Covid19 – ghi chú từ Johns Hopkins

Đại học Johns Hopkins đã gửi ghi chú chi tiết về việc tránh lây nhiễm. Chia sẻ càng nhiều càng tốt

  • Virus không phải là một sinh vật sống, mà là một phân tử protein (RNA) được bao phủ bởi một lớp lipid bảo vệ (chất béo), khi được hấp thụ bởi các tế bào của niêm mạc mắt, mũi hoặc buccal, làm thay đổi mã di truyền (đột biến) và chuyển đổi chúng thành các tế bào xâm lược và nhân.
  • Vì virut không phải là một sinh vật sống mà là một phân tử protein, nó không bị giết mà tự phân rã. Thời gian phân rã phụ thuộc vào nhiệt độ, độ ẩm và loại vật liệu nơi nó nằm.
  • Virus rất dễ vỡ; điều duy nhất bảo vệ nó là một lớp mỡ mỏng bên ngoài. Đó là lý do tại sao bất kỳ xà phòng hoặc chất tẩy rửa là phương thuốc tốt nhất, bởi vì bọt đánh tan mở/CUTS the FAT (đó là lý do tại sao bạn phải chà xát quá nhiều: trong 20 giây trở lên, để tạo ra nhiều bọt). Bằng cách hòa tan lớp chất béo, phân tử protein tự phân tán và tự phân hủy.
  • NHIỆT làm tan mỡ; Đây là lý do tại sao nó rất tốt để sử dụng nước trên 25 độ C để rửa tay, quần áo và mọi thứ. Ngoài ra, nước nóng tạo ra nhiều bọt hơn và điều đó càng hữu ích hơn.
  • Rượu hoặc bất kỳ hỗn hợp nào có cồn trên 65% làm tan/DISSOLVES/ BẤT KỲ Mở NÀO, đặc biệt là lớp lipid bên ngoài của virus.
  • Bất kỳ hỗn hợp nào với 1 phần thuốc tẩy và 5 phần nước hòa tan trực tiếp protein, phá vỡ nó từ bên trong.
  • Nước có oxy giúp giữ lâu sau xà phòng, rượu và clo, vì peroxide hòa tan protein virut, nhưng bạn phải sử dụng nó nguyên chất và nó làm tổn thương làn da của bạn.
  • KHÔNG DÙNG BACTERICIDE. Virus không phải là một sinh vật sống như vi khuẩn; họ không thể giết chết những gì không còn tồn tại với anthobamel, nhưng nhanh chóng làm tan rã cấu trúc của nó với mọi thứ đã nói.
  • KHÔNG BAO GIỜ lắc rũ quần áo, tấm ga giường hoặc vải đã sử dụng hoặc chưa sử dụng. Trong khi nó được dán vào một bề mặt xốp, nó rất trơ và tan rã chỉ trong khoảng 3 giờ (vải và xốp), 4 giờ (đồng, vì nó có tính sát trùng tự nhiên và gỗ, vì nó loại bỏ tất cả độ ẩm và không để nó bóc ra và tan rã), 24 giờ (bìa cứng), 42 giờ (kim loại) và 72 giờ (nhựa). Nhưng nếu bạn lắc nó hoặc sử dụng khăn lau lông vũ, các phân tử virus trôi nổi trong không khí tới 3 giờ và có thể đọng lại trong mũi bạn.
  • Các phân tử virus vẫn rất ổn định trong cái lạnh bên ngoài, hoặc nhân tạo như máy điều hòa không khí trong nhà và xe hơi. Chúng cũng cần độ ẩm để ổn định, và đặc biệt là bóng tối. Do đó, môi trường hút ẩm, khô, ấm và sáng sẽ làm suy giảm nó nhanh hơn.
  • UV LIGHT trên bất kỳ vật thể nào có thể chứa nó sẽ phá vỡ protein của virus. Ví dụ, để khử trùng và tái sử dụng mặt nạ là hoàn hảo. Hãy cẩn thận, nó cũng phá vỡ collagen (vốn là protein) trong da, cuối cùng gây ra nếp nhăn và ung thư da.
  • Virus KHÔNG THỂ đi qua làn da khỏe mạnh.
  • Giấm KHÔNG hữu ích vì nó không phá vỡ lớp mỡ bảo vệ.
  • SPIRITS, VODKA, KHÔNG CÓ TÁC DỤNG. Vodka mạnh nhất là 40% cồn, và bạn cần 65%.
  • LISTERINE TRỊ NÓ! Đó là cồn 65%.
  • Không gian càng bị giới hạn, càng có nhiều nồng độ của virus. Càng mở hoặc thông gió tự nhiên, càng ít.
  • Đây là siêu nói, nhưng bạn phải rửa tay trước và sau khi chạm vào niêm mạc, thực phẩm, khóa, núm, công tắc, điều khiển từ xa, điện thoại di động, đồng hồ, máy tính, bàn, TV, vv Và khi sử dụng nhà vệ sinh .
  • Bạn phải giử ẩm TAY không để KHÔ từ việc rửa tay thật nhiều, bởi vì các phân tử có thể ẩn trong các vết nứt nhỏ. Kem dưỡng ẩm càng dày thì càng tốt.
  • Đồng thời giữ móng tay chân ngắn / NAILS SHORT của bạn ngắn để virus không ẩn ở đó.

Tuần – Week 23 – 28/03/2020…

Ngưng trệ…

Stagnant …

Gói cứu trợ Mỹ cần phải hiểu cho đúng mục đích là không phải để chống suy thoái, mà là cứu người dân và chủ động với suy thoái để cả nền kinh tế “ngủ đông”; các nước khác thì sao? Tại sao chỉ lo cho nền kinh tế khi mà chủ thể vận hành nó là con người???

The US bailout package needed to be understood for the right purpose, not to fight recession, but to save people and actively prepare for recession so that the whole economy could “hibernate”; what about other countries? Why does only worry about the economy while operating it was human ???

Các sự kiện chính – Main events:

Trước tình hình dịch bệnh đã được kiểm soát tốt ở Trung Quốc với số ca nhiễm mới giảm mạnh, các công ty Trung Quốc đang dần hoạt động trở lại sau một thời gian ngưng trệ. Tuy nhiên, ngoài việc đáp ứng thị trường nội địa đang dần dần hồi sinh, họ phải phụ thuộc rất nhiều vào các thị trường nước ngoài – nơi virus vẫn còn đang hoành hành dữ dội; trò chơi không còn riêng của quốc gia nào cả…

In the face of a well-controlled epidemic in China with a sharp drop in new infections, Chinese companies were slowly returning to operation after a period of stagnation. However, in addition to responding to the slowly reviving domestic market, they had to rely heavily on foreign markets where the virus had been still raging violently; the game was no longer exclusive to any country …

Lo ngại về an ninh lương thực toàn cầu gần đây gia tăng khi khoảng 1/5 dân số thế giới bị cách ly để ngăn chặn sự lây lan của dịch virus corona (Covid-19) – dịch bệnh đến ngày 26/3 đã lây nhiễm tới hơn 470.000 người ở trên 200 quốc gia, làm cho khoảng 21.000 người tử vong. Tại những nơi virus này tấn công, các gia đình cuống cuồng mua tích trữ các mặt hàng như giấy vệ sinh, các sản phẩm rửa tay, khiến cho các kệ hàng ở hầu hết các siêu thị trở nên trống trơn… nhưng đối phó với nạn dịch thì những sản phẩm này chỉ là góp phần chứ không phải là phương pháp chống dịch…

Concerns about global food security had recently increased while about one fifth of the world’s population was quarantined to prevent the spread of the corona virus (Covid-19) – an epidemic that had spread until March 26. infected more than 470,000 people in 200 countries, causing about 21,000 deaths. In the places where the virus had hit, families were frantically buying items such as toilet paper and hand-washing products, leaving the shelves in most supermarkets empty, but dealing with them. epidemic, these products were only an add-on, not an anti-epidemic treatment…

Đối phó với tình trạng giá thịt heo vẫn rất cao trên thị trường, Bộ Nông nghiệp và Phát triển Nông thôn cho biết, 15 công ty của Việt Nam đã ký kết hợp đồng mua thịt heo từ Tập đoàn Miratorg của Nga. Đây là doanh nghiệp thịt heo top đầu ở Nga với sản lượng đạt khoảng 500.000 tấn mỗi năm. Hiện, Tập đoàn Miratorg đã chuyển gần 3.500 tấn thịt heo xuống tàu để xuất sang Việt Nam theo hợp đồng ký kết trước đó. Đến nay, có gần 1.500 tấn đã cập cảng Cát Lái, Hải Phòng và Phước Long; khoảng gần 2.000 tấn thịt heo cũng đang trên đường về Việt Nam. Miratorg kỳ vọng năm nay sẽ xuất sang Việt Nam khoảng 50.000 tấn thịt heo và số lượng sẽ tăng theo nhu cầu thị trường.

