Tuesday, May 05, 2020


BREAKING UPDATE: Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Canady has extended the no jury trial order until July 2, 2020. It's a start. And of course, as we all know, the easiest time to get a jury panel is two days before the 4th of July holiday, so that makes sense. Not. Canady couldn't have suspended trials until Monday July 6? Or is that too logical? Safety wise, he needs to suspend trials until the week after the Labor day holiday in September. 

Coach Shula has passed away. The idiots are congregating in parks without masks, and the government is trying to re-open. We have a lot to cover, so pay attention. 

When the news broke Monday that legendary coach Don Shula had passed away, we imagined legions of millennial lawyers and judges briefly pausing to reflect that the "guy who built that road I drive to work on died" before getting back to the serious business of selfies and Insta-whatever. 

It's not just that Shula was one of the greatest coaches of all time. It's not just that he is the only coach in the history of professional sports to coach a championship team to an undefeated season. And followed that season with another super-bowl winning season. It's not just that he is the all-time winningest coach in professional football. It is that at a time when Miami was emerging as city of national importance, Shula helped put us on the map with the Miami Dolphins of the 1970's. Professional sports teams bring an identity to a city and can sometimes carry a city through hard times. The Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970's assumed the identity of the hard steel town, bringing Pittsburgh through the recessions and the change from steel manufacturing to tech and health care. 

While Miami did not suffer those economic hard times, the Dolphins  and Shula brought to this town something that Miami never had before- a winner. And a winning attitude. Shula became more than the Miami Dolphins. He became part of us. And that, dear readers, is why there is an expressway named after him. We will examine Coach Shula's career, and perhaps the best coaching year of his career (hint- it's not the 72 undefeated season) in more detail this weekend. 

Three thousand Americans will die every day in June from Covid-19. Two-hundred thousand new cases will be diagnosed every day in June. If you take away the declining numbers in New York, the curve in the United States is sharply rising, not falling. We are NOT on the other side of this pandemic. We are in the middle of it.

In February and March we shouted as loud as we could to close the courts and society down. Initially, no one listened. Hopefully decision makers are listening now. 

Very simply, we tell you this. If judges open courts, if politicians open cities for dining and recreation, millions of Americans will die and our economy will be destroyed. We will be involuntarily quarantined in the fall and winter because going out will mean illness with little hope of treatment at a collapsed health-care system,  and possible death

There are some potential bright spots on the horizon. Pfizer along with Biontech, using new RNA technology, has started a small clinical vaccine trial in humans with possible approval for emergency use in the fall. BUT assuming the vaccine is successful, companies still need to scale up for the production of BILLIONS of doses of the vaccine. And that doesn't just mean securing the chemicals for the new vaccine. It means securing the glass vials for storage; securing the delivery systems for the vaccine, be it oral or with syringes. It is a monumental Apollo-type project with several thousand moving parts that must be coordinated. And coordination shouldn't be a problem with a federal government led by a smart, science oriented, motivated president who listens to scientists and makes decisions based on the best interests of all of the citizens of this country....And coordination is going to be a very big problem with no one in the federal government able, or willing to lead. 

Happy Cinco De Mayo. Have a tequilla (at home) on us. 


Anonymous said...

Enjoying his retirement to the fullest, the Big Easy E has published his first series of Penobscot Island Maine waterfowl in both Acrylic and Watercolors. One reviewer wrote that "there is an American-Gothic like qualities that the artist has brought to Maine Spring Waterfowl that has never been seen before...this is refreshing and a bold new voice in Maine artistry...."

Anonymous said...

Inspirational verse:

There will be blue skies
Above the green and verdant plain
Churns will swell with fresh butter
There will be an abundance of sweet grain

And we will rise from our sleep
We won't have time to choose what things we'll keep
And rivers will all turn to blood
Frogs will fall from the sky
And the plague will rage
Through the countryside

There will be cotton clouds
Above the fields as white as cream
There will be loud singing
In the churches
As we all come out to take one for the team

And all our great schemes and plans
Will slip like fishes from our hands
And rivers will all turn to blood
Frogs will fall from the sky
And the plague will cover
The country with its anger

La la la la

Anonymous said...

Which scientists" opinions will control? Do they have to show that they hate Trump, support Hillary, and ignore the drooling presumptive nominee? Science is not an absolute, and when you are living in your Godless world, think of all of the people who have to work, who are not getting guaranteed checks, or who live in the underground economy. You Democrats have become the party of the elite.

