Grasping straws

“Stocks jump as global coronavirus case growth slows” blasts the headline from Yahoo this morning (Monday 6th April). With much of the western World under various forms of house arrest for weeks now, this should hardly come as a great surprise, but it tells us little on how and when we might be able to return to normality. Without mass testing and accompanying infrastructure (eg PPE and ventilators) and/or effective prophylactics we will either have to bite the bullet and revert to some form of herd immunity, or risk a deepening depression as we wait possibly a year for an effective vaccine.

Dead bat bounce?

With so much funny-money being pumped out of central banks, there’s clearly much at stake for the first one out of the block to identify the inflection point in the COVID-19 trough. One such study comes from the already tottering Deutsche Bank and is reported this morning on Zerohedge, titled “When Will The Coronavirus Lockdowns Be Lifted? Here Are One Bank’s Estimates“. Helpfully, it quotes “politicians and health officials have discussed dates ranging anywhere from weeks to over a year.” , which perhaps can be translated as “we all get it, or we’ll all go bust trying to avoid it”. It then goes on to to show us lots of chart porn, seemingly based on Chinese government data of cases in Hubei. That’s right folks, extrapolations based on data from the CCP, that same lot that claim to have had only 3,326 deaths from the disease (as of writing) and have been more than “Economical with the Actualité” with the origins of this virus.

Ironically, this comes under the watch of president for life, Xi who has already conceded to the unreliability of Chinese official economic data. Any review of some of the anecdotal evidence coming out of China, whether it be the mismatch between the thousands of urns being delivered, despite claims of no new cases, or the missing 21 million mobile phone subscribers might suggest treating these green shoots stories with caution.

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me!