“We Still Expect To Be Paid” – America’s Largest Mall Operator Sues Gap For $70M In Back-Rent

“We Still Expect To Be Paid” – America’s Largest Mall Operator Sues Gap For $70M In Back-Rent

Tyler Durden

Thu, 06/04/2020 – 13:25

Largely shafted by the stimulus bills as Democrats tried to prevent any federal money from going to “Trump’s real-estate friends”, landlords have grown so desperate for revenue that they’re resorting to extreme and potentially burdensome tactics, like taking tenants to court to try and squeeze more blood from a stone.

Simon Property Group, one of the biggest – if not the biggest – mall operator in the US, us suing GAP, one of its largest tenants, claiming the retailer failed to pay more than $65.9 million in rent and other charges due during the coronavirus pandemic.

CNBC, which brought us the story, says the battle is unfolding in a Delaware state court. The lawsuit “highlights the mounting tension between retail landlords and their tenants, many of which stopped paying rent after the crisis forced them to shut stores.” It was filed on Tuesday. And a reporter at CNBC  was apparently told to “expect more” lawsuits, apparently by somebody at SPG.

That GAP hasn’t been paying rent isn’t a surprise; the company shared its plans to stop paying rent and other monthly expenses with shareholders, savings that it projected would put $115 million a month in GAP’s coffers. In total, SPG’s malls have 412 GAP stores, which makes GAP – and its Banana Republic and Old Navy brands – as one of the company’s biggest “in-line” tenants.

And GAP warned its shareholders about the prospects for litigating stemming from this decision back in April.

Gap also warned in late April that litigation could arise as a result of its skipped payments. “Although we believe that strong legal grounds exist to support our claim that we are not obligated to pay rent for the stores that have been closed…there can be no assurance that such arguments will succeed,” the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission at the time.

SPG CEO David Simon said his company still expects to be paid for the months those stores were closed, payments that would be a massive burden on GAP, which is already allowing burdensome debt service to eat into profits.

“The bottom line is, we do have a contract and we do expect to get paid,” he told analysts during a May 11 earnings conference call.

While April was a bad month for CMBS delinquencies, May was even worse. According to data provided by Trepp from earlier in the week, we showed that the delinquency rate in May logged its largest increase in the history of the metric since 2009. The reading was 7.15%, a jump of 481 basis points over the April number. What’s more, nearly 5% of that number is represented by loans in the 30-day delinquent bucket.

in May the Delinquency Rate logged its largest increase in the history of this metric since 2009. The May reading was 7.15%, a jump of 481 basis points over the April number. Almost 5% of that number pertains to loans in the 30-day delinquent bucket, meaning that the jump in delinquencies is being largely driven by the coronavirus-inspired deterioration in economic conditions. More bankruptcy data released Monday found bankruptcies jumped nearly 50% year-over-year in May.

To be sure, the data included some highlights: given that about 8% of loans had missed payments for the April remittance cycle (in the grace period), the fact that delinquencies climbed less than 5% has to be viewed as a small “win.” Either that, or the backlog in delinquency reporting might be larger than we suspect.

Whatever the case may be, it appears that “win” won’t last, and will be reversed next month, when the delinquency rate hits double digits as about 7.61% of loans (by balance) missed the May payment but remained less than 30 days delinquent (i.e., within the grace period).

Be it commercial or residential, landlords in the US have largely been left holding the bag for the country’s economic losses, as Democrats weeded out details in stimulus bills that would help alleviate the financial pain for ‘all the president’s friends in real estate.’ Of course, small-time landlords are the ones who’ll likely suffer the most. As we reported a couple of weeks ago, the stage is set for a “bankruptcy tsunami”.

That’s great news for “Uncle Carl”, who’s currently enjoying his semi-retirement in Florida.

As for speculation about the outcome, we suspect this is one of those court battles where both sides lose. As one Twitter wit pointed out…

…Well put.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3dzfsOg Tyler Durden

DoJ Launches Investigation As More Evidence Emerges That Someone Is Orchestrating The Violent Riots

DoJ Launches Investigation As More Evidence Emerges That Someone Is Orchestrating The Violent Riots

Tyler Durden

Thu, 06/04/2020 – 13:05

Authored by Michael Snyder via TheMostImportantNews.com,

The Department of Justice has announced that it is attempting to determine if there is a “coordinated command and control” behind the violent riots that have erupted all over the United States. 