Dealing with the high price of pork in the market, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that 15 Vietnamese companies had signed contracts to buy pork from Miratorg Group of Russia. It was the leading pork enterprise in Russia with an output of about 500,000 tons per year. Currently, Miratorg Group had transferred nearly 3,500 tons of pork to ships for export to Vietnam under a contract signed earlier. To date, nearly 1,500 tons had been docked at Cat Lai, Hai Phong and Phuoc Long; About 2,000 tons of pork were also on the way to Vietnam. Miratorg expected this year to export about 50,000 tons of pork to Vietnam and the amount would increase according to market demand.

Từ vấn nạn đập thủy điện ngăn phù sa lắng đọng, khai thác cát, khai thác nước ngầm không kiểm soát, người dân sống ven sông miền Tây đang lo âu sau khi “thủy thần” liên tục nuốt chửng nhà, rừng phòng hộ, kè đê biển, đường sá… trong phút chốc. Miền Tây hiện có hơn 560 điểm sạt lở bờ sông, biển với chiều dài gần 800 km. Trong đó, 57 điểm xói lở nghiêm trọng, dài 160 km. Mỗi năm, sạt lở cuốn mất 300-500 ha đất, hàng nghìn hộ dân phải di dời khỏi vùng nguy hiểm.

From the critical issue of hydroelectric dams to prevent sediment deposition, sand exploitation, uncontrolled underground water exploitation, people living along the Western River were anxious after the “water god” continuously swallowed houses, protective forests, embankments, roads … within an winking moment. The West currently had more than 560 points of river and sea erosion with a length of nearly 800 km. Of which, there were 57 points of serious erosion, 160 km long. Each year, landslides took 300-500 hectares of land, thousands of households had had to be moved from the danger zone.

Tại sao nó ảnh hưởng – Why is it affected:

Nhiều công ty châu Âu và Mỹ đã hủy đơn đặt hàng, hoặc chậm thanh toán. Bất chấp các chính sách hỗ trợ mạnh mẽ của chính phủ, nếu tình hình dịch bệnh trên thế giới không sớm cải thiện thì các công ty Trung Quốc sẽ chưa thể hồi phục bởi bị tác động từ 2 phía: chuỗi cung ứng gián đoạn và lực cầu bên ngoài lao dốc. Cả năm 2020, kim ngạch xuất khẩu của Trung Quốc có thể dễ dàng giảm 10% hoặc hơn. Theo Larry Hu, chuyên gia kinh tế trưởng tại Macquarie Group, điều tồi tệ nhất vẫn còn chưa đến…

Many European and American companies had canceled orders or delayed payment. In spite of the government’s strong support policies, if the epidemic situation in the world was not improved soon, Chinese companies would not be able to recover due to two sides’ impacts: the supply chain had been interrupted and the demand outside was going down. For the whole 2020, China’s export turnover could easily fall 10% or more. According to Larry Hu, chief economist at Macquarie Group, the worst was not yet to arrive …

Hồi khủng hoảng tài chính năm 2008, giá gạo thế giới đã từng đạt mức kỷ lục của mọi thời đại, là 1.000 USD/tấn, khi đó hàng loạt các quốc gia hạn chế xuất khẩu gạo giữa bối cảnh làn sóng mua mạnh từ phía người tiêu dùng đẩy giá tăng vọt. Giá lúa mì ở Chicago cũng tăng gần 10% trong tháng này. Trong khi đó, giá gạo của Thái Lan (loại 5% tấm – dùng tham chiếu cho toàn thị trường gạo nước này) đã tăng lên mức cao nhất kể từ tháng 9/2013, là USD 492,5/tấn. Chủ tịch danh dự Hiệp hội xuất khẩu gạo Thái Lan (TRPA) Somkiat Makayatorn cho biết giá gạo xay xát ở Thái Lan đã tăng từ USD 0,38/kg tháng 1/2020 lên USD 0,46/kg hiện nay (tăng 20-30%), và cảnh báo giá sẽ còn tăng thêm nữa trong thời gian tới, đến khoảng tháng 8 hoặc 9/2020, khi có gạo vụ mới bán trên thị trường. Chủ tịch danh dự Hiệp hội các nhà xuất khẩu gạo Thái Lan (TREA) Chookiat Ophaswongse cho biết, các nhà nhập khẩu gạo lúc này đều muốn nhận 100% hàng đã đặt ngay lập tức, khác với trước đây là thường yêu cầu giao 50% sau khi đặt mua, phần còn lại sẽ nhận sau khoảng 1 tháng hoặc lâu hơn tùy hợp đồng. Hiện Thái Lan đang có một số hợp đồng mua gạo từ nước ngoài, đặc biệt là gạo ngon như Hom Mali, từ Hong Kong (Trung Quốc), Singapore, Mỹ và Canada.

During the 2008 financial crisis, the world rice price had been at an all-time record of $ 1,000 per ton, when a series of countries restrained rice exports amid a wave of strong buying from the consumers pushing prices up. Wheat prices in Chicago also increased by nearly 10% this month. Meanwhile, Thailand’s rice price (5% broken type – used as a reference for the whole rice market of this country) had increased to the highest level since September 2013, at USD 492.5/ ton. Honorary Chairman of Thai Rice Export Association (TRPA) Somkiat Makayatorn said the price of Thai rice had increased from USD 0.38 / kg in January 2020 to USD 0.46 / kg today (an increase of 20 -30%). Honorary President of the Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA) Chookiat Ophaswongse said that rice importers now wanted to receive 100% of the ordered goods immediately, unlike previously used to request delivery of 50 % after ordering, the rest would be received after about 1 month or longer depending on the contract. Thailand currently had a number of contracts to buy rice from abroad, especially good rice such as Hom Mali, from Hong Kong (China), Singapore, the US and Canada.

Trong buổi họp về bình ổn giá thịt heo, Thủ tướng Nguyễn Xuân Phúc khẳng định phải kiên quyết đưa giá thịt heo xuống mức hợp lý. Nếu các doanh nghiệp không hạ xuống 60.000 đồng một kg lợn hơi thì sẽ đẩy mạnh nhập khẩu để tạo cạnh tranh. Theo số liệu từ Cục Thú y, tính đến ngày 15/3, Việt Nam đã nhập khẩu gần 25.300 tấn thịt heo và sản phẩm thịt heo, tăng 205% so với cùng kỳ năm 2019. Trong đó, nguồn nhập khẩu chủ yếu từ Canada, Đức, Ba Lan, Brazil và Mỹ.

In a meeting on stabilizing pork prices, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed that he had to resolutely bring pork prices down to a reasonable level. If businesses did not lower VND 60,000 per kg of live pork, they would boost imports to create competition. According to data from the Department of Animal Health, as of March 15, Vietnam had imported nearly 25,300 tons of pork and pork products, an increase of 205% over the same period in 2019. Of which, the main source of import was from Canada, Germany, Poland, Brazil and USA.

Hơn một năm qua, Cần Thơ xảy ra 24 điểm sạt lở, gây thiệt hại hơn 14 tỷ đồng, nhiều địa phương khác ở đồng bằng sông Cửu Long cũng đang canh cánh nỗi lo sạt lở. Tại tỉnh Bạc Liêu cũng có hàng chục km đất nằm chạy dài theo các cửa sông, cửa biển thuộc huyện Đông Hải, Phước Long và Giá Rai. Những năm gần đây sạt lở diễn ra gay gắt, có đến hàng nghìn hộ dân cần được di dời khẩn cấp. Riêng ở Trà Vinh, Đồng Tháp, Cần Thơ… nhiều diện tích đất sản xuất nông nghiệp bị cuốn trôi xuống sông. Năm 2014, bờ sông Tiền (Cao Lãnh) xảy ra sạt lở với chiều dài 100 m, ăn vào đất liền hơn 25 m, xoáy sâu xuống lòng sông 20 m. Tỉnh Đồng Tháp khi đó đã khắc phục hậu quả 9 tỷ đồng nhưng sau đó tình trạng này tiếp tục tái diễn. Tại cửa biển Vàm Xoáy, xã Đất Mũi, huyện Ngọc Hiển (Cà Mau), hàng nghìn hộ dân sống trong tâm trạng thấp thỏm từng ngày. Dọc theo cửa biển Vàm Xoáy, những vạt rừng mênh mông ngày trước như “lá chắn” bảo vệ người dân xứ Mũi đã không còn; thay vào đó là những dãy đất nhô lên, lõm xuống nằm trơ trọi cách xa bờ hàng chục mét, bị sóng đánh liên hồi…

