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Fickle Friday – Market on the Road to Nowhere in the Month of May

S&P 2,850.

That line is like a magnet and, halfway through the month of May, right where I predicted we'd be when I was on Bloomberg on March 11th (see: "Thursday Failure – Trump Shuts Travel, Provides No Solutions, No Stimulus – Market Tanks (again)" for the recap).  That prediction was not for political reasons – it was based on our assessment of the VALUE of the S&P 500 based on what we knew regarding the virus, the stimulus, the political and social environment.  You know – Macro Analysis.

There's been a ton of BS thrown around as the virus and our Government's response to the virus, has become such a political issue that I can't even say the President is doing a bad job without getting death threats.  My job as an analyst is to tell you what's really going on – whether you want to hear it or not – anything less than that wouldn't just make me bad at my job, it would make me dishonest.  

If you want an honest, balanced assessment of where we are now – here's the Mayor of Los Angeles – one of the smartest guys I ever met – giving his assessment of how we stand as cities struggle to re-open:

Also on Wednesday, Garcetti said on ABC: "I think we have to all recognize that we’re not moving beyond COVID-19.  We’re learning to live with it."  “We’ve never been fully closed, we’ll never be completely open until we have cure,” he added.  That's why we got more aggressive with our hedges on Tuesday (ahead of Garcetti) as the S&P approached 3,000 and we did the math and decided that would be a p/e of over 35 on the S&P – a bridge I did not feel even irrational investors and trade bots were willing to cross.

That post became part 7 of our Portfolio Protection Workshop and I strongly urge you to re-read that series over the weekend as we may be approaching another major down leg as the World will hit 5M infections next week and the US alone will pass 1.5M infected as we are still getting 25,000 new cases each day – even as the Government rushes to declare victory and open up the cities.  

As I noted on Tuesday, we take a portion of our unrealized gains (even if they are recovery gains) from our long portfolios and put them to work in our short, hedging portfolio to maintain BALANCE as you never want to be too bullish or too bearish in any market.  You may end up being right – but is it really worth the risk?

Back on March 20th, we reviewed our Future is Now Portfolio, which had taken a 10.8% hit as the market headed lower.  Our positions were down 30, 40 and 60% but, fortunately, we hadn't bought much yet since all the stocks on our Watch List were too expensive so we were waiting patiently for a correction, which finally came.  

We went through our adjustment steps, getting more aggressive on SPWR and BYND and TOT was brand new, so no adjustment needed.  Now, just two months later, we're at $124,515 – up $35,280 (39.5%) off the bottom but only up 24.5% from our $100 start.  We just added ALB short puts Tuesday and the rest of the commentary is as follows:

  • ALB – Still has that new trade smell!
  • PLUG – On track
  • SQ – Doing too well, we almost can't keep it up 60% already with 18 months to go.  Still, there's a safety factor as it's not just that we can "only" make $1,258 more but that we're fairly positive we will and there's pretty much no way this will be in trouble and the margin is only $423 – so there's no reason not to keep it.

Again, this is why we have Watch Lists.  That way, when there's a huge dip in the market, we have a list of stocks we already know we'd like to buy and all we need to do is double-check our premises and see which ones are giving us the best deals and then we're ready to pull the trigger.  I guess it's just doing your homework BEFORE it's due – something I struggle to get my kids to appreciate…

  • TOT – We were too nervous to sell puts but I think we can be confident $25 was a good bottom so let's sell 5 Nov $30 puts for $3.25 ($1,625) to round out the spread.  

  • BYND – Got a boost from the meat shortage.  People were saying BYND was the only meat left in the supermarket as if that was an indicator that no one wanted it but, to me, it meant a lot of new people were going to try it.  We are jokingly in the money on this one at net $15,130 on the $25,000 spread that's over 200% in the money.  Although a 40% return is not very exciting for PSW Members – this is certainly good for a new trade with that kind of return.

  • SPWR – We liked it so much we played it twice. Both long-term and both with $5 calls and $8 puts – just different upside targets.   Potential is net $48,000 for the 2 and currently net $1,350 so there's $46,650 (3,455%) upside potential – so I'd say that's good for a new trade!  