In recent days, officials all over the country have used words such as “organized” and “organizers” to describe the orchestration that they have been witnessing in their respective cities.  And all over the U.S., law enforcement officials have reported finding huge piles of rocks and bricks pre-staged at protest locations in advance, and scouts have often been used to direct rioters to locations where police are not present.  In addition, something that we have been hearing over and over again is that many of the people that are involved in the violence are not known by any of the locals.  At this point, the evidence appears to be so overwhelming that some sort of national coordination is taking place that the Department of Justice has decided to launch a formal investigation

Federal law enforcement officials are probing whether “criminal actors” are coordinating violent activities during protests and are looking into reports that “rocks and bricks” have been dropped off to throw at police and other law enforcement as cities across the country grapple with the uptick in violence, a senior Department of Justice official said.

“You see the hallmarks… We’re trying to see if there’s a coordinated command and control, you see those bread crumbs and that’s what we’re trying to verify,” said the Department of Justice official.

The orchestration of the violence appears to be most advanced in major cities such as New York.  According to the head of the NYPD, “caches of bricks & rocks” have been strategically placed all over the city during the past several days…

The New York Police Department’s top cop is calling out “organized looters,” who he says are “strategically” leaving piles or buckets of debris on street corners citywide.

“This is what our cops are up against: Organized looters, strategically placing caches of bricks & rocks at locations throughout NYC,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea wrote in a Wednesday morning tweet, along with a video showing four blue boxes filled with gray debris.

Of course it is entirely possible that someone is buying bricks for the rioters, but Shea has pointed out that several construction sites in the city have had bricks stolen from them

“Pre-staged bricks are being placed and then transported to ‘peaceful protests,’ which are peaceful protests, but then used by that criminal group within,” he said. “We’ve had construction sites burglarized in recent days in Manhattan … during a riot, it’s interesting what was taken – bricks.”

Shea explained how bricks had previously been thrown at NYPD members in the Bronx, and water bottles filled with cement have also been used as weapons.

So it would appear that someone has been stealing bricks and leaving them in pre-staged piles for the rioters.

But at this point we don’t know precisely who is doing this or why they are going to so much trouble.

It is also being reported that teams of looters armed with power tools are systematically working together to loot one location after another in New York City.  The following is how one eyewitness described what she has been witnessing

One of the numerous police reports from eyewitnesses came from Carla Murphy, who lives in Chelsea.

Murphy, in an interview Tuesday, said she started hearing commotion from mobs of people along her street and neighboring streets about 10:30 p.m. Monday night. She first watched from her building and then went down to the street and saw organized groups of people working together to break in to store after store in the West Side neighborhood.

“Cars would drive up, let off the looters, unload power tools and suitcases and then the cars would drive away,” she said. “Then the cars would come back pick them up and then drive off to the next spot. They seemed to know exactly where they were going. Some of the people were local, but there were a lot of out-of-towners.”

This isn’t just a few angry protesters smashing a few windows.

This is organized crime at a very high level, and these people know exactly what they are doing.

Meanwhile, more evidence of coordination continues to emerge in other major cities as well

In Tampa, there were reports that members of the bomb team found mortars in bushes downtown, and bricks and other items were hidden in trash cans to throw at police officers.

In Seattle, a video out up online by an anarchist shows that around midnight, a crowd of 100-150 nearly all-white agitators with umbrellas started throwing bottles at police.

And for several more examples of this sort of orchestration, please see the article that I posted a couple of days ago.

It appears to be obvious that some sort of coordination is taking place, but now federal authorities are faced with the daunting task of trying to prove who is behind it.

According to Fox News, Justice Department officials are hoping to find “ways in which we can exploit phones and data communications that could give us a mosaic to see if there’s a coordinated command and control, that’s what we’re looking for.”

It is believed that social media is being heavily used to direct the movement of rioters and looters, and that would mean that there should be digital trails for investigators to follow.

Needless to say, many Americans believe that “Antifa” is behind much of the violence, and a brand new Rasmussen Reports survey has found that 49 percent of all U.S. voters believe that it should be declared a terror organization…

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 49% of Likely U.S. Voters think the “antifa” movement should be designated a terrorist organization. Thirty percent (30%) disagree, while 22% are undecided.

Hopefully those responsible for the violence will be discovered and brought to justice, because what we have been witnessing over the past week has been absolutely horrible.

Unfortunately, the level of anger in this country is likely to continue to rise the closer we get to election day, and more eruptions of violence are likely in the months ahead.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3dwRRh2 Tyler Durden

Vegas Has Officially Reopened: This Is What It Looks Like

Vegas Has Officially Reopened: This Is What It Looks Like

Tyler Durden

Thu, 06/04/2020 – 12:45

After 78 days of silence, the clinking-clanking of slot machines, whoosh of fountains, and chink of cheers-ing glasses is back in Las Vegas as Casinos reopened for gaming at 1201am on Thursday.

