we got badly burned by the short calls and there's been no end in sight.  We already cashed in the winning side of this trade and the 2021 $135s are really meant to be a backstop while we wait for the pullback that never comes.  I'm worried about Aug 6th earnings with the Avengers, Spider Man, Alladin all huge already this year and the Star Wars parks are opening so we'll get more defensive like this:  Let's buy back the 10 short 2021 $100 puts for $2.35 ($2,350) and sell 10 June 2021 $130 puts for $11.20 ($11,200) and also sell 10 Sept $145 puts for $5 ($5,000) and we're going to roll the 25 short Sept $115 calls at $30 ($75,000) to 25 short Jan $130 calls at $19 ($47,500) so we're spending net $13,650 to roll our short callers $37,500 higher in strike.  Since our $62,500 June 2021 $110/135 bull call spread is now $40,875, we have that buffer on the short calls as well.  

    • MDLZ – Right on track.
    • MJ – Crazy ups and downs on this one.  The July $35 calls are expiring worthless and we're so low in the channel that I'd like to buy back the short 2021 $50 calls too at $1.15 ($1,725) so we'll be aggressively long into the fall harvest. 
    • OIH – Perked up a little bit but still very sad.  We made aggressive long adjustments last time so now we'll just wait and see if oil prices inspire more spending.  

    • WHR – I'm happy with our Sept target though if we cut a deal with China, they may pop over but this is still a small spread and easy to add to.  

    Definitely our easiest portfolio to manage.  Also the steadiest gainer though, by design, it's never likely to outpace the others since we're constantly betting against ourselves.  This is the best illustration of our core premium-selling strategy.  

  24. Oil/Albo – Wow,  that came down hard and fast.  

    /NG is the one to grab as they went too low and some capacity came off-line last week in the storm.  /RB is a good long over $1.92 with tight stops below as is $58.50 on /CL.

    WW/Robert – I don't know why they changed from WTW, I liked that better.  We came in even lower, pre-Oprah and that story played out so now they have to stand on their own merits.  $25 is only $1.7Bn for the whole company and they have about $1.5Bn in revenues and drop about $100M to the bottom line so reasonably priced but declining revenues were blamed on other diet plans getting more consumer interest.  CEO says:

    We are in a very competitive environment. So we have Keto becoming a cultural meme and these things happen very so often. And we are not going to change our DNA. We lived through this for 57 years and we are not to play a game and we never have. We are going to be science-informed and we are sustainable for the long term. But that does affect lapse member recruitment when we are not lapping something new.

    So I'd play them to survive but not thrive.  Fortunately, with all this volatility, you can get paid $2.20 for selling the 2021 $15 puts so let's say you sell 10 of those ($2,200) and buy 15 of the 2021 $17.50 ($11)/22.50 ($8.50) bull call spreads at $2.50 ($5,000) and that's $2,800 on the $7,500 spread.  That's how I'd start and maybe they go lower and you can roll to the $12.50s (now $14.50) for $2.50 or less but that's about all I'd do with these. 

  25. Phil WW is trading now at 25 why sell a ITM 22.5 caller? At least 25 if not 27.5??

  26. WW/Yodi – As I said, I don't think much of their prospects but I do think they'll slog through so just playing not to lose is a good way to go.  Even playing so conservatively that you object, it still has a 167% upside at $22.50 so the stock can drop 10% and you still make 167% – that's a good way to trade something you're not certain of.

    Well if Trump's goal is to start a race war in this country, he's doing a great job.  Now he's got everyone taking sides on whether or not people of color should "go back to where they came from".  How is this even a discussion in America?  

    Related image

    Image result for america racial map over time animated gif

    In that 2nd map, you can really see Trump's base – still a good chunk of America is 90% white so what does he care if he pisses off 10% of the voters?  Hitler had the same logic with Jews and it worked out great for him (and that's the only book Trump had on his nightstand back in 2016).  

    On 14 September 1921, Hitler and a substantial number of SA members and other Nazi Party adherents disrupted a meeting at the Löwenbräukeller of the Bavarian League. This federalist organization objected to the centralism of the Weimar Constitution but accepted its social program. The League was led by Otto Ballerstedt, an engineer whom Hitler regarded as "my most dangerous opponent". One Nazi, Hermann Esser, climbed upon a chair and shouted that the Jews were to blame for the misfortunes of Bavaria and the Nazis shouted demands that Ballerstedt yield the floor to Hitler.[33] The Nazis beat up Ballerstedt and shoved him off the stage into the audience. Hitler and Esser were arrested and Hitler commented notoriously to the police commissioner, "It's all right. We got what we wanted. Ballerstedt did not speak".[34] Hitler was eventually sentenced to 3 months imprisonment and ended up serving only a little over one month.