So we have about $65,000 worth of upside potential, mostly SPWR, over the next 18 months and we have plenty of buying power so we'll keep our eyes open for positive trends so we can go Back to the FUTURE!!!

Notice we followed the steps of our Portfolio Protection Program (hedges are in our Short-Term Portfolio, which we updated on Tuesday) and we are left with very conservative targets that will make a conservative $65,000 (55%) in 18 months and we still have $108,530 in CASH!!! to deploy 

The market doesn't have to go anywhere for you to make money when you trade options SENSIBLY.  By sensibly I mean BEING the House – NOT the Gambler!

Have a great weekend, 

- Phil

 


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  1. GM PSW!  I hope this works….as it is really relevant to right now…watch the thread then read the twitter link posted underneath….

    Twitter link here.


  2. Good Morning


  3. For biotechs to watch, TRIL. Very interesting target, and one to sell C/P against a long term position.  200 shares and sell the 7.5C/5P for net $2ish…spreads are wide, so patience is needed on this one.  Try the covered call first.



  4. Good Morning.


  5. More chlorine!


  6. Be a Warrior and deal with those sore, red eyes!


  7. Interesting chart comparing different industries and the impact of the virus:

    Image


  8. 1020……


  9. Would be funny if it wasn't so tragic. GOP senators are now telling people not to worry about losing their employer's healthcare because they can register on Obamacare. That's after spending the last 10 years trying to dismantle it… WTF!


  10. Here's some perhaps interesting anecdotal information –  my wife and three of our friends have all been able to walk into different CityMd's around New York and the boroughs (doc in the box pay as you go healthcare) and get Covid diagnosis test absolutely no problem.  With results back on avarwge in 48 hours. 
    An FDA approved antibody test is also very readily available at the same place. I had one done. 

    You need insurance (so obviously some inadequency for the community there) but they do wave the copay.  
     


  11. Good morning!

    Seriously choppy waters sailing these markets.  

    Hola Pharmboy!  

     


  12. Trump / Phil – And I have to remind myself that the guy is in fact POTUS! Every single day! I guess in 100 years our great-grandchildren will be laughing about how stupid we were… If there is still a human race then.


  13. And if you don't have a plan, you don't have to tollow the plan:

    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/mcconnell-admits-obama-admin-did-leave-behind-a-plan-on-pandemics-i-was-wrong

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) backpedaled on Thursday night after accusing former President Barack Obama administration of leaving President Donald Trump unprepared to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “I was wrong,” the GOP leader told Fox News host Bret Baier. “They did leave behind a plan.”

    “So I clearly made a mistake in that regard,” he added.[...]

    Former Obama administration Ebola response coordinator Ronald Klain and Obama administration deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes pushed back on the senator’s claim that same day.

    “We literally left them a 69-page Pandemic Playbook…. that they ignored. And an office called the Pandemic Preparedness Office…that they abolished. And a global monitoring system called PREDICT…that they cut by 75%,” Klain tweeted.


  14. TRIL/Pharm – A lot of these early stage companies, you have to be careful of their cash burn and balance sheet as they generally plan very tightly, even when well-run and this virus can really throw off your timing.  People could drop out of studies too.

    Big Chart – NYSE and Dow bounced off the 50 dma so far.  22,850 on /YM and 10,700 on NYSE both seem safe for the weekend but maybe a big sell into the close with 5M global cases looming. 

    That is a great chart, StJ!   Good point on Obamacare – I just tweeted it to hopefully get more people talking about the blatant hypocrisy.

    Testing/Potter – I do hope all states get that in gear but, as I've said, it should be mandatory before you go to a restaurant or retail store.  If we have the ability to know who is carrying an infectious disease – what possible logic is there in not doing our best to identify them and keep them away from healthy people?