While buffets and shows (and strip clubs) remain closed…

(and not all properties are reopening today), “Play It Safe” is supposedly the priority (plexiglass, masks and social distancing reminders)…



As the sun rose Thursday on the Fremont Street Experience, gambler Eddie Gonzalez emerged from the Fremont with three friends. He’d been putting some wagers down and hadn’t lost money, but he hadn’t won any either.

“Even,” Gonzalez said. “Even is winning.”

Drew Casen, a Henderson man who described himself as “an international grand master of a game called bridge,” was waiting for doors to open with a suitcase in hand.

The 70-year-old, wearing a face mask unlike the handful of other guests at 8 a.m., said he’s been coming to the casino for 20 years to play craps. He got a room for two nights to celebrate the reopening and “get out of the house.”

“I’ve been cooped up for almost three months at home,” Casen said.

But… it seems visitors are more than willing to get a little closer…





Much like the protesters on the streets?

And there is plenty of room by the pool… for once!

The Bellagio is ready…

All-in-all – let’s hope that “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” as these gamblers (both monetarily and health-wise) head back to their homes.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/307zOdx Tyler Durden

CNN: White Children “Don’t Deserve Innocence”

CNN: White Children “Don’t Deserve Innocence”

Tyler Durden

Thu, 06/04/2020 – 12:25

Authored by Steve Watson via Summit News,

CNN gave airtime to an ‘anti-racist activist’ who suggested that white children should not be allowed to have an ‘innocent’ childhood, but rather be made to feel guilty about their ‘white privilege’ at an early age.

CNN host Poppy Harlow cited a letter sent to her from a school directing white parents how to teach their kids about their ‘white privilege’, and asked Tim Wise “When should parents do this with their kids and how?”

Wise responded that it should be at as young an age as possible, and that white kids need to be repeatedly told they are over privileged in order to sufficiently indoctrinate them.

“I think the important thing for white parents to keep in the front of our mind is that if black children in this country are not allowed innocence and childhood without fear of being killed by police or marginalized in some other way, then our children don’t deserve innocence.” Wise proclaimed.

“If Tamir Rice can be shot dead in a public park playing with a toy gun, something white children do all over this country every day without the same fear of being shot, if Tamir Rice can be killed, then white children need to be told at least at the same age, if they can’t be innocent, we don’t get to be innocent.” Wise continued.

“If we could keep that in the front of our minds, then perhaps we would be able to hear what black and brown folks are telling us every day and have been for many years.” he added.


Wise was also wheeled out Monday by CBS, where he claimed that white Americans have “been taught to have contempt for black life.”

CBS also featured a segment with Ibram X. Kendi, author of a book titled “Antiracist Baby” about how to indoctrinate children from birth on race by instituting ‘diverse baby play dates’ and the like.

So, white guilt sessions in the morning and the drag queen story time in the afternoon then?

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2z3taK9 Tyler Durden

US Exports, Imports Crater Most On Record As China Refuses To Comply With Trade Deal

US Exports, Imports Crater Most On Record As China Refuses To Comply With Trade Deal

Tyler Durden

Thu, 06/04/2020 – 12:05

While today’s trade balance print at $49.4 billion came generally in line as expected, the relative calm on the surface belies what has been a stunning collapse in absolute trade levels.

The problem is how the US got to that deficit print, and this is where it gets ugly: April exports were $151.3 billion, $38.9 billion less than March exports. In percentage terms, the 20.5% export drop was the biggest on record, going back to 1992. At the same time, April imports were $200.7 billion, $31.8 billion less than March imports, and a decline of 13.7%, also the most since records started in 1992.

The decline in merchandise exports was widespread with companies shipping less capital equipment, motor vehicles, consumer goods and industrial supplies such as oil. The nation also received fewer capital and consumer goods, vehicles and food from overseas producers as the US economy was put on ice.

Reflecting the global pandemic and lockdowns, the value of travel-related imports and exports slumped to $4.4 billion, an all-time low in data back to 1999.

Combined, the value of U.S. exports and imports decreased to $352 billion, the lowest since May 2010!

However, since both exports and imports tumbled by roughly a similar amount, the move in the total monthly trade balance was far more muted, sliding from $42.3BN to $49.4BN.

To be sure, foreign trade was already easing prior to the pandemic, and now, but faced with what Bloomberg called unprecedented supply-chain disruptions, a previously incomprehensible surge in U.S. unemployment and a drop-off in demand, the world’s largest economy has pulled back more dramatically.

Meanwhile, in a double whammy for the Trump administration, there was no sign of any real progress on the phase 1 deal with China, with soybean exports still lagging their 2019 pace.  