Over the past year, Can Tho occurred 24 landslides, causing damage of more than 14 billion, many other localities in the Mekong Delta were also taking care of erosion concerns. In Bac Lieu province, there were also dozens of kilometers of land lying along estuaries and estuaries of Dong Hai, Phuoc Long and Gia Rai districts. In recent years, landslides had been fierce, with thousands of households in need of urgent relocation. Particularly in Tra Vinh, Dong Thap, Can Tho … a lot of agricultural land had been swept away into the river. In 2014, the bank of Tien river (Cao Lanh) happened landslides with a length of 100 m, inland with more than 25 m of land, swirling deep into the river bed of 20 m. Dong Thap province then overcame the consequences of 9 billion but then this situation continued to recur. At Vam Xoai estuary, Dat Mui commune, Ngoc Hien district (Ca Mau), thousands of households lived in low mood every day. Along the Vam Xoai estuary, the vast forest swaths of the past as the “shield” protecting the people of Mui had been no longer available; instead, there were the rows of land that rise and fall concave, lying dozens of meters away from the shore, constantly hit by waves …

Xu hướng chính – Key trends:

Trong bối cảnh dịch Covid-19 lây lan nhanh chóng và giá lương thực tăng mạnh, để ngăn ngừa tình trạng mất an ninh lương thực, một số nước đã có động thái hạn chế xuất khẩu các loại lương thực chủ chốt. Việt Nam – nước xuất khẩu gạo lớn thứ 3 thế giới, và Pakistan – nước xuất khẩu lúa mì lớn thứ 9 thế giới, đã tạm dừng xuất khẩu các loại ngũ cốc này. Ấn Độ, nước xuất khẩu gạo lớn nhất thế giới, cũng vừa bắt đầu bước vào giai đoạn phong tỏa toàn quốc kéo dài 21 ngày – điều khiến cho một số kênh hậu cần bị gián đoạn. Trung Quốc cũng đang thực hiện chính sách không đẩy mạnh xuất khẩu gạo mà để dự trữ hàng cho an ninh lương thực do tình hình dịch bệnh, theo báo cáo Hiệp hội Xuất khẩu Gạo Thái Lan. Trong khi đó ở Nga, Liên minh Dầu thực vật đã đề nghị Chính phủ hạn chế xuất khẩu hạt hướng dương. Sản lượng dầu cọ ở Malaysia – nước sản xuất dầu cọ lớn thứ 2 thế giới – cũng bị chậm lại.

In the context of the Covid-19 epidemic spreading rapidly and rising food prices, to prevent food insecurity, a number of countries had taken actions to restrict exports of key foods. Vietnam – the third largest rice exporter in the world, and Pakistan – the 9th largest wheat exporter in the world, had suspended exports of these cereals. India, the world’s largest rice exporter, had just begun to enter a 21-day national blockade period – which had caused some logistical disruptions. China was also implementing a policy of not promoting rice exports but to stockpiling food security due to disease outbreaks, according to the Thai Rice Export Association. In Russia, meanwhile, the Vegetable Oil Union had asked the Government to restrict exports of sunflower seeds. Palm oil production in Malaysia – the world’s second largest producer of palm oil – had also slowed.

Về phía các nước nhập khẩu, Iraq thông báo cần mua 1 triệu tấn lúa mì và 250.000 tấn gạo sau khi “Ban Chống khủng hoảng” tư vấn Chính phủ nên xây dựng các kho dự trữ lương thực chiến lược. Những động thái này đến cùng lúc làm dấy lên lo ngại dòng chảy thương mại ngũ cốc toàn cầu có nguy cơ bị ảnh hưởng. Các chuyên gia cho rằng, nguyên nhân của việc giá gạo tăng là do vấn đề hậu cần. “Việt Nam đã tạm dừng xuất khẩu, Ấn Độ phong tỏa toàn quốc, Thái Lan cũng có thể sẽ tuyên bố áp dụng những biện pháp tương tự“, Reuters dẫn lời một trong những nhà kinh doanh gạo hàng đầu thế giới – có trụ sở ở Singapore – cho biết.

On the importing side, Iraq announced that it needed to buy 1 million tons of wheat and 250,000 tons of rice after the “Crisis Committee” had advised the Government to build strategic food reserves. These moves came at the same time raising concerns that global grain trade flows could be at risk. Experts said that the reason for the increase in rice prices was logistics. “Vietnam has halted exports, India has blockaded the whole country, Thailand may also announce the same measures,” Reuters quoted one of the world’s leading rice traders. facility in Singapore – said.

Trước yêu cầu của Thủ Tướng về giảm giá thịt heo, Bộ Nông nghiệp & Phát triển nông thôn đã yêu cầu các bộ ngành liên quan hỗ trợ tối đa cho các doanh nghiệp Việt tìm kiếm các nguồn hàng hợp lý tại các nước xuất khẩu, đồng thời xem xét chính sách giảm thuế nhập khẩu mặt hàng thịt heo.

In response to the Prime Minister’s request for pork price reductions, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development had asked relevant ministries to provide maximum support for Vietnamese businesses to find reasonable sources of goods in exporting countries, At the same time, the policy of reducing import tax of pork was also considered.

Sạt lở không chỉ có ở ven cửa biển, mà nó còn xuất hiện theo các tuyến sông. Người dân ở chợ Vàm Đầm (xã Nguyễn Huân, huyện Đầm Dơi) vẫn chưa quên được đợt sạt lở làm 16 căn nhà bị nhấn chìm 9 năm trước. Hai năm sau, 16 căn khác và một cây xăng cũng bị “hà bá” nuốt chửng trong đêm. Điểm nóng của sạt lở đang diễn ra tại cửa biển Gành Hào (huyện Đông Hải). Tuyến kè ở đây đã bị sóng đánh vỡ toác, nhiều nhà dân gần bờ biển phải di dời. “Những đêm nước lên sóng biển đánh mạnh vào thân kè cao 3-4m, làm đất phía trong rung bần bật, trẻ con được gửi ngủ nhờ tại nhà người quen sâu bên trong“, một người dân cho biết. Trước tình trạng sạt lở xảy ra cho thấy chưa có dấu hiệu dừng lại, Bạc Liêu và An Giang, Đồng Tháp đã quyết định ban bố tình trạng khẩn cấp về thiên tai gây ảnh hưởng nghiêm trọng đến cuộc sống của người dân và phát triển kinh tế địa phương.

Erosion did occur not only along the coast, but also along river channels. People at Vam Dam market (Nguyen Huan commune, Dam Doi district) had not forgotten about the landslide that 16 houses were submerged 9 years ago. Two years later, another 16 apartments and a gas station were also “swallowed” in the night. The hot spot of landslides was happening at the mouth of Ganh Hao (Dong Hai district). The embankment here had been broken by waves, many houses near the coast had to be relocated. “The night the water hit the sea waves hit the embankment 3-4m high, causing the earth to vibrate, children were sent to sleep at the home of acquaintances deep inside,” a resident said. Before the landslide showed no sign of stopping, Bac Lieu and An Giang, Dong Thap decided to declare a state of emergency that seriously affects people’s lives and local economic development.

Cái gì tiếp theo – What comes next:

Tồn trữ gạo thế giới năm nay dự báo lần đầu tiên trong lịch sử sẽ vượt mức 180 triệu tấn, cao hơn 28% so với niên vụ 2015/16. Tuy nhiên, lượng tồn trữ đó không được phân phối đồng đều ở các khu vực, trong đó chỉ riêng Trung Quốc và Ấn Độ đã nắm giữ tới trên 153 triệu tấn. Điều đó có nghĩa là những khách hàng lớn như Philippines – nhà nhập khẩu gạo hàng đầu Châu Á – và Châu Phi có thể sẽ dễ bị tổn thương nếu mùa màng trong nước thu hoạch trễ. Bộ trưởng Nông nghiệp Philippines, ông William Dar, cho biết: “Dự trữ gạo của chúng tôi đang ở mức cao, đủ dùng trong 65 ngày. Chúng tôi có đủ gạo trong hai tháng tới“. Theo ông Dar, với nguồn cung sẽ được bổ sung từ vụ thu hoạch mùa khô, Philippines có đủ gạo dùng trong 4 tháng. Đối với mặt hàng lúa mì, những nước nhập khẩu lớn nhất Châu Á, trong đó có Indonesia – nước nhập khẩu lúa mì lớn thứ 2 thế giới – đã nhập khẩu đủ lượng dùng cho đến tháng 6 tới. “Hiện chúng tôi không cần phải vội nhập khẩu lúa mì vì nguồn cung đang vượt nhu cầu“, Reuters dẫn lời một thương gia khác thuộc một công ty thương mại quốc tế cũng ở Singapore cho biết. Doanh nghiệp này thường bán lúa mì Mỹ và lúa mì Biển Đen cho các khách hàng ở Châu Á.