    Trump/StJ – He's basically Herbert Hoover at this point.  He was a business guy who came in at the end of the roaring 20s promising to get rid of all those annoying taxes and, like Trump, when crisis struck he immediately moved to bail out businesses but let the people go BK – as if that wouldn't affect everything else.   Hoover also became one of Roosevelt's most outspoken critics – something the next President can look forward to in Trump.

    Good for Klain – We have to call these liars out on all their BS – there's an election in 5.5 months!


  15. Phil/ACB

    around 50% up on earnings. Is it good to chase?

    thanks and regards


  16. Money Talk Portfolio Review: $97,075 is down 2.9% and that's down $4,740 (4.6%) from our 4/29 review.  It's a choppy market and they are all 2022 plays with $76,390 of potential gains over the next 18 months.  No change in comments from two weeks ago so here's just the updated positions:


  17. Phil / COVID -I was looking at industries that will permanently change ( for better or worse) due to this pandemic.   Areas like Telemedicine, Service Sharing ( Mass Transit, ride sharing, We Work, Airline) , Deep cleaning industry, Remote Close Size fitting, Restaurants , Education .  Some of these like tele medicine i think will take off and increase, others like retail may change dramatically – If there is not a strong On line / 'delivery' presence they may not survive.   Have you thought of this? does it make sense to you ?


  18. Doin' swell, Pharmboy…. :)


  19. Garcetti/Phil  He's part of a growing group of young-er Dems that leaves me optimistic about this country's future!


  20. St Jean- your beginning to sound more like me! Anyways the Wis supine court opened up Wisc and now I have bookings through Airbnb this weekend, next weekend and two or three more coming in fast and furious. Nothing much was happening;  July was full, but now bookings for fall also. Bad timing as I'm doing the Spring spruce up and some remodeling. Oh well if they want to swim in that pool let them. Our infection rate has been mighty low up in No country. We will see what transpires but most are coming from the twin cities and are staying longer. Stay safe!


  21. ACB/Pat – So ridiculous.  Had they not just reverse-split, we would have beefed up in the Earnings Portfolio, which just has a very small long position, unfortunately.  I do like them for a long-term play (something I've been saying all year) and they should be good for at least $12, but that was a better play when they were $6 before earnings, not $10. 

    You can sell the ACB Jan $7 puts for $3.50 as they are not likely to go BK and it's a net $3.50 entry.  In fact, let's sell 10 of those in the Earnings Portfolio and buy 8 more 2022 $4 calls for $5 ($4,000) so it's net $500 on the new set and we'll have 15 total longs and two sets of puts (we have 2 short $15 puts too).  Good for a new trade too!

    Sense/Batman – Sounds sensible but, as I keep saying, we're 2 months (8 weeks) into this thing and you are extrapolating permanent changes.  If we have a vaccine (likely) and eradicate this virus, it will have the same effect on our behavior that SARS or MERS did.  I think things like Telemedicine are getting a kick-start but they were coming anyway – as were many of the things you mentioned and yes, we'll have to think about the long-term rotation you can see in StJ's chart – but I'm not going to draw conclusions from a single quarter to plays 2-year and longer event bets.

    While Buffett says "You can see who's swimming naked when the tide goes out" in a potential Depression, EVERYONE stops swimming.  Let's get past that before we start speculating on who's the best surfer.  

    Harry/1020 – Can you imagine what that adjustment is like?   Every minute of his life was scheduled from the day he was born and every move he made was covered like an event – it's the only life he knows.  This isn't a guy who got famous – he was born famous – I don't blame him for having a rough time, none of this is his fault.  He was very well-balanced for a Royal but now he's just another famous guy trying to get a reservation at Nobu who gets asked "What have you been in lately?"  


  22. Conceived at Rib Mountain(!?) born in a Wausau hospital that is now a convalescent home, I've always enjoyed fall when visiting Northern Wisconsin….tailgates at Lambeau… :)


  23. "Conceived at Rib Mountain"/1020 – Is that a euphemism for a C-section?  cheeky


  24. No, just a guess   ;)


  25. Trump – Will he be able to tweet from jail if he loses the election? 


  26. Hemp Boca Portfolio Update:  $53,710 is down $2,545 from our 4/16 review but it's only a $50K portfolio and that's like 5%.  Since the show isn't coming back and the portfolio has redundant positions that are in other portfolios - we're going to just shut it down. 