Anonymous said...

Fuck this crazy stock market RUMPOLE. I’m going to cash. Selling into the insanity.

Wrong move? DEPRESSION coming?

Rumpole said...

Yes. I recommend going to cash. There is a second wave coming. We are going to make it a lot worse and the market is going to crash.

Anonymous said...

12:22:00 - Sometimes it's better to keep quiet and be presumed a fool than to open your mouth a remove all doubt. The democrats are no more the party of the elite than republicans are the party of the common man. In fact it's the reverse if anything, the wealthy in this country flock to the republicans because they are willing to preserve their status and give them the tax breaks they believe they so richly deserve. It doesn't matter who a scientist supports politically, what matters is whether they believe in science or not. Clearly this President does not.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole hack lawyer even hackier stock market forecaster

Anonymous said...

Chose your own adventure:

1. Lockdown until a vaccine; or

2. Seek herd immunity.

There is no third choice, and locking down until "July" -- or any other month -- is nonsensically arbitrary. Nothing magical happens July 1 or any other day. The virus will still be here. It will spread at the same rate. It will kill and enfeeble at the same rate.

So again -- either you prevent anyone from catching it until a vaccine (or treatment) exists... which may be 2021, who knows. Or you seek herd immunity, allowing the least at-risk groups (which here is anyone under 65 who has no pre-existing condition) to become exposed, likely be asymptomatic, and gain presumed immunity, so that the virus rapidly loses vectors and dies with nowhere to go.

The latter choice will indeed spike the infection number, that's the point. And with a spiked infection number, it will kill these young healthy people at its proven rate -- somewhere between 0.1 and 0.3%. Nothing to celebrate. But as we approach 60 to 70% herd immunity, we will have beat this.

Sounds daunting and like anyone I dont want to be in that 0.1-0.3%... but what choice do we have? The only other choice is staying locked down until a vaccine. Any magical date is bullshit

Anonymous said...

I remember (vaguely) some outrageous Cinco De Shumie celebrations at the Ren (a venue). Great food but even more great booze so most of the details are hazy. But those were the days my friend. We thought they'd never end.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Runpole for your market advice, as always.

Bold call to go to cash.

Do you anticipate permanent scars to the U.S. economy secondary to this pandemic and recession/depression? Have we seen the BEST of America in the past?

This is very sad for the next generations as the Federal Reserve spending will straddle our economy and the balance sheet. Trillions more in our deficit can never get paid back. Americans will no longer be able to afford homes, cars, decent restaurants and the lack of consumer spending will lead to a DEPRESSION with so many unemployed and homeless in the “new economy.”

This is a Biblical Plague on a runaway global society. A new paradigm of living is here.

Sir Wilfred said...

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of The Kent State Massacre

Anonymous said...

Courts are already closed 7/3 for 4th of July. No Jury trials until after the 4th.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, when you say the market is going to crash, how low do you see the Dow Jones going? During the most recent recession 12 years ago, the Dow reached a low of about 6600 during March 2009. Long time reader of your blog. I respect your opinion. Thank you for your input.

Rumpole said...

The lockdown is ending too soon. Do not blame the politicians. People cannot social distance. It's not in most people's DNA. We are as a human race social creatures. It led to our ability to populate the world. These eight weeks have been almost unbearable for most people. People will gather and over the summer there will be hot zones. But like the Spanish Flu pandemic, the real bad wave is coming this fall and winter. It will be bad and hard and severe. It will overwhelm the health care system and we will not have either a vaccine or an adequate treatment.
Hydroxychloroquine doesn't work, and remdesivir is not a cure all. It does help get some seriously ill people off a respirator, but it cannot be used like Tamiflu. So you will have a horrific second wave with no treatment and no vaccine. Now, doctors have gotten better treating patients with the virus. But it's a cocktail of treatments addressing certain side effects that can be partially stabilized to allow the patient to stay alive while their body fights off the virus. But that is not a cure.

So do the math. Bad outbreak. No vaccine. No Cure. Only lockdown. What did the market do the last time we faced that ( a month ago)? This will be worse. Dow at 10,000.
Massive bankruptcies. States and cities unable to make payroll to pay first responders. Hospitals overwhelmed. Supply chains broken.
Sorry. We are on the precipice of this disaster. It's 50-50 this occurs. So why risk it? Go to cash. Sell into this market. I am.