World rice stocks this year were forecast to exceed 180 million tons for the first time in history, 28% higher than the 2015/16 crop. However, that amount was not evenly distributed in regions, of which China and India alone hold over 153 million tons. That means big buyers like the Philippines – Asia’s leading rice importer – and Africa could be vulnerable if domestic crops were harvested late. “Our rice reserves are high, enough for 65 days. We have enough rice in the next two months,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar. According to Dar, with the additional supply from the dry season harvest, the Philippines had enough rice to last for 4 months. For wheat, the largest importers in Asia, including Indonesia – the second largest importer of wheat in the world – imported enough quantities until June. “We do not need to rush to import wheat now because supply is exceeding demand,” Reuters quoted another trader from an international trading company in Singapore. This business usually sold American wheat and Black Sea wheat to customers in Asia.

Dấu hiệu rủi ro – Risk signals:

Dự báo trong thời gian tới, dịch bệnh còn chưa được khống chế, diễn biến tiếp tục phức tạp, giá gạo cũng như lương thực nói chung sẽ còn tăng hơn nữa vì người tiêu dùng mua để dự trữ. Trong trường hợp dịch bệnh giảm dần và được khống chế, nhu cầu mua lương thực sẽ giảm trở lại.

It was forecasted that in the coming time, the disease had not been controlled, the situation continued to be complicated, the price of rice and food in general would increase even more because consumers would buy for reserve. In the event of a gradual and controlled epidemic, the demand for food would decrease again.

Rối loạn…

Chaos…

Xxx – NPL

Share – Luật hấp dẫn (Law of Attraction) – Thay đổi tần số, thay đổi cuộc đời — Triết Học Đường Phố 2.0

(1011 chữ, 4 phút đọc) Nếu những điều xui xẻo trong cuộc sống của bạn đến với bạn, bạn sẽ không thể hoá giải nó bằng những suy nghĩ có tần số thấp như xấu hổ, tội lỗi, thờ ơ, đau buồn, sợ hãi, ham muốn, giận dữ, tự hào,…

via Luật hấp dẫn (Law of Attraction) – Thay đổi tần số, thay đổi cuộc đời — Triết Học Đường Phố 2.0

Từ thưở nhỏ, chúng ta luôn được dạy bảo rằng người lương thiện sẽ được công đức và người ác đức sẽ gặp quả báo thông qua một số câu ca dao tục ngữ quen thuộc như “Ở hiền gặp lành” hay “Gieo nhân nào gặt quả đó.”

Sau một khoảng thời gian trải nghiệm cuộc sống, mình xin được phép nêu ý kiến cá nhân về cơ sở cho những câu ca dao tục ngữ này. Theo mình những quan niệm này là cách giải thích dễ hiểu nhất về Luật hấp dẫn (Law of attraction).

Vậy Luật hấp dẫn là gì?

Luật hấp dẫn là quy luật cho rằng những suy nghĩ tích cực hoặc tiêu cực mang lại trải nghiệm tích cực hoặc tiêu cực vào cuộc sống của một người.

Theo mình, “Gieo nhân nào” chính là một hành động, mà hành động của chúng ta đều phải bắt nguồn từ những suy nghĩ và thói quen hằng ngày. Vậy nếu chúng ta có thể sắp xếp điều chỉnh được suy nghĩ, chẳng phải ta sẽ kiểm soát được toàn bộ hành động của mình hay sao? Lý thuyết về Luật hấp dẫn có chỉ ra rằng tần số năng lượng có định mức cao sẽ hấp dẫn và thu hút các năng lượng có tần số tương đương dẫn đến chuyện “gặt quả đó” chính là kết quả mà bạn thu hút. Ngắn gọn có thể hiểu rằng bạn sẽ có được điều bạn thu hút chứ không phải tất cả. Hành động của bạn sẽ dựa trên suy nghĩ, và tất cả dao động bạn tạo ra sẽ tạo ra một dạng tần số. Tần số này không thể được nhìn thấy, nếm hoặc nghe mà chỉ có thể được cảm thấy, và trò chơi bắt đầu thú vị ở chỗ này.

Ví dụ:

Nếu mình là một người luôn ở trạng thái lo âu, sợ hãi đối với mọi vấn đề xảy ra trong cuộc sống hằng ngày (Tiền nhà, tiền điện nước, công việc, tình bạn, tình yêu, chức vụ, danh vọng,…) tức là mình đang sợ mất đi những thứ này. Trong khi nỗi sợ lại chính là một tần số thấp theo bảng tần số của David R. Hawkins

Điều mình sợ sẽ không giúp mình kiểm soát được mọi thứ trong cuộc sống, nó thậm chí hấp dẫn và thu hút thêm những nỗi sợ khác, gây ra hiện tượng phản tác dụng. Kết quả sẽ luôn là một vòng lặp nếu như mình không điều chỉnh lại tư duy của bản thân.

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Nguồn: thebigwhisper

Vậy tại sao suy nghĩ ban đầu lại quan trọng?

Hành động của bạn luôn được sinh ra dựa trên suy nghĩ. Một số hành động khi đã trở thành các thói quen, bộ não của bạn bắt đầu ghi nhớ chúng như một phản xạ vô điều kiện. Khi đó, bạn bắt đầu ít suy nghĩ và tỉnh táo trong việc nhận thức hành động của chính mình. Nhưng dao động của bạn luôn phát ra tần số dù muốn hay không. Nếu tần số thấp, bạn sẽ thu hút những vật, con người, năng lượng có tần số thấp. Nếu bạn dao động tần số cao bạn sẽ thu hút người có tần số cao. Năng lượng không tự sinh ra và mất đi, nó chỉ chuyển từ dạng này sang dạng khác. Nếu những điều xui xẻo trong cuộc sống của bạn đến với bạn, bạn sẽ không thể hoá giải nó bằng những suy nghĩ có tần số thấp như xấu hổ, tội lỗi, thờ ơ, đau buồn, sợ hãi, ham muốn, giận dữ, tự hào,… Bạn sẽ không thay đổi được nhiều như bạn nghĩ. Bạn sẽ còn một sự lựa chọn khác đó là chấp nhận sự xui xẻo đó như một tần số thấp, và chuyển đổi nó bằng các nguồn năng lượng có tần số cao hơn sự dũng cảm, trung tính, sẵn lòng, chấp nhận, lý trí, tình yêu, sự vui mừng, bình an, và cao nhất là tỉnh thức.

Ví dụ:

Bạn cảm thấy buồn sau khi bị từ chối trong một buổi phỏng vấn việc làm mà tối hôm trước bạn đã chuẩn bị đủ tất cả giấy tờ hồ sơ, kèm một bản CV mà bạn hẳn đã rất tự hào về nó. Thái độ lúc này của bạn là vô cùng quan trọng, việc bạn chọn trở thành một kẻ hận đời, xui xẻo, buồn chán vào ngày hôm đó sẽ khiến cho bạn vô tình gắt gỏng, thờ ơ và cằn nhằn với những người xung quanh. Họ vô tình cũng vì thế mà gắt gỏng ngược lại với bạn. Nhưng nếu ba mẹ hoặc ông bà của bạn tìm cách xoa dịu bạn lại với những câu nói như ” thua keo này bày keo khác”, “chắc là công ty đó không hợp với con đâu, con đừng lo”, thì đây chính là một hướng giải quyết bằng một tần số cao hơn chính là yêu thương. Nhưng ít nhiều những hành động bạn bộc phát trong giai đoạn này vô tình đã được truyền đi và mang sức ảnh hưởng. Nếu ở tình huống tương tự, bạn thay đổi suy nghĩ của bản thân: “Chắc là mình không đủ giỏi để họ nhận (Chấp Nhận), vậy thì mình sẽ cố gắng hơn nữa để được họ nhận vào công ty (Sự Sẵn Lòng, Lòng Dũng Cảm)”, mọi chuyện sẽ đi theo một hướng tích cực hơn. Và cho dù bạn có ko được nhận vô cái công ty đó, nỗ lực của bạn cũng đủ để bạn có cho mình nhiều sự lựa chọn khác.

Nên lời khuyên của mình dành cho các bạn mong muốn đạt được những gì các bạn mong muốn: “Hãy làm việc và sống với một mức tần số cao trong tất cả trường hợp mà cuộc đời mang lại, bạn rồi cũng sẽ thu hút những thứ bạn xứng đáng.”

Tác giả: Cristian

Kungfu – BOKATOR FOREVER

By ANTONIO GRACEFFO

Full link: https://blackbeltmag.com/arts/history-philosophy/bokator-forever?utm_campaign=BBM%20FY20&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=85207291&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9_MHWRJkx9WcQmHm2RcWZL2lV7y7EQbTY_oy284lUCtNjzkjsPzQ1wmZFBmPA6Dde9hyLn82A37BwOdnMKKf64xa3pYQ&_hsmi=85207291

THE BATTLE OF PRESERVE CAMBODIA’S MARTIAL ARTS HERITAGE

On the walls of Cambodian temples, bas-relief artwork dating back to the 13th century depicts men fighting with knee and elbow strikes. Other images show armed combat, including the use of sharpened bamboo poles that are tied to the forearms. Additionally, two large statues believed to represent ancient wrestlers have been unearthed in the country.
Given that Cambodia is located in Southeast Asia — sharing a border with Thailand, the birthplace of muay Thai, and Laos, the home of muay Lao, and not far from Myanmar, which has given the world lethwei — it seems logical that Cambodia should have spawned an ancient fighting art of its own. Sadly, however, there’s no written evidence of one, just a handful of carvings and statues that don’t even mention a name.
This is why there’s a battle over bokator.