  27. I think that's it other than the LTP.  How about we skip it?  I'm done with this week….


  28. Take that bike ride, Phil - fewer people than the weekend!


  29. Not much going on today other than oil taking the Goldman cue….


  30. Could the rebound yesterday and today be just to fix/pin the Option Expiry?




  31. Who’s right on schools, Fauci or Trump?


  32. How to Understand ‘Obamagate’



  33. I was a conspiracy theorist, too


  34. That would not be good:

    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/russian-doctors-say-woman-may-have-contracted-covid-19-twice

    Russian doctors say they are treating a woman who may have contracted coronavirus for the second time after recovering from it.

    The woman was discharged from a hospital in the Siberian city of Ulan-Ude after receiving treatment for coronavirus and testing negative for it in early April. But two weeks later she started having respiratory symptoms again and tested positive for the virus for the second time.


  35. Snow/Bug- this sounds too good to be true. Any comment:

    Sorrento claims it has COVID-19 cure


  36. Phil- You totally left out the other equation to Prince Harry. LA is HIS wife's domain and he is very sensitive to how it feels to be raised by one parent-he has his son Archie now.  It just goes to show how important our social systems are to everyone for health and happiness. Marriage is always about making sacrifices, but his has put him in a totally alien environment. He is torn and it is understandable as many of us have had to make tough choices that were not necessarily in our best interests. I wish him well And luck.


  37. Hope this is true pstas! But got to be suspicious looking at the claims.


  38. The Bug/pstas – could be, a lot of people are working their tales off on antibody cures. One of my sisters had covid19 a few weeks back, recovered with no problems, and donated plasma hoping to help someone else. I'll do a little digging; let you all know if I turn anything up.


  39. pstas   I wouldn't trust a seeking alpha article  with as little information as that but sounds great


  40. Expirations/Mito – Could be anything.  So much cross-currents 

    Sorrento/Pstas – Sounds too good, can't possibly know there's no side effects etc. so soon but we have a President who falls for this kind of crap and the guy popped his stock 50% by claiming it, so why not?  Oh, morals….

    Alien/Pirate – I'm sure Megan felt that way at the palace too.  Just bad timing, walked right into the lockdown – that's a crappy way to have to adjust but really, I can't imagine how crazy this change in life must be for that guy and, to top it off, no one feels bad for him because he's still got a life most people wish they had.


  41. trump on tv baffling his world with bullshit listening to him makes me feel like throwing up


  42. Long-Term Portfolio (LTP) Review – Part 1:  $599,510 is up $57,205 (10.5%) since our last review and up 19.9% for the year.  Even better, the STP is also up $50K at $579,122 as our side bets (TSLA, CMG, USO) are making good money and our hedges are properly hedged as well.  That's keeping us just under our combined high of $1.2M, which is a 100% gain on the paired portfolios for the year – we love these rough markets! 

    We have $500,000 worth of hedges (against a 20% drop) in the STP and that would put it up to $1M and the LTP, at the bottom, was down to $250,000 so, IN THEORY, we should be able to weather even another downturrn if we had to but still – we need to think about if any of our longs are inherently risky given a likely slow recovery in the economy (though $9,000,000,000,000 in stimulus is still a LOT of money to be betting against!).  

    Short Puts – None that I'm worried about and we still have about $80,000 left to gain if they all work out (and we just added ALB, not reflected).  

    • PAA – Much better than last time by about $11,000 and they just paid us $2,560 in dividends too (not included in the -$16,000).   As I said last time, ridiculous over-reaction so we doubled down (after already doubling down) when they were $5.25 (March Review) and now we wait and collect our dividends. 
    • Submitted on 2020/03/23 at 3:08 pm
    • PAA – Still dropping like a rock.  Fortunately, the 2022 $5 calls are $2 so we can buy 4,000 more for $5.25 and sell 40 of the $5 calls for $2 and we're in for net $3.25 ($13,000) which is $9.37 on 8,000 and the 30 short 2022 $15 puts have a $12,750 loss so we'll just roll those to 40 of the 2022 $8 puts at $4.60 ($18,400) and we'll be thrilled to get back to $9 one day.  