Within a month of Lehman declaring bankruptcy in 2008, Warren Buffet was in the market deploying over 25 billion in cash as a buyer. He was banking on the ultimate strength and security of the US economy.
You know how much money Buffet has spent buying stocks since the lockdown crash? ..Z...E..R...O.
Why do you think that? He has no confidence in our ability to handle this.
Buffet sold all his airline holdings for a billion dollar loss. Why? He has no confidence the economy bounces back over the next five years. Because if he did, he'd double down his airline purchases at half price. He can wait years for a stock or a sector to rebound. But if we can't defeat this virus within a few years, then people will not travel and there is no value in an airline stock at half price or less.
Buffett is not always right. KraftHeinz. Staying out of tech for 15 years. He's made his share of wrong calls. But along the way he amassed 140 billion in cash so he must know something, and I'm siding with him on this one.

Anonymous said...

Wow RUMPOLE. Great analysis. Makes total sense. Dow 10K. Be ready with cash.

The question is: Do you sell the entire portfolio and go completely to cash or hold certain stocks which would presumably hold up in a recession/depression?

Not only is the pandemic a once in a lifetime event - but this election in November may prove you be a nightmare too. Perhaps total anarchy or an attempt to not leave office. Perhaps right wing fanatics with their guns revolt and become violent? Look what is taking place with lone wolf extremists, militias and the armed protest last week in Michigan!

A revolution or Civil War is probably a low odds event, but so was below 0 dollar per barrel oil, a murder hornet, a global pandemic and Trump becoming president.

Cash will be king. Don’t be a fool. How could the market be at levels almost equal to what they were a few months ago when the US was enjoying the greatest economy that ever existed.

God help us.

Anonymous said...

"But if we can't defeat this virus within a few years..."

What you analysis ignores is herd immunity.

NYC was at 25% in the blink of an eye. You think we wont be at 75% after **an entire year**?

Or we get up to 40%, then rate of infection slows such that even limited social distancing lowers the rate of infection to say 1.2, then we get up to 50%, and it falls below 1.

If you don't have a prediction which takes into account herd immunity in some way in your analysis (or at least how increased infection rates slow the rate of transmission), you are not even in the conversation.

Anonymous said...

1:45 Which scientist will control? We know that he or she will have to be a Progressive Democrat because everyone else is vile and evil and unworthy. I bet you are getting a regular check. How about the people who are not? How about the underground economy. In addition to immigrants and other recipients of your concern, there are millions of Americans without food. Perhaps they can just chew on the thoughtful research papers of the scientists, that is the "correct" scientists. But, remember, all of you who are sucking at the guaranteed payroll nursing pump, it can run out, and sending money to states to bail out their pension plans cannot be eaten either. Let's see how popular the Dems stay with the African American once they can plainly see where they fall in their priorities of rectitude.

Rumpole said...

846 am- I ask you this- herd immunity at what price? 5 million Americans dead? I am not sure I want to pay that price with those odds. When I get surgery, the survival rate is always +99.9%. No doctor would operate without those odds unless it was an emergency. The survival rate for Covid is worse than that.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole: I am the poster at 8:18pm. Thank you for your response. It took time and effort to post that answer. Your opinion is very frightening. For everyone's sake, I hope your prediction does not come thru. I am a little bit more optimistic than you.

You make an excellent point about Warren Buffett deploying 25 billion in 2008 and not making any investment in 2020. This shows lack of confidence in the economy. I agree with you with one caveat. Warren Buffett is 89 years old. His partner Charlie Munger is 96 years old. I believe that if this pandemic had occurred in 2008 instead of 2020, things would be different. They would have deployed more money than zero dollars if the pandemic had occurred in 2008 when they were much younger and had more time to see their investments thru. I believe that. But when you are 89 years old and 96 years old respectively, it is a lot more difficult to be optimistic than if you are 77 and 84 years old. 12 years is a Long time in the human lifespan. It is even longer and more formidable the older you are. When you say Buffett can wait years for a stock and sector to rebound, I would argue that, due to his age, he cannot wait as many years as he could have in 2008. This increase of age leads to a decrease in optimism.

I am also of the belief that this is a vastly different world than in 1918 during the Spanish flu. The medical establishment is much different. Treatments and vaccines will be found Much faster than in 1918. There is world of difference in the amount of collaboration amongst national and international medical personnel and the speed with which information travels.