Descent
From 1975 to 1979, Cambodia was run by the Khmer Rouge, a repressive regime that attempted to extinguish all forms of traditional culture, including the martial arts. As a result, 20 to 25 percent of the population perished from execution or starvation. Because they were targeted, few martial arts masters escaped with their lives. One of those who did was San Kim Sean, who became a refugee and eventually relocated to the United States.
In 1979 Vietnam invaded Cambodia and ruled the country more or less as a colony until the late ’80s. Full independence for the beleaguered nation didn’t come until 1991. During most of that time, the martial arts were suppressed. Khmer boxing, or pradal serey, which is similar to muay Thai, was the first style to make a resurgence, primarily as a spectator sport.
In 2004 San returned to Cambodia from the States. He learned that while pradal serey was thriving as a televised sport, the traditional Khmer martial arts were facing extinction. After taking his case to the government, he was tasked with gathering up the surviving masters and rebuilding Cambodia’s martial heritage.

Remedy
At San’s urging, nine masters assembled in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, where they formed the first traditional martial arts federation the nation had seen in decades. The name “bokator” was chosen for the comprehensive system they would promote. It would incorporate three basic forms of combat: pradal serey kickboxing, traditional wrestling and bokator, which originally focused on animal styles and forms, as well as weapons.
The hand-to-hand element of the bokator amalgam they created was similar to that of Thailand’s muay boran, which incorporates all the moves of modern muay Thai, in addition to old-style kicks, elbows and knees. There was, however, a distinct difference between how bokator practitioners fought and how muay boran practitioners fought: Bokator included wrestling and submission locks, as well as basic ground fighting — thousands of techniques in all.
Most of the nine masters didn’t run schools. A few had small clubs that they operated in their homes, often out in the provinces where they taught only a handful of students. Consequently, there was little hope that bokator would be passed to the next generation.
Then in late 2004, San opened the first commercial bokator school in Phnom Penh. Because of its accessibility and the fact that he could speak English, he often was covered by the foreign press. He was featured on Human Weapon and other American TV shows, as well as on European and Japanese programs. He also hosted foreign martial arts students, eventually promoting three people — two Frenchmen and me — to black krama, the equivalent of black belt. Six years later, UNESCO took steps to recognize bokator as an intangible heritage of Cambodia.

Character
Bokator was so frequently filmed because it presents a feast to the eyes. Practitioners wear traditional Cambodian garb, including a sarong and a scarf, or krama, on their head and around their waist. Encircling their upper arms are colored bands. Their hands are wrapped in ropes, which ancient fighters wore in place of gloves.
Taking a cue from modern martial arts, San Kim Sean instituted the use of colored cloth — the krama — to denote rank. Students begin at white krama and work their way up to black. During performances or fights, traditional music plays. Before every practice, students pay homage to the patron saints of bokator.
Each training session begins with a warm-up and a prayer, then moves to the repetition of fighting techniques, including knees, elbows, kicks and leaps. Next, students focus on animal forms that, like their kung fu counterparts, are physically challenging to perform. After a year of such training, they’re flexible and strong in the way that only Shaolin monks are.
In addition to the animal moves, students learn self-defense, grappling and techniques that use the krama as a weapon. Not all students fight, but those who are interested in it can engage in kickboxing. In those sessions, they strive to use the techniques they’ve practiced in their forms.

Discontent
While San Kim Sean was in the limelight, trouble was brewing. Several of the masters in the federation had become annoyed at the media coverage and the money San was receiving, and they broke from the federation to form their own clubs.
One of them was Chan Buntheun, who called his art yuthakun khom. In 2007 I met him during the filming of a documentary about Cambodian martial arts. At the time, he had a team of athletes who trained at his house every day. They were all fit and muscular, skilled at jumping and kicking — similar to the bokator students of San Kim Saen. However, they were unlike San’s bokator students in that several of Chan’s guys were professional fighters.
When I met Chan again in 2018, he was very sick, forced to spend most of his days lying on a bamboo bed in his front yard. “In the old days, Khmer were the best fighters,” he said when I spoke with him. “They used magic combined with martial arts.”
I knew that all the Khmer arts shared a number of commonalities: traditional clothing, a dance component, and elbow and knee techniques. And I knew that they all talked about using combinations of physical techniques, magic and religion. When I asked Chan for more information, he said that bokator was not the real Cambodian martial art. Unfortunately, his claim had no more historical support than did bokator’s. The word “bokator” first appeared in print in 2004, while “yuthakun khom” didn’t appear until 2010.
To distinguish yuthakun khom from other Cambodian arts, Chan explained its philosophy: “The tiger fights with speed and cunning. The elephant fights with power and directness. In the Cambodian style, we use the elbows a lot, and they can kill people. In a fight with weapons, the Khmer have sutras, knives, sticks and magic. They can use magic to kill someone, to blind someone or to make them sick.”
He wasn’t alone in believing in the power of magic and religion — hence, his use of the word “sutras” to refer to the spiritual aspect of his art. He claimed to know how to use magic but didn’t because it could be a sin.
“In Cambodia today, fighters just use technique,” he said. “They don’t use magic much because most people who knew the magic are gone now. [In the old days], Khmer fighters could do magic. They could blow on their fist and then hit someone and kill them.”

Competition
Ross Serey, a member of the original nine who’s based in Siem Reap, also had a falling out with San Kim Sean. Ross hails from Kampuchea Krom, the lower part of Cambodia that was ceded to Vietnam as part of the Paris Peace Accords. Kampuchea Krom is very Cambodian. The people are ethnic Khmer and still speak the Khmer language. Theravada Buddhist temples are on every corner, and monks are in every community. It’s not hard to imagine a Khmer martial art being taught there, perhaps in secret.
Ross explained that pre-1980, there was a Khmer martial art in Vietnam that had been suppressed by the communist government. As a child, he trained in it secretly, mostly at night. After the fall of the Khmer Rouge, he moved to Cambodia and brought his traditional Khmer martial art with him.
He’s the only master who has any written support of his claims regarding the legitimacy of bokator. He showed me the 1967 dictionary of the Cambodian language that’s considered the standard. In it, the word “bokator” appears, but it refers only to a single weapon consisting of two short, pointed bamboo poles that are attached to the forearms and used for blocking and attacking. For this reason, Ross said he disagrees with San Kim Sean’s decision to call his art “bokator.” Ross insisted that bokator has never been the name of an entire system.
The art Ross practiced was different from the style taught by San, Ross said. “When I learned in the past, we call it ‘eight-door ancient kun Khmer.’ It’s about using the hands, legs and body. [These are] called ‘eight doors.’ From ninth to 12th door, it’s about using sword, long stick, krama scarf and the like. The 13th door is about locking the opponent.”
These old-school masters typically use the Khmer word for “door” to refer to the various levels of their martial art. It was interesting that in Ross’ case, the animal forms and hand and foot fighting lived at the lowest level, followed by weapons — with grappling and joint locking at the highest level.
On my request, he elaborated on the grappling: “It’s called clei. It’s used to train the police and soldiers to lock their opponents. The styles here are different. They have other names for it, but it’s originally Khmer. The styles ‘firing elbow’ and ‘flying knee’ in Thailand were actually created by Khmer.”
It seemed this was another common theme in the Cambodian martial arts: Every Khmer master believes that the Thai martial arts are copies of the Khmer martial arts. However, once again they have no proof.
“A large part of kun Khmer was lost during the Khmer Rouge regime,” Ross added. “Most fighters and masters were killed.”
This point I could not disagree with. We can only wonder how much knowledge was lost.

Exposure
In 2010, at the apex of San Kim Sean’s bokator reign, a Canadian film crew led by director Mark Bochsler and producer Sandra Leuba began working on a documentary titled Surviving Bokator. The film was intended to highlight San and several of his students as they traveled to South Korea to compete in an event organized by the World Martial Arts Union — where they took second place, by the way.
The documentary also included footage of several rural bokator masters who complained that San had excluded them or failed to provide them with sufficient food and water and a proper place to sleep. Some said they lacked punching bags and gloves and were forced to practice fighting barehanded, which resulted in injuries.
Between 2007 and 2010, I interviewed a number of those masters and found that in some cases, their students did lack basic nutrition, and that made it difficult for them to train at a high level. I was told that several masters had to sell possessions to buy bus tickets to the capital so they could attend the national championship. Their students lost — how could they not lose against students who had plenty to eat? As a result of this, several of the rural masters separated from San.