    We don't start out KNOWING that PAA was going to be a large allocation.  Like any trade idea, we start off with a 1/4 entry and IF the stock gets cheaper and IF we still like it, THEN we put more money to work at the much lower prices.  We didn't take a big risk doubling down at $5.25 and selling $5 calls for $2 – we took ADVANTAGE of the situation and now we'll collect $2,500 6 more times for $12,500 in dividends against our net $56,280 position and 1/2 will be called away at $5 ($20,000) leaving us with 4,000 shares at net $36,280 or $9.07/share (but then we'll sell more calls to lower that basis).  Not bad for a stock we entered at $16 on the first round!

    • AVGO – Halfway to $120,000 at net $28,200 so good for a new trade since it's $60,000 in the money!  How funny is that?  

    • BRK.B – I didn't realize we already had one but I like both of them and both are good for new trades.
    • CMCSA – $15,000 spread net $5,000(ish) would be exciting if not for AVGO.
    • CSCO – That's one I was banging the table on in 2008 as well.  Still, kind of irresponsible not to cover so here's a good trick.  Since I have no doubt we'll hit $50 in 2022, rather than just covering we can sell 40 (2x) the 2022 $50 calls for $4.20 ($16,800) and buy 20 more 2022 $35 calls at $11.50 ($23,000) so we're spending $6,200 more to buy $30,000 more spread that's $18,000 in the money.  That's a good use of funds!  This is how we scale into a position – even if it's already popped on us.  The alternative would be just selling 20 calls and taking $8,000 off the table but what better use of $6,200 of that potential $8,000 than investing it in something that's very likely to make $13,800 (222%) in 18 months?  Not only that but now we don't have an additional position to worry about.

    • GILD – Way over our target at just net $11,100 on the $30,000 spread.  It's no AVGO but Trump just mentioned Remdesivir as the leading treatment candidate for Corona.
    • GM – Doing very well and it's a $35,000 spread at net $7,050 so a lot of room to run but not as sure thing as AVGO.  Still very nice.  

    You can see why this portfolio makes insane amounts of money in a bull market.  These are, as always, aggressive longs because we protect them with the STP and also I'd argue that they are all great value plays.  Most importantly, we don't swing for the fences, do we?  We simply pick realistic long-term targets and, when we have a chance, we LOWER our targets.  When you start with a trade that will make 300-500% if all goes well – it's OK when it doesn't work well and you'll make 200% at a much lower strike – right?   That's our system in a nutshell.

    • LABU – I mean, if they are just going to HAND OUT MONEY – it's our job to take it!  This is a $50,000 spread we got PAID $13,000 to initiate and now it's net $17,400 so "only" $32,600 left to gain – yawn!  Still, it's deep in the money and Biotech is a star in this crisis and will get funding for years to come so, if you don't mind only making 187% in 18 months as long as LABU doesn't fall 24% – this is still a nice little trade….

    • M – OK, so this is a gamble.  Gotta have some fun.  Let's buy back the short $20 calls simply because they are pointless and only $550 but, otherwise, we're just waiting for a move back up (hopefully).  Frankly I'm tempted to DD…
    • MIDD – The old trade died but I like the new one already, which is twice as big to twice as much make up for it.  $40,000 potential on the new set is still a $13,200 credit with the very aggressive put sale so $53,200 left to gain there if we get back to $75.  I don't think a lot of restaurants will be buying new ovens this year though so I won't be too patient if this one starts to falter.  Not that I don't love MIDD long-term, just that we have better uses for our buying power than waiting 18 months for a move.

    • MJ – ACB earnings were encouraging so we will wait and see.  
    • MO – So many sure things in this portfolio!  I guess I was just super-cautious all year and that's what we have left.  This $75,000 spread is only net $21,025 so another nice entry that's still available.  And that's AFTER we already made $20,000!   