Source: Brad Setser

Furthermore, while China is generally obligated to elevate its imports from the US (on par with 2017 levels) as per the Phase 1 Trade deal, YTD data shows that there is virtually no pick up compared to 2018 or 2019.

Worse, food exports are at risk of declining after Chinese government officials this month telling state-run agricultural companies to pause purchases of some American farm goods including soybeans.

Meanwhile, in the latest slap for the Trump admin, the report showed the trade deficit with China growing as imports of merchandise from China rebounded in April to $35.2 billion from $24.2 billion in March, while exports edged up to $9.3 billion, leaving a deficit of $7.2 billion.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2Y3HKdd Tyler Durden

White House Plans $1 Trillion For Next Stimulus Round: Report

White House Plans $1 Trillion For Next Stimulus Round: Report

Tyler Durden

Thu, 06/04/2020 – 11:57

One day after Merkel’s coalition overcame ideological difference and passed a €130BN stimulus for the foundering German economy, the US is already out contemplating the next fiscal infusion, with Bloomberg reporting that the Trump administration now envisions as much another $1 trillion in the next round of economic stimulus – a number that seems oddly low at a time when some believe the US fiscal deficit may hit $8 trillion in 2020 – though the discussions scheduled for this week have been delayed.

Mitch McConnell told White House officials behind closed doors that “another round of fiscal stimulus from Congress could be just under $1 trillion”, a figure that administration officials are reportedly comfortable with.

Some more details from Bloomberg:

Top aides had planned to meet this week to discuss the next round of pandemic relief as more than 40 million people have lost jobs since states began restricting public activity in March. That meeting has been removed from the calender and has not been rescheduled yet, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The White House has been consumed this week with protests sweeping the nation over police brutality following the death in police custody of a black man in Minneapolis. Senate Republicans had no plans to act on a stimulus bill this month.

Any potential measure will likely not pass until after July 20, which is when a two-week recess scheduled to begin on July 3 begins.

As a reminder, last month the US passed a $3.5 trillion relief measure with nearly $1 trillion in aid for states and local governments facing revenue shortfalls. That bill would also provide a new round of direct stimulus payments to individuals along with money for testing and contact tracing.

Since it is now safe to say that any fiscal prudence or conservatism is dead and buried, and that the next $1 trillion will be followed by many more trillions as the US unleashes the full force of the helicopter army, we will just show the latest chart of Federal spending – a level which is about to explode much, much higher – without commentary.

 

 

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2XTgs96 Tyler Durden

COVID-19 Triggers Transformation Into A New Economy

COVID-19 Triggers Transformation Into A New Economy

Tyler Durden

Thu, 06/04/2020 – 11:45

Authored by Patrick Hill via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

This is Part 2 of a two-part article including sections 4 – and 5 – please read Part 1 for sections 1) COVID-19 Unique Event, 2) Virus Drives the Economy, and 3) Outlook for the U.S. Economy

Introduction

The economy was a very nice photo, than the pandemic turned it into a jigsaw puzzle that’s all messed up, now we’re trying to put it together and figure out if all the pieces are still here or not.

– Mohammed A. El-Arian, Chief Economist, Allianz

The novel COVID-19 virus has driven the world economy into the deepest recession since the Great Depression while shattering the linkages that previously held it together. Two months into the crisis and economists are still trying to figure out what has happened to supply chains and demand channels. As El-Arian, notes key components of the economy may be missing.

Some components will need to be created. Then all these components will need to realign into a “New Economy.” The challenge of rebuilding the economy will be influencing consumer behavior. Consumer spending is 70% of GDP.  Thus, growing employment is crucial toward increasing consumer confidence and recovery.  The central question is: how will the economy shift a growth track? We’ll look at crucial signposts along the way in building a new growth track by presenting the following topics: (The first three are from Part 1)

  1. COVID-19 – Unique Event – Examines the unique characteristics of the pandemic and how they set up certain economic trends.  Part 1

  2. Virus Drives the Economy – Looks at how the virus is driving the economy, how it is out of control and what strategies are working toward containment – Part 1

  3. Outlook For U.S. Economy – Takes a new perspective by overlaying the virus cycle with a deep U shaped economic cycle and how economic activity changes during each stage.  – Part 1

  4. New Economy – Describes the transformation of our society and how these changes will create losing and winning new businesses and how consumers will likely have conservative spending and saving habits – Part 2

  5. What We Need To Do To Create a New Economy – Recommends a federal team of scientific experts to be authorized to lead virus containment, investment in self-renewing innovation centers in hard hit pandemic areas and focus employment development on climate change solutions – Part 2

New Economy

The New Economy will feel different, much more virtually driven by software, the Internet, and be home centric. All major aspects of consumer behavior will be affected by the panipression (combination of panic, recession, and depression) experience opening new opportunities for products and services. In contrast, others will see reduced demand and be forced to close. Investors will want to watch these social trends as they cluster into a set of needs where businesses can flourish and become profitable.