Dissent
Shortly after his return from Korea, San Kim Sean lost sponsorship for his academy in Phnom Penh and was forced to move 40 minutes outside the city. Unfortunately, the distance proved too far for local students, who couldn’t afford the commute. Foreign students would visit the new gym once for a lesson, then take a few photos to record the experience. Few of them, however, regarded it as a viable training option. As a result, membership dropped from more than 100 students to just a handful.
The lead instructor at the downtown academy had been Ung Darith. Even then, he complained about having to live an austere life, sleep at the facility and teach for free every day. And now that the academy had moved, he was separated from his friends in the capital. Some French students offered him a good salary if he’d teach in France for three months, but the grandmaster reportedly forbid him to go.
In the end, Ung did go to France, and this became one of the reasons for his falling out with San. Another reason surfaced when Darith and several students asked if they could open a bokator school in Phnom Penh. The grandmaster said yes, but they could teach only Khmer students. All foreigners would need to be sent to the new headquarters outside the city. Everyone knew that teaching foreign students paid well, and without them, there would be no easy way to keep the new school open.

Hope
In the summer of 2011, a professional bokator event pitting Cambodia against France was held at Angkor Wat. The French team decimated the Khmers, largely because of their better nutrition, modern training, and experience in kickboxing and MMA. One Khmer fighter named Sey Tevin, a bokator teacher under San, stood out as the hero of the day when he went the distance against his French foe. Although Sey wound up losing, the crowd cheered like he’d won.
During the bout, which was held outdoors, it began to rain, and the water slickened the fighting surface. During a break between rounds, the children from Sey’s bokator club took off their krama, ran onto the mat, dropped to their knees and used their scarves to dry the floor so their teacher would have a better chance of winning.
It was one of the most touching moments I experienced while researching bokator. It reminded me how important this martial art actually is. Every one of those kids was an orphan sponsored by a foreign NGO. All they had in life was donated food and clothing — and bokator. The people in charge of the children told me the youngsters had begun to view bokator as part of their cultural heritage, something they can keep for life.
The lesson I took away was that preserving this Khmer martial art is of the utmost importance. The name that ends up being used for the system — and whether it’s San Kim Sean, Chan Buntheun or Ross Serey using it — is irrelevant. What’s paramount is keeping this Khmer martial art alive and teaching it to as many young people as possible so they, in turn, will be able to spread it throughout their nation and around the world.

Kungfu – WEAPONIZE YOUR STRUCTURE

By TONY TORRE

Full link: https://blackbeltmag.com/techniques/martial-arts-weapons/weaponize-your-structure?utm_campaign=BBM%20FY20&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=85207291&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9_MHWRJkx9WcQmHm2RcWZL2lV7y7EQbTY_oy284lUCtNjzkjsPzQ1wmZFBmPA6Dde9hyLn82A37BwOdnMKKf64xa3pYQ&_hsmi=85207291

LIMB DESTRUCTIONS FROM THE FILIPINO MARTIAL ARTS

Anyone who’s been around the martial arts long enough no doubt has heard a certain boxing maxim: Make him miss and make him pay. That’s all well and good, but what if there was a way to just make him pay and immediately reverse the momentum of the fight? It just so happens that there is.
The Filipino martial arts teach a strategy called “defanging the snake.” It has you literally attacking your opponent’s incoming limb before it can do any damage. While this fighting tactic clearly stems from the influence that armed combat in the Philippines has had on the greater martial arts community, one should not think for a moment that it doesn’t apply equally well to empty-hand skills.
In the empty-hand training sessions I organize for my arnis students, we refer to this category of techniques as limb destructions. Their role in armed combat is the same as it is in unarmed combat: to exploit the fact that the opponent is reaching toward the defender. Because all martial artists intuitively understand where their body is in space relative to their opponent, this path to victory is clear: Deny him his target and replace it with your weapon so that it’s the opponent, and not you, who is injured.
But just because the path is clear doesn’t mean it’s easy to pull off. In reality, a limb destruction is a skill that needs to be practiced seriously by any martial artist who wishes to make it a reliable tool in his or her arsenal. Once mastered, though, it will become a prized possession that can be used to bypass the purely defensive initial phase of a violent encounter.

Stages  If you dissect the art of fighting into its various components, you’ll notice that altercations have three stages. Yes, the stages can be repeated several times within the same battle until a conclusion is reached, but basically they are the only distinct parts of combat. They are the entry, the follow-up and the finish. If you knock out your foe with a single punch, all three stages are embodied within that punch. If you’re in a fight involving multiple technique exchanges, there will be multiple entries and follow-ups until the finish occurs.
The advantage that the defanging-the-snake concept bestows is it allows you to remove an important time suck, the delay that normally occurs between a purely defensive action such as a block or cover and the moment you inflict injury in an effort to end the threat. In essence, you convert his opening move into the first part of your counter. Once you’re able to seize the offensive, you quickly can turn the momentum in your favor.
Clearly, defanging the snake operates on a physical level, but it also can have a huge psychological effect. When he attacks, your opponent expects to hit or miss you, but he certainly doesn’t think he’ll feel sudden pain. That, in a nutshell, is the brilliance of limb destructions. Many times, one can be enough to crush an adversary’s fighting spirit.

Caveat  I won’t underestimate your intelligence and tell you that knowing how to defang the snake will lead to easy victory. Anytime you find yourself in a fight, it has the potential to become a lethal encounter. That’s why good instructors will caution you never to underestimate your opponent or his resolve. And never overestimate a tactic or technique in your toolbox.
Treat defanging the snake as any other weapon in your arsenal. Learn where it will be most appropriate because — just like with disarms — depending on a limb destruction rather than the totality of your martial arts skill set is foolish. Doing so will leave you vulnerable to an opponent who knows better than to play the game you want him to play.
A superior self-defense plan entails developing all your offensive and defensive skills to the highest possible level. Once your go-to techniques and tactics are reliable and your overall skill base is solid, start experimenting with the limb destructions shown here. Then spend time fine-tuning those that fit your way of fighting.

Requisites  To be able to implement a limb destruction, you must possess a good sense of timing, as well as defensive skills that are second nature. Practitioners of different martial arts will depend on different methods to get into the most appropriate ranges for launching their counteroffensive. Knowing this is critical when you first attempt to use limb destructions because you’ll need to focus on those that are closely related to your natural defensive tendencies.
Another factor to keep in mind is that limb destructions work because they afford you the same level of defense as your passive defensive skills — while simultaneously adding that aforementioned element of pain. In other words, even if you don’t injure your opponent’s limb, you’ve still fended off his attack. In a properly executed limb destruction, you never have to gamble that a failed defang means you’re getting bit by the snake.

Training  Over the years, I’ve found that the best way to develop this tool set is to focus on one destruction at a time during sparring. Defend normally most of the time, but try a limb destruction on one of your opponent’s strikes — perhaps a jab or lead-hand punch.
Once you’ve become successful with that, refine it during “handicapped sparring” against the same attack. Handicapped sparring refers to sessions in which you purposefully limit the techniques you use. When you’ve mastered that, test it in free sparring against various opponents. When you deem it reliable, move on to the next destruction. Approaching the task in this manner means you’ll be able to quickly dismiss the moves that don’t suit your style and focus on those that are higher percentage for you.
In my arnis classes, I like to introduce a limb destruction to my intermediate students and have them practice it in partner drills. Then I have them try it in sparring. Once we’ve done this with a particular set of destructions and identified which ones are most suitable for each person, we work on tactics that reinforce those destructions. At this point, coaching is critical.
It’s essential to remember that not all limb destructions are suitable for all martial artists. If you’re an instructor, it’s your job to keep in mind that the focus of any fight — and the focus of all training — is to enable the student to get to the finish line as quickly and safely as possible.