    • RH – I am so happy to finally have these guys again.  Unfortunately, my discipline prevents me from buying things, no matter how much I love them if they are not on sale (ISRG, MDT…).  This one we caught a nice bottom on and it's already deep in the money – one of those 1/4 entries that we never got to add to.  Still, it's a nice $80,000 spread and "only" net $27,300 so $52,700 (193%) left to gain is still more than 10% a month on a spread that's already 20% in the money.  


  43. Pharm – was that first post supposed to link to a video? The twitter link goes to poop in the pool, was that the point of the post?


  44. And we're green again?  Well, like I said, $9,000,000,000,000 is a LOT of money!  Almost every position in this portfolio has still got at least a double in it over the next 18 months so PLEASE do not tell me you can't find things to trade!  


  45. Long-Term Portfolio Review (LTP) – Part 2:

    • SKT – They thought I was MAD!  Well, the jury is still out on this one but, since I was happy with their recent earnings (and since we're doing well enough to afford it), let's buy another 4,000 shares at $5.88 ($23,500) and we'll plan on selling calls when they get back over $7.50.  The 2022 $8 calls are $1.60 and the $5 calls are $2.50 so figure $2.20 would be a good price for the $8s on a move up (and the delta is 0.50 so + 0.75 on a $1.50 move up is very fair) and that would net us in at $3.88 on the new set.  Meanwhile, we now have 8,000 shares at( $7.19-$1.55 =) $5.64, 3/4 covered by short call at $8 and $13 – so plenty of room to run.  Dividend is suspended for now but, if they re-instate, we should go up fast.  

    • SPWR – only $28,000 worth?  It's at net $650 so $27,350 (4,207) upside and we REALLY don't mind owning 4,000 shares at $8, do we?  Well, then it's a no-brainer to double down!  They are going to spin off into 2 companies in June but I don't want to not own either side so I'm in for the ride.   The main reason they are spinning out is to form a Chinese partnership without giving up 1/2 of the entire company – nothing wrong with that! 

    • TXT – Another one we always buy when they are cheap.  We are already way ahead after catching fantastic entry (the double-down entry, not the original!) and it's a $68,750 spread still only net $6,875 so a 10-bagger in the making!  I don't think $45 is too ambitious.  $24.44 is $5.5Bn and they are usually good for $1Bn a year in profits on $14Bn in sales.  This will be a down year, of course but, long-term – what's not to love?

    • VIAC – My hands are sore from banging on the table for this one.  As it stands, it's a $50,000 spread that's 115% in the money at net $8,025 – this may be better than AVGO!

    • VLO – Well, that sell-off didn't last long.  We were very conservative so this one I think is another lock and we were very wimpy about it with a $20,000 spread that's now net $7,305.  I would DD but it's the same price as doubling down on VIAC, which would make twice as much with just as little effort so I'll do neither for now and see how next week goes as we get more re-opening data.

    • WBA – Before VIAC, I was sore from banging the table on WBA  and so far, so wrong on this one but now we can roll our 40 2022 $40 calls at $6.20 ($18,175) to 50 of the 2022 $30 calls at $10.60 ($53,000) buy back both sets of short calls ($9,520) and sell 25 July $42.50 calls for $1 ($2,500) as those expire before earnings.  That's going to cost us $41,845 and we started at $11,750 so we're in 50 of the 2022 $30 calls for $53,595 and that puts our break-even just over $40 but not if we sell 10 more 2022 $45 puts for $13.80 ($13,900) – then we're down to net $39,695 and now, at $45, we make more than $25,000 and $25,000 more for each $5 over that we move.

    What a fantastic bunch of positions these are!  We still have tons of cash and we're well-hedged so I'm very excited about this portfolio going forward.  