I agree with you that the Dow will go down but by less than you believe. Bottom will be 14,000 to 15,000 on the Dow.

Rumpole, need your opinion. Can you please bring out your crystal ball? ;-) Where do you see the Dow Jones exactly ten years from now on May of 2030? Say you are a financial advisor and there is a hypothetical young investor in his 30s with money to invest that comes to you. He will not need this money for the next 10 to 20 years. He also has cash assets. Do you believe it is sound advise to advise this client to dollar cost average every month? To buy index mutual fiunds and ETFs tied to the S & P 500 index? To also buy index funds and ETFs tied to the Biotechnology index? To Invest only in index funds and not individual stocks. What do you think? Thank you.

Rumpole said...

12:48 AM. What business do you want to be in? Airlines and travel and hospitality? No. You may say tech- Amazon for example, or my favourite Shopify, which is flying today after reporting. My response, is what good is Amazon's business when people stop buying or when so many people are sick that there isn't the delivery network there is now. Like Warren Buffett I cannot find an industry or a company I want to be in. That includes P&G and Clorox, which are defensive stocks. I say sell into this rally. Slowly. I started selling Appl at 280 and sold more today at 300. Take ten percent of that and put it into bear funds like SPDN or PSQ and hedge against a drop and stay in cash. You may miss a rally. And that sucks. But remember how worse you felt in march as the market was in free fall and you were cursing you didn't get out? That feeling is worse. I'll always take a profit and sit out a rally and be OK.

Rumpole said...

11:46 AM- I do not factor Warren and Charlie's age into their decisions (yes we are on a first name basis and I cannot get Warren to stop drinking his four sodas a day). The decisions they make are not personal but for Berkshire and their company so they are not investing as 90 year olds, but as business men for a company they want to endure. And they are very very worried we have very hard times ahead of us.
Kevin O'Leary, another compatriot I greatly admire, has this one suggestion for investing now- GOLD. Not because of the end-of-times scenario, but because of the inflationary impact of the government dumping 4 trillion dollars into the economy in a month. And I agree with him. I see inflation roaring back with the virus by the end of the year. Kevin says to avoid what he calls "pref securities" which is a fancy way of saying stocks paying high dividends- something Kevin and myself and Jim Cramer and millions of others have been buying for the last decade. And I reluctantly agree. So for example, I have owned a very stable regional bank- Valley Bank (VLLY) for years because it was paying me almost 7% year in and year out. Now I'm down 2-3 points from my basis at 9-10 and I have to decide if I want to sell this very stable income producing stock.
Interesting to note O'Leary loves Tesla - a stock he hated for years and finally bought about 18 months ago for $200 and now feels its a pure tech/data/auto driving play and is undervalued at 770. I agree on everything except his recent statement on TV that its undervalued. I'd be a buyer below $500 just like I'd be a buyer of Amazon below 1900 but it may never get there again.

Anonymous said...

Interesting Rump. The Q's been a buyer for a solid month now across the board.

Anonymous said...

If you are under fifty and infected with covid-19, you have a greater chance of dying while driving than you do of dying from your infection. Whats more, after two or three weeks -- unless this virus is singularly unique in the history of viruses -- you will no longer be a potential vector, putting anyone at danger. You will be immune.

(And by the way, if having been infected does not confer antibody immunity, then there will be no vaccine, by definition... ever.)

But by all means, let's usher in a Depression.

Anonymous said...

Any shumie update? He's been strangely quiet.

Anonymous said...

Rump- mask vs face shield or both? Going out shopping. Need to be safe.

DUI Guy said...

Noting that the 007 of DUI has retired. He has 004, and 009 in his office to pick up the slack. But there was only one 007 of DUI, the only lawyer with the license to kill the intoxilyzer.
End of an era that began with Essen & Essen and Mike Ruffino (RIP).

Real Fake Former Judge said...

end of an era indeed. I granted several of his motions in my day.

Anonymous said...

Is he the guy that filed and won all those Kotsin motions?

Rumpole said...

3:16 there are so many things you are wrong about it’s hard to know where to start. Immunity and vaccine issues is one. But first it will help if you stand up. Come on. Stand up. Go to your internet device and turn off Alex Jones. Then go to your TV and block Fox and Newsmax. Come on. 5e longest journey to sanity begins with the first step.

Anonymous said...

Who is the 007 of DUIs? I'm too young to know the old guys.