Similar to the deep psychological scars of the 1930s, it will take time to repair the emotional, social, and mental damage of the pandemic. Today, a social trend called the Ameri-Can spirit is helping to heal people in a wave of unifying, uplifting virtual programs. Celebrities, social groups, and crowdsourced teams are using Internet hashtags links to raise funding for charities to provide financial assistance to restaurant workers, hotel workers, farmworkers, meat processing staff, entertainment crews, and thousands of others that have been furloughed or laid off. This Ameri-Can spirit plus our culture of entrepreneurship will create a new economy that will be robust.

Businesses will provide new services or products targeted at a cluster of behaviors related to values, social styles, and desires. Social distancing will change our behaviors so groups of behaviors will disappear, be sustained, or begin to emerge. Socially people will have to be encouraged to take a trip, get on a plane, or have an experience outside of their home when they have so many alternatives.

Let’s look at key consumer and business segments and how they may be transformed:

Hospitality

Consumers will be seeking experiences they cannot get at home.  We expect to see more experience-based travel packages that include hotel, meals, and an experience like a Costa Rica eco tour as a destination. For sought after destinations like Hawaii, Europe or Disneyland, the attractiveness will still be there. However, for small resorts, villages, or towns with a singular appeal, they will have to differentiate and create traffic in innovative ways to hold out during the contraction and trough stages of the recession.  Airlines are already making ‘pandemic cleanliness promises’ and will continue to build on making passengers feel safe.  Hotels will need to make guests feel safe as well and focus on the destination appeal, amenities, and service to a far greater degree than they needed to in the past. Local restaurants that shifted to take out during the pandemic and survived will be able to go back to their usual food fare if it has new appeal.  The foodservice industry is likely to be even more competitive than before, with the major chains surviving and the local community restaurants failing during the lockdowns. The rental car industry has many choices with some firms with high debt levels, so we may see industry consolidation.

Work At Home

Home will become a central focus for new services.  More services will come to the home than ever before with added twists and features for:  meal delivery and pickup, car servicing, pet grooming, mobile dentistry, and laundry delivery.  As workers are likely to have little savings and limited credit, so car sales will likely drop, replaced by even more ride-sharing.  The auto industry will be faced with declining auto sales yet, there will be increased demand for cars by ride-sharing drivers and new autonomous car services.   Personal fitness or yoga training will be offered online, along with many personal development classes held virtually. The number of car trips to work will decline causing gasoline demand to drop lower than pre-pandemic levels. Car rentals for out-of-region trips will be in even higher demand as fewer consumers will own a car.   E-Commerce will continue to grow as people have become accustomed to most things being delivered to their homes. Retailers will need to differentiate their offerings by expertise that consumers can’t get online.  For example, going to a nursery to buy a plant means seeing the plant’s condition. To close the sale, the consumer will want to ask an expert gardener how to plant it and care for it.  Shopping malls will need to develop attractions or experiences to motivate consumers to leave their homes and shop. 

Work at Office or Plant

Companies will soon discover that having employees work at home as many days as possible will reduce their costs.  The need for office space will likely be reduced, and the need for a variety of support services like cafeterias, lounges, team rooms, etc. will decline.  The need for shared office tenant spaces will fall. After all, except for key meetings, it is cheaper to have their employees work from home and eliminate or reduce office space, computer systems, utilities, and all the overhead of an employee office. Manufacturers will figure out how to achieve the same level of production using fewer employees. Production management systems will continue to be installed with sophisticated automation systems using artificial intelligence features. As more robots are installed we expect they will stay in place so manufacturing employment will not return to pre-COVID-19 levels. Features like non-touch time clocks, automated employee temperature monitoring, and other pandemic related services will probably be kept in place post-COVID-19.

Technology Services

Consumers already using the internet 24 hours a day will be looking for more ways to use laptops and internet services.  Demand for high-speed internet services will be even greater. Many consumers use personal assistants like Alexa. We expect using personal assistants to gain new users after their shelter-in-home experience.  We can expect to see more artificial intelligence features added to ‘dumb’ devices like refrigerators to provide monitoring of food usage, make recommendations, and suggest food purchases based on usage. Home security systems do surveillance today like turning on lights while a person walks from room to room.  These systems may add employee temperature surveillance, so companies will know how healthy their employees are at home.  There is likely to be increased stress from the blurring of family versus home life, and issues related to child care. This stress may impact work from home so firms will be interested in monitoring work at home activity. Firms will be able to use retina scans to determine how focused a worker is on his screen. The scans will be reported back to companies to know when their employee was at their computer, and for hourly workers, how many hours they have worked.