Gunting  While it would be impossible to describe every limb destruction in the Filipino martial arts in one article, this tutorial would be sorely lacking if it didn’t include at least a few. The two we’ll explore are the infamous gunting (Tagalog for scissors) and the siko (Tagalog for elbow) limb destructions.
The gunting techniques are often preferred by counterfighters who use quick footwork and mobility as their primary defensive strategy. A gunting depends on your ability to parry. When facing an opponent who likes to jab and run away, a gunting can work especially well.
Practice the technique as shown in the accompanying photos. Make sure your head is off the line of attack. Remember that a fore-knuckle punch to the biceps will make that arm heavy to hold up — and can cause your adversary to drop it altogether. That makes this move a great strategy for those who like to counter off their opponent’s jab.
Experiment in class. After the gunting, try a cross, an overhand or a rear-hand punch of your preference. Then immediately follow up with more punches.
If your defensive skills include blocking and exchanging in middle range, try pairing your gunting with an inside block to stop your opponent’s cross or straight right. The block can be followed with a lead hook and a cross.
Often, it’s preferable to punch your opponent in the face using a split entry because it can lead to a quicker finish. However, if you’ve already tried it and he became a little squeamish and no longer closes as aggressively, this destruction just might be your ticket to victory.
In training, I’ve seen opponents who let their arms become entangled when this limb destruction is tried, especially if both parties are aggressive. In such cases, a head butt can work wonders. It also can serve as an entry into a clinch — but that’s best discussed in a separate article.
Siko  The category of limb destructions known as siko is favored by martial artists who prefer to cover while moving in. These fighters also tend to operate at close range, so if you’re one who favors infighting, I recommend you look into the siko techniques.
These destructions work by turning your passive cover into a pointy exoskeleton — hopefully, one that your opponent will impale a body part on. For a good visual, picture him punching a rhino’s horn. In one example, the opponent opens with straight punches. You execute a destruction, then move inside to get out of his preferred range. At that point, if you’re a fan of clinching, you’ll be at home. Likewise, those who like to throw hooks and elbows as follow-ups are likely to be successful.
I especially like siko techniques for countering wide hook punches. The terminal effect is very similar to a gunting aimed at the biceps, but it requires significantly less effort on your part. Depending on your opponent’s reach and timing, you might be able to also spike him in the sternum, thus impeding his forward momentum.
As with the split entry mentioned earlier, timing and range will determine what’s most appropriate. Experience will help you realize that height and reach are also important factors. Never forget that the goal is to prevail. The exact destruction you use to do that is not important. Go with what’s most appropriate for the circumstances.

Prognosis  Regardless of which limb destructions you wind up favoring, understand that every one that you add to your arsenal will need to pair well with your other defensive skills. The methods described here work off different timing: The gunting are more proactive, while the siko are more reactive. Sometimes the right choice boils down to that, and sometimes it boils down to nothing more than personal preference.
No matter which set of destructions you choose to adopt, don’t dismiss the possibility of mixing them up in a fight. Moving in and out of the various ranges can provide opportunities — in other words, a technique you didn’t consider initially might work later on.
In closing, I would like to remind you these techniques are just tools in your arsenal. They’re intended to be used in a fight — not a punching fight, a clinching fight or a limb-destruction fight. Just a fight. The tool you employ in any given altercation ultimately is less important than your survival. Work on developing skills that are congruent with that goal.

Tony Torre teaches arnis in Miami.

Ẩm thực – Restaurants Are Fucked — Unless They Get a Bailout

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Full link: https://www.eater.com/2020/3/16/21182291/restaurants-wont-survive-coronavirus-pandemic-without-bail-out?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NATIONAL%20-%2031720&utm_content=NATIONAL%20-%2031720+Version+B+CID_654c947fecd526e8cfc9d4e837143a90&utm_source=cm_email&utm_term=RESTAURANTS%20ARE%20SCREWED%20%20UNLESS%20THEY%20GET%20HELP

America’s restaurant industry has never seen a crisis on this scale before

A protestor holds a sign that says “cancel brunch,” while a small crowd waits outside a Brooklyn restaurant.

Across America, restaurant dining rooms are empty. Some have locked the door; others have skeleton crews working to fulfill delivery and carry-out orders as customers hunker down in their homes, waiting to see what happens next.

Many of the restaurants that close during the pandemic will not reopen their doors. Diners should also brace for a restaurant landscape that will be entirely different by the time — however near or far off it may be — they can be safely encouraged to enjoy a crowded night out again.


“We are about to see a lot of places go broke forever.”

On Saturday evening, Georgia-based restaurateur and Top Chef judge Hugh Acheson tweeted the existential dread that so many in the restaurant industry are feeling in the wake of restaurants closing to halt the spread of COVID-19, first as a choice to protect staff and community, and now, increasingly, by order of local governments. The next night, after some states started seeing mandatory closures, Acheson tweeted, “We are so fucked.”

Just hours ago, the White House issued a recommendation that Americans avoid dining in restaurants. Over the last few days, governors and mayors across the country have announced escalating measures to keep people away from crowds. The on-the-ground conditions for diners and operators have changed so much in the past few days, evolving from “go out if you feel healthy” to mayors calling for restaurants to halve their capacity to governors issuing full restaurant shutdowns. For large cities without any mandated capacity reductions or closures, it’s likely a matter of when, not if.

Even before the mandatory closures, some of the highest-profile restaurateurs in the country were closing their doors. Tom Douglas shuttered 12 of his 13 Seattle restaurants. Danny Meyer closed all Union Square Hospitality restaurants in New York and D.C. David Chang closed all Momofuku restaurants in D.C., Los Angeles, and New York. A statement from the restaurant group called the current moment “unquestionably the most difficult moment in Momofuku’s history. The severity of the COVID-19 crisis has put our business and community in completely uncharted territory.”

A crisis of this scale and scope, so uniquely damaging to restaurants, is indeed unprecedented. And for now, restaurants are doing their best to stay afloat, ramping up delivery, offering curbside to-go service, promoting merch, offering gift certificates, begging diners to reschedule rather than cancel pre-paid reservations. But the truth is, compared to full dining rooms night after night, these are Band-Aids, temporary stopgaps to stop hemorrhaging money. Gift cards, which are effectively microloans to the restaurant owner, also do little to help workers in the short-term — or restaurants that don’t have the infrastructure to sell them.

Independent operators need a major infusion of cash — cash that’s more readily available from the government than from their stressed-out customers — to make it. They need rent alleviation, eviction protection, and tax deferrals, at a minimum, to live through this body blow. Who knows what they’ll end up getting.


As ordered, restaurants around the country that are staying open are attempting to do so by transitioning to takeout and delivery. Already, some restaurants are reporting that delivery hasn’t kept pace with the loss of in-person customers. And while Grubhub has suspended some of its fees, the fact remains that as of right now, delivery services take a hefty cut of the restaurant’s share with each order placed. There’s work involved in making the shift to delivery and takeaway — time and money that a restaurant likely does not have to spend. In the best-case scenario, the model effectively turns restaurants into so-called “ghost kitchens,” eliminating the need for nearly all front-of-house staff. David Chang has called the pivot to delivery “fools gold.”

But that’s a problem for a potential next chapter in this pandemic. Across the industry, workers are losing tips, shifts, and jobs right now. They need to eat and pay rent. For line cooks, for servers, for bartenders — really for most people who had restaurant jobs even last week — prolonged closures mean the loss of wages. Even for workers from those restaurant groups that are continuing to pay wages and offer health care coverage for the rest of the month, those jobs, and the wages and benefits that come with them, are effectively over.

The restaurant industry is contracting on both ends. Workers in need of jobs will (hopefully) find their ways to gigs in other industries. Companies that make their money servicing restaurants — equipment repair, cleaning crews — face similar prospects. “I just got laid off because of COVID-19’s effect on the restaurants to function safely. The irony is that we won’t be able to find other restaurant jobs bc more are closing everyday due to the virus,” one restaurant industry worker tweeted over the weekend. “Where’s our relief?”

This need for relief is compounded by the fact that many of the more than 15 million workers of the restaurant industry, like small-business restaurant owners, also live precariously; only an estimated 25 percent of restaurant workers work in localities with mandated paid sick leave. Crowdfunding for catastrophic illnesses and injuries is all too common for restaurant workers because paid sick leave and health insurance aren’t guaranteed industry-wide and many live at or below the poverty line.

Restaurant workers in America have been living as precariously as the businesses that employed them.


Run on shockingly thin margins, few restaurants can survive a bad week, let alone a bad season or a bad year. “It has been some tough times overall for many restaurant owners in the last few years,” Acheson tweeted over the weekend. “Costs up, rents up, employees scarce, wine tariffs… sucked our bottom lines… I was worried a year ago, but nothing like this.”

Both the large groups that have enough cash at hand to “mothball” and the restaurants that can run a successful delivery operation are on borrowed time. This outbreak has no clear end date. There will be businesses that simply cannot afford to stay furloughed or continue doing delivery.

And when those restaurants that survive do reopen, they’ll do so with their pocketbooks depleted, without an emergency fund to spare should some other unexpected issue hit (and in the restaurant business, there’s always an expense around the corner). They will also reopen their doors to a new world of challenges, not least of which is facing a dining public likely either coming out of or in the midst of a global recession. Those diners who lost income after supply-chain disruption and nationwide business closures due to social distancing will simply have less money to spend on dining.

Opening new restaurants will likely also pose unique challenges after the pandemic passes. The groups most targeted by xenophobicracist backlash during the crisis may face discrimination when it comes to getting loans; restaurateurs from marginalized communities might not be able to return to restaurant ownership at all. Even the big players may find themselves struggling to secure funding if a global recession makes investors skittish. Simply put: Don’t expect all, or even many, of the restaurants that close because of this to just bounce right back.