  46. By the way, on WBA, we've dropped the net to $40,000 and we're selling 63 out of 616 days for $2,500 on a 1/2 cover.  That's one of the reasons I like the spread – we can turn it into an income-producer, even if it stays flat or goes down a bit more.  It wouldn't  be just $2,500 either as we'd sell $2,500 of Aug in June if things are still flat etc, so $2,500 x 18 months is $45,000 and a free spread if we're flat or slightly down as slightly down won't change the price of the puts, which currently net us in for $33 (avg) on 2,500 share but then we'd sell more puts to drop the basis, etc – you know the drill – that's our system – the one where we end up owning a lot of things that keep getting cheaper – despite the fact that we still think they are good values.

    When we are right, the gains are spectacular and yes, sometimes we're wrong and end up with FTR or HMNY but, as long as we stick to our allocation blocks, those losses are far outweighed by the doubles and triples on the blocks where we get it right.


  47. Wow, that's it for /SI for me – can't leave $20,000 open over the weekend.  

    Congrats to all who took that Webinar play! 





  48. Industrial production plunges unprecedented 11.2% in April


  49. Phil. How is /NG looking to you?


  50. /NG/Brian – Too unpredictable along with oil but I like it closer to $1.60, which is pretty good support so, if you have the money to ride it out and you're worried about missing something, you could start here ($1.64) and plan to DD at $1.60 for a $1.62 avg.  Now that I'm out of /SI, I don't mind taking that risk on one contract.  

    2,846 at the close – not quite back to the line but close enough.  We'll just have to wait and see how next week goes (we may be saying that for the next 10 weeks!). 

    Have a great weekend, 

    - Phil


  51. Phil/Thanks. Good weekend to you too!


  52. The Bug/all – some good weekend reading for you all. My friend, intrepid reporter Andy Salmon, talked to several of us – I was on FB chat with him for over an hour – and put together a couple of fine articles.

    https://asiatimes.com/2020/05/why-east-beat-west-on-covid-19/?fbclid=IwAR0GT1jFTFwBYcHQnmIllVmKPk2OO7t4ohRRCj3p_4VmAKyKMk1EhTVFzII

    https://asiatimes.com/2020/05/why-east-beat-west-on-covid-19-part-2/?fbclid=IwAR0-pLN6_hNTRgTudX6tMFwW9oCneGrjoHfu3wwdMwbY8URIIVz-6dIj3X8


  53. The Bug/BCG – another friend quoted in the article, Ogan Gurel, is convinced BCG, an old tuberculosis vaccine, prevents the disease. I'm of the opinion that BCG is used in countries that have effective covid19 control programs. Ogan keeps bringing up data to try and convince me otherwise, and his discovery of the Portugal data is another try. I gotta admit, he's beginning to convince me. But how many of you guys have ever given a BCG injection? I've done hundreds, and it's a tough injection – you have to weave the needle between skin layers. No fun at all at both ends of the needle.


  54. Snow- great articles. Shows what journalism should be- reasonably objective and very informative. Main take away is the complexity which defies all the usual instant analysis often spouted by media, polititions and advocates. It truly will take time to fully analyze it and hopefully learn. One message I hope the west hears loud and clear is Asia is on the upswing and the Chinese especially believe the future is theirs for the taking. I have said this often that we did not export our jobs overseas, they came and took them. The west is fat and happy but may soon find itself lost in the dust. 





  55. Hundreds demand justice for Arbery at Georgia rally






  56. Just watched Cuomo today – for those who haven't seen it – he takes a covid test on stage. It's prettty awesome. Biden/Cuomo?!

    Aside from that – he said many NY State testing facilities are operating at 1/3rd testing capacity,  meaning a facility that can do 15k tests a day only has 5k walk through the door.  He again reiterated that anybody who has any symptoms, fears about exposure or who is planning to return to work should get a test.  

    I think there has been SO much arguing in the press about testing, lack of testing, eligibility for testing that Cuomo literally has to fight through a fog of confusion and misunderstanding to let people know – if you want a test, then New York will test you.  
     

    I hope people do the right thing 


  57. BCG / Snow – Got it when I was a kid as it was mandatory in France then. I feel pretty good about that now. Maybe it's helpful, maybe not, but it's done!