Health

After their pandemic experience, consumers will be obsessed with their fitness. Some consumers may look for their doctor to become a ‘health consultant’ helping them to stay healthy with a focus on preventive medicine, diet, and lifestyle management.  Artificial intelligence will be applied to diagnostics as medicine becomes ever more complex and expensive to reduce doctor’s hours and costs. Telemedicine will become the norm for visits as patients will want to stay home if they can.  In some cases, doctor’s offices and clinics will shrink in size as being ‘on-premise’ for doctor visits will be a premium service. Clinics will shift some services to urgent care. Consumers will take even more control of their health, use more online advice services, and drug delivery apps. The use of stress reduction virtual apps will soar to help people transition into normal life as they use mindfulness to go out ‘into the real world’ again.

Entertainment

The merging of the internet with television and streaming channels will be accelerated.  Internet applications like polling, audience interaction, and 3D experiences will merge with consumers doing things at home they would otherwise go out to do.  During quarantine, entertainers have opened their homes to produce programs they used to do from studios. We expect more mixing of these personal entertainer ‘home visits’ to create an artificial intimacy with audiences that are not with them in person. The boundaries between movies, television shows, and gaming will continue to blur. For example, group ‘Minecraft games’ with a host and multi-player options become the norm. The focus on delivering entertainment to the home means less need for studio space and expensive studio crews. Audiences will still demand live concerts, though we expect to see more tie-ins with virtual pre-concert events and games along with post-concert follow up with entertainers.

Learning

Higher education will transition into lower-cost online learning. College online learning will become the standard.  In person education will be ‘extra’ at the college level.  The emphasis online learning to the home in elementary grades will place new stress on teachers and require far more sophisticated software for learning than is available today.  Small colleges that focus on ‘in person’ learning experiences will be hard pressed to attract students during the lockdown or reopening phases of the pandemic control. We expect that many small colleges may be forced to close or merge their curriculum and teaching staff with other larger schools that have the ability to attract a large enough student base to be financially viable.

Housing

Home sales will take a long time to recover from the market contraction of the pandemic.  Millennials have often been the first to be laid off, have little savings, and spend more on experiences than saving for large purchases. Major incentives will have to be offered by builders and existing homeowners as the market will be slow to return to pre-pandemic sales levels. Homes will be remodeled, and new homes built to accommodate the home centric needs for office space, closed off family rooms, and sound dampening for video conferencing privacy.  Apartments that offer ‘work-at-home’ floor plans and capabilities will be in demand while smaller apartments will see reduced demand.  The pandemic may force home buyers to think about leaving the city and its density to suburbs or even further out since they can use the internet to do their job. An essential homebuyer requirement that their home is near their office will no longer be as crucial in locating a home for purchase.

Banking

Many banks have closed their retail offices due to social distancing.  We expect banks to close many retail offices as being too expensive. Thus, customers to see a banker will need to make an appointment to see their banker at a specific branch. Virtual banking relationships will be the norm. Direct digital transfer of funds will grow leaving banks out of money transfers, particularly between customers and small businesses. Tap and go credit cards will be a standard way of handing a transaction at stores without touching cards or receipts.  Digital wallets with financial account information will be readily adopted as tech savvy millennials become the dominant consumer group.

Consumers will think about money differently as a result of a panipression experience. Not having money for food, rent, or utilities will leave emotional scars and teach new habits.  Similar to the Great Depression generation, consumers are likely to use less credit, increase their savings and be careful about getting over-leveraged with significant purchases. They will make conservative investments similar to baby boomers after the 2008 recession, who did not reinvest in stocks. Building consumer spending will likely take three or more years to reach previous levels.

The New Economy will feel different, much more virtually driven by software, the internet and home centric. All major aspects of consumer behavior will be affected by the panipression experience opening new opportunities for products and services. In contrast, others will see reduced demand and be forced to close. Investors will want to watch emerging social trends as they cluster into a set of needs where businesses can flourish and become profitable.

What We Need To Do To Create A New Economy

Virus Containment

Challenge: The most crucial next step is to contain the virus and provide people with the confidence to go about their social life without the fear of becoming infected.

Proposal: Provide unifying intelligent leadership at the federal level to overcome the virus. The people need support, compassion, and hope, not divisive politics, bickering, and conspiracy theories as a basis of policy. A federal team of scientists using facts, research, and the latest techniques for pandemic containment needs to be authorized to bring the virus under control quickly. Other countries like Germany have focused their efforts on containment without politics leading to moderate success in virus containment.

