When it comes to the covid-19 problem, the media in the western world all tweet with the same key, which usually means they’re paid from the same pocket.
Not that there is anything wrong with it, it’s just how the power works.
This is the first deadly virus in human history you need be tested for to find out if you have it.
Some aspects of it are amusing - if you start coughing hard in a line up you will clear the store in seconds.
But what’s most important is invisible to the eye, and this is a quote from the “Little Prince”, a book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I remember reading it with a flashlight under the blanket after my mother sent me to bed, way back in Eastern Europe.
What has disappeared? For starters face expressions under the masks, we are no longer interacting as humans, which is what has created our culture.
I had no idea that this will bother me so much, but it does.
With the remote working regime I could be in Switzerland, or on the Amalfi coast on my motorcycle, I could be in the beautiful city of Warsaw, or up North in Ontario with my computer and headsets for calls and I will do my job.
I may have done most of it.
A few hints about transatlantic travel - they encourage you to buy food and drinks in the terminal and bring in onboard as the service during the flight is limited. What they don’t say is that for the night flight there is just water, no glass of wine before sleeping and you can’t bring you own. No pillows or blankets either.
The flight attendants are fully gowned up and look like doctors. I felt like I’m about to get a colonoscopy (recent memory) so I was sitting straight the whole night.
When words lose their meaning, people lose their freedoms, you know. The media and the governments are doing a terrible job handling this crisis, and the worst part is how this will destroy confidence of the people.
Negative interest rates demonstrate just how bad the confidence level of investors is, meaning they prefer to pile money into governments debt, facing certain loss, then in the real economy.
It also means that too much money was created, way above the needs of the economies to function. The argument always is – how do you know how much money in the system is enough? Well, there is actually a good answer to it – the retirement funds need about 8% annual return to meet their obligations. By law, they have limitations not to play with risky assets, so they are primarily invested in government paper.
So, here it is: a 30 year bond should yield about 8% per annum to make us safe in our golden years.
It yields minus 0.317% in Switzerland as of today, this is how far away we are from normal. This is a big deal, don’t take it lightly.
In the past, when people felt that the tax oppression and income inequality was to high, it would result in a rebellion on some scale, revolution even, and the French are always first to do it.
So, people would go after the real estate, land and gold of the rich, but the point is - it doesn’t make sense anymore.
Bill Gates’ house is not even in the first 50 most expensive properties, gold is a shallow, tiny market and the assets of this world are represented by entries in computers, be it stocks or bonds. What will happen if you go after it if you’re a rebel? Distribute the digital assets among the people, so they’ll try to sell it causing prices to collapse? And who will buy?
To end with an AC/DC moment, I got it all from a sweet woman and she was telling me no lies.
Tom Kubiak is the author of The Traveler