Stock Market Pinocchio Style

Look folks, Pinocchio’s nose is getting longer by the minute.


The market continues on a tear, even while the economy is heading in the other direction. 


I know people have been conditioned to buy on the dips, but I’m not sure that applies while we’re in the middle (or maybe still just in the beginning) of a pandemic that has claimed 286,000 lives in just over 2 months (and that’s with a global shutdown)!


Somehow, there is a notion that when things start to reopen that all the problems will just magically go away, including the $3 trillion we just added to our national debt, all the bankruptcies being declared, and all the job losses that are becoming permanent. 


If you believe this, perhaps you’d like to buy the Brooklyn Bridge.


The greater fool theory is alive and well.  😉


(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

Lockdown In Coronavirus

This photo is sort of what it feels like to be in lockdown during the Coronavirus pandemic. 


You’re stuck inside, but still have to keep everything moving anyway!


As we enter the next phase with people itching to go back out and “restart” life and the economy and the second wave where more people unfortunately get sick, we are really as they say:

Stuck between a rock and a hard place. 


That where bad thing can happen (G-d forbid) and it’s  never a good place to be. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Count Your Blessings

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Count Your Blessings.”

I just wanted to share a short reflection with everything going on in the world these days with coronavirus and the economic shutdown: I see people are scared and confused, under lockdown and feeling financial strain, and many are getting sick and dying. But I remember the words of my dear father who used to say: “Count Your Blessings!” And he was so right. There are so many things, literally every moment of every day, for us to be grateful for:


Certainly, we all face extreme difficulties or challenges at times in our lives, but things can always be so much worse, and there is still so much for us to be grateful for. Therefore, truly thank you G-d with a hundred blessings—and more—for every moment of every precious day. And we affirm that surely the L-rd who created us will continue to sustain us, and that ultimately all will be for the good.


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Free COVID-19 Cure

This sign was just too great. 


Advertisement with the little slips at the bottom to tear off. 

Free Cure for COVID-19.
Please take an information strip below

And what do the strips say:

Stay the F**K at home


I wonder why no one took any of the strips? LOL


Like every meaningful issue, we have people on both sides of the aisle fighting it out what is the right thing to do. 


And when it comes to life and liberty, passions certainly run high. 😉


(Credit Photo to my son-in-law Itzchak for sharing this with me from his friend in California)

Coronavirus: A Modern Leprosy

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Coronavirus: A Modern Leprosy.”

What an interesting time this week during the coronavirus for my bar-mitzvah parshas of Tazria and Metzora, where we learn about how to handle someone with the plague of leprosy…What’s fascinating though for our times is that right here in the Torah, long before medical science understood germs, washing of hands, and disinfectants, we have the first instruction on quarantining someone who is sick. The person with leprosy is deemed impure and is put outside the camp in quarantine, repeatedly checked (e.g. tested) by the Kohen, until they are healed, at which time they are purified before being allowed back in. What we don’t see with leprosy is that the whole community is put in a state of quasi quarantine as we are doing now globally with the coronavirus.


In the end, I see this coronavirus blowing up with some people forever anxious and germophobic and others becoming complacent and careless about the whole thing. Either way there will be more sick and dying people, as well as anger at the system that over time repeatedly failed us. This week’s parsha is a good reminder to go back to the ultimate wisdom of the Torah and read again how we handle the leper and manage with a thoughtful risk-based management approach and an eye on the ultimate purity—physically and spiritually—of the individual and the community.

(Free Photo via Pixabay)

Plan To Restart The Economy WILL Look Something Like This

What will restarting the economy after Coronavirus look like?


Well Israel has a well-thought-out 4 Phase Plan (pending approval) and I would imagine that the U.S. plan will look something very much like this:


– Phase I: Tech and Finance, some Import/Export industries, 50% of Public Sector, and Preschool


– Phase II: Commerce/Retail Stores, Elementary School (ages 6-10)


– Phase III: Cafes, Restaurants, and Hotels, and most of the rest of the Education system


– Phase IV: Leisure and Entertainment: Culture, Sports, Large Shopping Malls, and Flights

There are 4 additional key provisions to this plan:

 

– 2 Week Buffer between phases to review and evaluate success before moving forward with the next phase.