Self-Renewing Economy Investment

Challenge: Rural areas of the country were already in recession from being hollowed out by manufacturing moving overseas.  The pandemic has ravaged inner-city areas where many hourly workers lived in tight quarters.  Small businesses across all regions are reeling from the lockdowns temporally shutting their businesses down, forcing them onto a financial cliff.

Proposal: Build New Economy innovation development centers using the Silicon Valley model. We see promise in using a Silicon Valley model of integrated partnerships between venture capitalists, company incubators, universities, and local government to build new businesses.  The model has been used in places like Portland, Oregon with their Silicon Forest and in Salt Lake City with their Silicon Slope to build successful self-renewing economies.  We recommend that this model be used to target inner-city regions, rural areas, or any area where the pandemic has taken a toll on the local economy.  Since the federal government has limited funding we recommend the government act as a ‘seed’ investor to jump-start these development centers with partner investments by venture capitalists and cash rich firms like Apple, Google, and Microsoft.  To ensure a well-trained labor force, the centers could be located near university campuses and integrated into degree or certification programs. The Department of Education could assist with scholarships for workers that need tuition and fees financial aid to study at the universities.

Climate Change Solutions

Challenge: While the focus over the next three to five years will rightly be on containing the virus and rebuilding the economy, the existential climate change problem continues to go unsolved.  The impact of climate change is already felt in rising seas flooding coast side cities and mega wildfires destroying millions of acres.

Proposal: Focus employment development in renewable industries.  The pandemic economic slowdown has reduced carbon emissions by 8% during the past two months, according to experts.  The latest U.N. climate change analysis recommends that an 8% a year reduction in emissions be continued until 2030 to achieve the global emissions reduction target of 2 degrees CelsiusA U.N. sponsored Science Based Targets Initiative organization of 890 companies has endorsed shifting investments and employment toward reaching the 2030 emissions reduction target. A diverse set of 165 U.S. companies are SBTI members including: WalmartTarget, Coca-Cola, Adobe, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Owens-CorningWhirlpool, Proctor & Gamble, and Verizon. We should start now solving the next major global challenge by focusing on federal, non-government organizations, private research, and business development on innovative solutions to climate change problems.  Focusing on climate change for job creation ensures that we tackle two major issues: employment and climate change.  With so many workers unemployed we should shift their skills to a new industry that has been growing fast and is urgently needed while offering long term careers

Final Comment

We expect corporate leaders to take the lead in employment development for a long term economic transformation as political divisions will continue.  We noted in our post: A Pandemic Iceberg Hits the ‘Unsinkable’ US Economy’ that the fabric of a robust labor safety net needs to be built to mitigate the impact of an economic crisis like COVID-19 on labor in the future.  It is in the interest of executives to build businesses where workers are thriving, not just surviving. The focus must be on building an innovative economy that is creating new jobs through entrepreneurship. Otherwise, we are faced with a stagnating economy dependent on government transfer payments. We conclude with the following declaration from that post:

Americans built the most innovative, self-renewing, wealth building economy in the world.  It is the American spirit of entrepreneurship combined with invention, self-sacrifice, equal opportunity, and creativity that will build the businesses of the futureThese new businesses will adjust to new social realities and pave the way for workers to gain job security and become confident enough to spend at robust levels.”

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2XuEUyJ Tyler Durden

US Protest Arrests Surpass 10,000; Officials Fear New COVID-19 Explosion As Jails Swell

US Protest Arrests Surpass 10,000; Officials Fear New COVID-19 Explosion As Jails Swell

Tyler Durden

Thu, 06/04/2020 – 11:26

A new nationwide tally produced by the Associated Press finds protest arrests across America has topped 10,000 since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week.

Events quickly spiraled in many major American cities into rioting, looting, and general lawlessness as mobs of angry protesters took ever entire city blocks; however, many demonstrations have remained peaceful  surprisingly such as protests in Flint, Michigan — notable given its recent history of tensions with local government over the water crisis. 

Los Angeles has seen the most arrests nationwide, accounting for over a quarter, while the second most is in New York, with Dallas and Philadelphia to follow. 



Protest arrests in Dallas. Image source: NBC DFW

The bulk of arrests have been for low-level offenses like curfew violation or failure to disperse, while multiple hundreds have been detained for looting and burglary.

Another interesting finding is related to the ‘outside agitators’ theory pushed by some mayors and governors of various states, who have alleged most of the rioting and looting was carried out by people outside their states.

“The AP found that in a 24-hour period last weekend, 41 of 52 people with protest-related arrests in the city had a Minnesota driver’s license,” The Hill summarizes of the figures.” “About 86 percent of the more than 400 people arrested in Washington, D.C., as of Wednesday afternoon were from the District, Maryland or Virginia.”