    An unprecedented amount of money was thrown behind the campaign. Well over one million pamphlets were produced and distributed; sixty trucks were commandeered for use in Berlin alone. In areas where NSDAP campaigning was less rigorous, the total was as low as 9%. The Great Depression was also a factor in Hitler's electoral success. Against this legal backdrop, the SA began its first major anti-Jewish action on 13 October 1930 when groups of brownshirts smashed the windows of Jewish-owned stores at Potsdamer Platz.[49]

    A middle-class liberal party strong enough to block the Nazis did not exist – the People's Party and the Democrats suffered severe losses to the Nazis at the polls. The Social Democrats were essentially a conservative trade union party, with ineffectual leadership. The Catholic Centre Party maintained its voting block, but was preoccupied with defending its own particular interests and, wrote Bullock: "through 1932-3 … was so far from recognizing the danger of a Nazi dictatorship that it continued to negotiate with the Nazis". The Communists meanwhile were engaging in violent clashes with Nazis on the streets, but Moscow had directed the Communist Party to prioritise destruction of the Social Democrats, seeing more danger in them as a rival for the loyalty of the working class. Nevertheless, wrote Bullock, the heaviest responsibility lay with the German right wing, who "forsook a true conservatism" and made Hitler their partner in a coalition government.[54]

    Three days after the presidential elections, the German government banned the NSDAP paramilitaries, the SA and the SS, on the basis of the Emergency Decree for the Preservation of State Authority.[71][72] This action was largely prompted by details that emerged at a trial of SA men for assaulting unarmed Jews in Berlin. After less than a month the law was repealed on 30 May by Franz von Papen, Chancellor of Germany. Such ambivalence about the fate of Jews was supported by the culture of anti-Semitism that pervaded the German public at the time.


    Both within Germany and abroad initially there were few fears that Hitler could use his position to establish his later dictatorial single-party regime. Rather, the conservatives that helped to make him chancellor were convinced that they could control Hitler and "tame" the Nazi Party while setting the relevant impulses in the government themselves; foreign ambassadors played down worries by emphasizing that Hitler was "mediocre" if not a bad copy of Mussolini; even SPD politician Kurt Schumacher trivialized Hitler as a "Dekorationsstück" ("piece of scenery/decoration") of the new government. German newspapers wrote that, without doubt, the Hitler-led government would try to fight its political enemies (the left-wing parties), but that it would be impossible to establish a dictatorship in Germany because there was "a barrier, over which violence cannot proceed" and because of the German nation being proud of "the freedom of speech and thought". Theodor Wolff of Frankfurter Zeitung wrote:[81]

    It is a hopeless misjudgement to think that one could force a dictatorial regime upon the German nation. [...] The diversity of the German people calls for democracy.

    — Theodor Wolff in Frankfurter Zeitung, Jan 1933

    Even within the Jewish German community, in spite of Hitler not hiding his ardent antisemitism, the worries appear to have been limited. In a declaration of January 30, the steering committee of the central Jewish German organization (Centralverein deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens) wrote that "as a matter of course" the Jewish community faces the new government "with the largest mistrust", but at the same they were convinced that "nobody would dare to touch [their] constitutional rights". The Jewish German newspaper Jüdische Rundschau [de] wrote on Jan 31st:[82]

    … that also within the German nation still the forces are active that would turn against a barbarian anti-Jewish policy.

    — Jüdische Rundschau [de], Jan 31, 1933

    However a growing number of keen observers, like Sir Horace Rumbold, British Ambassador in Berlin, began to revise their opinions. On 22 February 1933, he wrote, "Hitler may be no statesman but he is an uncommonly clever and audacious demagogue and fully alive to every popular instinct," and he informed the Foreign Office that he had no doubt that the Nazis had "come to stay."[83] On receiving the dispatch Robert VansittartPermanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, concluded that if Hitler eventually gained the upper hand, "then another European war [was] within measurable distance."[84]

    With Germans who opposed Nazism failing to unite against it, Hitler soon moved to consolidate absolute power.

    At the risk of appearing to talk nonsense I tell you that the National Socialist movement will go on for 1,000 years! … Don't forget how people laughed at me 15 years ago when I declared that one day I would govern Germany. They laugh now, just as foolishly, when I declare that I shall remain in power!

    — Adolf Hitler to a British correspondent in Berlin, June 1934[85]

    I don't know but it all seems kind of familiar to me!  

  27. BYND – Squeezing again.


    Beyond Meat: Blue Apron (APRN) to introduce Beyond Meat on menus beginning in August.


    APRN, which is pretty much on life support is up 35% on this announcement.


  28. I love how they just have to make a small deal with a popular company and they jump like that.

  29. Blue Apron beefs up menu with Beyond Meat, shares surge 60%

  30. A government shutdown just got a lot more likely — again

  31. Ebola back. Best established vaccine from Merk? Phil or Stjeanluc or anyone , Thoughts? Vaccines don't usually provide large sources of income…