 

–  “People over 60 and at-risk populations will not resumenormal activity throughout the four phases.”

 

– Resuming these activities occurs with the exercise of continued caution (e.g. social distancing, testing, etc.)

 

– Expect 2nd outbreak in the Fall and therefore continue to build up healthcare capabilities in preparation for this

 

This sounds like an excellent plan as a basis to reopen and one that we can and should build upon. 😉

 

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal and thank you to my sister for sharing this with me)

 

Reopening The Country WITHOUT Endangering The Masses

I understand the absolute need to reopen the country from this Coronavirus. 


We can’t shelter in place forever and watch our economy go into the toilet and our national debt bankrupt us!


Therefore, once we have the mechanisms to control the deadly spread, we must open up offices and stores again gradually to get people working and our economy going again. 


At the same time, I am pissed by those corporate executives that actually have the chutzpah and are pushing for us to open up crowded theaters, stadiums, and other such entertainment or other venues that are NOT critical and pose a greater risk for contagion to masses of people. 


Instead of these CEOs understanding the need to hold off on this pending a vaccination or adequate disease control measures, these greedy corporate chieftain seem to care little to nothing about the health of their customers, and only about lining their fat pocketbooks with more ticket sales. 


I think it’s criminal type behavior to push our government to open prematurely and irresponsibly those venues that are of greatest risk to potentially millions of people to get sick or dead in order for them to profit from it!  😉


Note: It’s reported that COVID-19 compared to the flu in 22 fewer days infected 11x as many people and killed 60 times as many


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Grass Still Needs To Be Mowed

Even with Coronavirus and the associated lockdowns and social distancing, the grass still needs to be mowed.


These two are doing the work but also look like they could be playing some bumper cars too! 


So it is: Life goes on; the world is not (yet) ending. 


Unfortunately, there are people suffering and dying. 


And we need to help them and try and save their lives. 


Also, not forget their families and those out of work. 


But as far as the world is concerned, the grass still keeps growing. 


The living will go on living as best they can. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Covid-19 Graph — No One Wants To Confront

This is the Coronavirus chart that I don’t think anyone wants us to confront. 


Rather than the typical chart we are shown with one high and then it tapers off and all is well…


There could be scenarios where there are multiple curves and peaks. 


For example, if we send people back out to (work, school, etc.) and stop the social distancing too early–while there are still Coronavirus carriers around us and we don’t have an effective vaccine–then the contagion can start all over again. 


Further, even with a vaccine, if the virus mutates (and could become more virulent) then this infection can go on spreading and killing with multiple peaks. 


In short, this is the chart that speaks to cases where businesses are closed and people out of work much longer than expected, and where the recession takes hold and does some potentially real and lasting damage above and beyond what’s perhaps already priced in. 


Again, let’s hope and pray that we don’t stop the social distancing prematurely and that our doctors and scientists get the vaccine for us sooner rather than later. 


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

We Just Magically Found $2,000,000,000,000

It’s amazing how we can magically find $2 trillion for a Coronavirus “Rescue Plan.”


This after we already wasted over $6.4 trillion (and thousands of our dead and wounded) through 2017 in unexplainable and endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with no known or lasting benefits to this country (while archenemy, Iran continues their pursuit of nukes unabated). 


And for decades, we haven’t been able to find money for:


– Decent healthcare for all Americans.


– Ensuring our national security, including adequate planning and disaster preparedness for things like Coronavirus, cybersecurity, WMDs, EMPs, and for critical infrastructure protection. 


– Repairing our aging roads, bridges, and infrastructure


– Fixing our broken public education system.


– Helping our countless of homeless and needy lying the streets of our nation. 


– Restoring our space program to get a man on the moon again or put another shuttle into space. 


When politics are in play, there is plenty of money to go around. 


But when the nation needs proper care and feeding, there are no adults in the room. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)