Perhaps the most important statistics to come out of the week of protest mayhem, however, will be related to the coronavirus spread within the protesting throngs.

Over the weekend and at the start of the week US health officials warned of the protest risks regarding the potentially deadly virus:

The risk is even more pronounced when factoring in the more than 5,600 demonstrators who have been arrested, according to The Associated Press.

Not only are jails crowded indoor spaces, but protesters sat in vehicles at close range for an extended period of time, which increases the risk for onward transmission of the virus, Osterholm explained.



Via AP

The country went from observing months of strict lockdown, stay-at-home orders, and social distancing measures to witnessing tens of thousands squeezed into city streets – and often clashing in ‘close quarter combat’ scenarios with police lines – pretty much overnight. 

It’s expected a dreaded second wave could come out of this, especially given the current protest epicenters of New York, Minnesota and Los Angeles were already hard-hit places in terms of COVID-19.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2z79TYq Tyler Durden

The Absolute Insanity Of Retail FOMO In Just Three Headlines

The Absolute Insanity Of Retail FOMO In Just Three Headlines

Tyler Durden

Thu, 06/04/2020 – 11:20

We have written extensively about the sheer retail FOMO euphoria that has gripped markets (How Retail Investors Took Over The Stock Market; “It’s Like Gambling, Isn’t It?”: First Time Retail Investors Piled Into Stocks During March Plunge; “For Guys Like Me, It’s All About Sheer Luck”: Why Retail Traders Are Facing “Catastrophic Losses“) so we won’t dwell on this topic suffice to point out the stock chart of (the aptly named) Genius Brands – a company that makes educational DVDs and CD music – and just three headlines, all hitting within one hour, and revealing the insanity of what happens when everyone pours into the market.

And the result:

And yes, GNUS is the most popular stock on Robinhood today…

… where retail investors flooded the microcap company, resulting in the completely unwarranted surge in its stock price.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2zQt35f Tyler Durden

Project Veritas Infiltrates Violent Antifa Cell

Project Veritas Infiltrates Violent Antifa Cell

Tyler Durden

Thu, 06/04/2020 – 11:10

An undercover journalist with Project Veritas successfully infiltrated Portland’s Rose City Antifa cell, capturing footage of a meeting in which members discussed how to “get out there and do dangerous things as safely as possible.

Antifa has been a fixture at the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality (with varying degrees of success) which began after the May 25 death of 46-year-old black man George Floyd at the hands of white Minneapolice police officer Derek Chauvin, who pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes as onlookers begged him to stop.

According to National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien on Sunday, the violence “is being driven by Antifa.



A protester with an antifa flag draped over his shoulders stands at a rally to demand justice for George Floyd and support of the Black Lives Matter movement in Boston on May 31. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee / The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

And in Portland, members of Antifa are actively plotting ways to commit violence against their enemies while not getting caught.

Practice things like an eye gouge, it takes very little pressure to injure someone’s eyes,” member Nicholas Cifuni was recorded saying by the Project Veritas journalist.

“Police are going to be like: ‘Perfect, we can prosecute these [Antifa] fuckers, look how violent they are.’ And not that we aren’t, but we need to fucking hide that shit,” he added. 

“Consider like, destroying your enemy. Not like delivering a really awesome right hand, right eye, left eye blow you know. It’s not boxing, its not kickboxing, it’s like destroying your enemy.

“The whole goal of this, right, is to get out there and do dangerous things as safely as possible,” said Rose City Antifa member ‘Ashes’.

“They do not hesitate to either push back or incite some kind of violence. In our classes and in our meetings, before we do any sort of demonstration or Black Bloc, we talk about weapons detail and what we carry and what we should have.” -Project Veritas undercover journalist

Watch:

“Project Veritas does not condone any violence whatsoever. It is a sad time in our nation’s history with Antifa activists hijacking #blacklivesmatter protests in cities across the country, attacking the police and engaging in violence,” said Project Veritas Founder and CEO, James O’Keefe.

“In many places, it appears the violence is planned, organized & driven by anarchic left extremist groups — far-left extremist groups using Antifa-like tactics.”

President Trump announced earlier this week that Anitfa would be designated a terrorist organization.

To that end, the Rose City Antifa cell has repeatedly planned for, and engaged in “direct confrontation” with participants in pro-Trump rallies. In 2018, they notably clashed with members of Patriot Prayer and the pro-Trump “Proud Boys,” which resulted in a viral video of a member of Antifa being knocked out during a melee started by the violent “resistance” group. 

And in 2017, Berkeley police recovered several caches of weapons from members of Antifa who were had planned to attack Trump supporters.

You know, terrorist stuff… 

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2Xw1zKW Tyler Durden