This is not to say that diners shouldn’t do their part immediately to help support these businesses. Order delivery while it’s still widely considered safe to do so; order more than needed to up the check average; tip generously; buy gift cards for future use; buy restaurant merch online; reschedule prepaid reservations rather than requesting refunds. If you have the money, consider stepping up like NBA players and personally transferring wealth directly to restaurant workers. Call your local representatives and demand that they provide relief to this industry.

Restaurants are an invaluable part of the social fabric of our towns and cities. We rely on them to nourish us, to host us as we celebrate, to provide us community, to provide us entertainment. It’s unthinkable that they will not be there to meet us when we come out of this.

But the American restaurant industry — and the people who work in it — was always perched on a cliff. The fast-moving, widespread nature of the novel coronavirus pandemic is poised to push both the businesses and its workers over the edge. We don’t know what comes after the fall. The restaurant industry in America’s cities certainly won’t look the way it did before. It may never again.

Ẩm thực – How Dried Cod Became a Norwegian Staple and an Italian Delicacy

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Full link: https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/norway-italy-dried-cod-trade-stockfish?utm_source=Gastro+Obscura+Weekly+E-mail&utm_campaign=7bdd9453e6-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_02_11&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_2418498528-7bdd9453e6-70327933&mc_cid=7bdd9453e6&mc_eid=df51e46713

The lucrative stockfish trade dates back to the Viking days.

Here's the catch: Dried cod is Norway's oldest export industry.

IT’S 11 O’CLOCK ON A dim, cold, blustery morning in February, with a feeble arctic sun barely peeping over the horizon, and the harbor at Røstlandet is a hive of activity. Three boats are tied up to the wharf, delivering their bounties of fresh caught cod, while the skipper of another boat nestles his craft into a slot freshly vacated by a fourth. Ropes are cast, and cranes swing into operation. Through the open doors of a fish factory, forklifts can be seen shunting around the concrete floor, bearing huge plastic tubs filled with cod, cod livers, and salted cod roe.

Back on the dock, sales are made and deals are struck with a handshake, in an atmosphere of hard, cheery camaraderie. Some of these men have known each other since they were schoolboys together, watching their fathers and grandfathers doing these very same things.

It’s cod season once again in the far north of Norway, and Røst—a remote scatter of rocky islets off the outermost tip of Norway’s Lofoten Islands—is once more the honeypot for fishermen seeking jackpot paychecks in the lucrative dried cod trade, Norway’s oldest export industry, dating back to the Viking days.

Every winter, for more than a thousand years, Norwegian fishermen have flocked to these parts to scoop up the bounty of big, meaty migrating cod that come streaming down by the millions from the Barents Sea to breed among the reefs and shoals around the Lofoten Islands, and most especially here around Røst.

Stockfish—unsalted cod dried by cold air and wind on wooden racks on the foreshore, called <em>hjell</em>.

The fish are cleaned and gutted and hung by their tails, in pairs, to dry in the traditional manner, on slatted wooden frames that can be seen all over the island. Then the catch is rendered into stockfish—the nutritious cod jerky that once sustained the Vikings on their long sea voyages and, today, is a highly prized delicacy in Italy, where it’s a key ingredient in traditional regional dishes from Venice, Naples, Genoa, and Calabria.

“Stockfish isn’t an Italian product, but sometimes you could almost imagine that it was,” says Olaf Pedersen, a former CEO of Glea Sjømat, one of Røst’s main stockfish companies, founded by his grandfather in 1936. “Over the centuries it has become deeply ingrained into their culinary and cultural traditions.”

The Italian connection: Olaf Pedersen is a former CEO of Glea Sjømat, one of Røst's main stockfish companies. He recently moved from Røst to Milan, where he oversees a collective of 22 stockfish producers.

Indeed, the Ligurian town of Badalucco holds a stockfish festival every year to commemorate the time, back in the Middle Ages, when the townspeople survived a siege by Moorish invaders by eating only stockfish. And over near Venice, on the opposite side of the country, the town of Sandrigo hosts the world’s largest stockfish festival—the Festa del Bacalà, held every September in celebration of the famed regional dish Baccalà alla Vicentina.

So important is the Italian market to Norway’s stockfish producers that Pedersen recently moved from Røst to Milan, where he now looks after the interests of a collective of 22 stockfish producers. Lofoten stockfish was recently awarded Denomination of Origin status, meaning it enjoys the same legal protections as Parma ham and French champagne.

Any way you want to measure it, it’s a long way from the warm Mediterranean sunshine to the moody skies over Røst, whose 365 islets and skerries are home to a few hundred hardy Norwegians and about a million seabirds. Yet the links between these two very different places go back nearly 600 years, to the shipwreck in 1432 of a Venetian merchant trader named Pietro Quirini. After his boat sank, he spent three enjoyable months with the islanders, and on his return to Italy, presented an account of his adventures to the Venetian senate.

Stockfish festivals abound in Italy, where dried cod has been a part of the culinary culture for nearly 600 years.

He also brought back some stockfish. The rich, nutritious, intensely flavored cod jerky proved an instant culinary hit, finding its way into regional dishes all over the country. An improbable new trade route was born, linking the Renaissance city states then comprising Italy with the lonely windswept isles of Røst.

It’s a trade route that’s helped make the islanders rich: Røst has the highest per capita number of millionaires in Norway. And the Italian historical connection persists. Take a stroll through Røst today and you’ll come upon places with names like the Quirini Cafe and Quirini Park. In 2012, an opera based on Quirini’s shipwreck premiered on Røst—a first for the tiny island—and was so popular with locals and visitors that it was brought back for a repeat performance two years later.

Olaf Pedersen's grandfather founded the Røst stockfish company Glea Sjømat in 1936.

The islanders owe their good fortune to their unique location. Not only does Nature deliver countless millions of migrating cod to their doorstep every winter. Thanks to the modifying effects of the Gulf Stream, they also enjoy exceptionally mild winters, given their latitude. Although the island sits well above the Arctic Circle, at nearly 68º north, winter temperatures here seldom fall much below freezing, or rise much above it.

“We have the perfect climate for making stockfish,” says Pedersen. “It’s a fine line. Even a couple of degrees can make all the difference. If the temperature were to fall to, say, minus-3 [degrees Celsius, or 26 degrees Fahrenheit], the freezing action breaks down the cells in the flesh, and you end up with something that’s yellowish and rubbery and unpalatable. On the other hand, if the temperature rises too high, you’ll just get a slow rot.”

Whether Røst’s delicately balanced climate stays perfect for making stockfish is an open question. So is the effect warmer waters might have on cod migration routes. One change that has already been noticed in a warming world is that fishing villages elsewhere in Lofoten that were previously too cold for curing stockfish are now able to do so. “Røst doesn’t have it all to itself quite so much any more,” says Pedersen.

Each cod is assigned one of 20 different grades based on subtleties in color, texture, and scent.

Stockfish—the name derives from “stick fish,” because of the wooden frames on which it’s dried—is cured in the open air over several weeks, typically from February, when the season opens, to April. Then, to keep the spring rains from spoiling it, it’s brought indoors to finish drying. By midsummer it’s fully cured, and ready to be graded and sold.

“Stockfish is like fine cognac,” says Ansgar Pedersen, a veteran cod grader at Glea Sjømat who has been in the business all his life. Now nearly 70 years old, he has no plans to retire anytime soon. “I’ll retire when I’m 80,” he says with a laugh. He loves his job, which is just as well, as it requires him to examine each of the 400,000 or so dried cod the company sells each year, holding the fish up to the light, looking for subtleties in color, texture, and scent before deciding which of the 20 different grades to assign it.

Once or twice a year he’ll travel to Italy to meet with buyers and discuss their needs. “The people in Naples tend to want larger, meatier cod than those in Genoa or Calabria,” he says. “It all depends on how they are preparing. Each region has their own specialty.”

Norwegians, including the indigenous Sámi, have been drying cod for centuries.

If stockfish has insinuated itself into Italian culture and cuisine, it’s the very warp and weft of Norwegian. “There is a taste of cod in all my music,” Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg once claimed. It’s a coda that can be said to run through the rest of Norway’s culture and history as well, with the iconic fish appearing on crests and coats of arms in cities and villages up and down the coast.

The earliest literary reference to the dried-cod trade comes in an almost operatic scene in Egil’s Saga, a Viking yarn set in the ninth century. In it, a young Norse raider named Thorolf Kvendulfsson sets off for England in a brilliantly painted, dragon-prowed vessel, its blue- and red-striped sail filling with the summer breeze, its thwarts piled high with the fortune in furs and dried cod he and his men had accumulated during the previous winter.

The cargo fetches a fancy price in England, and Thorolf returns to Norway a wealthy man, only to fall afoul of the king, who feels that Thorolf has been getting a little too rich, a little too cocky, and not paying his taxes. Their subsequent falling out—and Thorolf’s murder—sets up an intergenerational feud that forms the narrative thread of one of the greatest of the Old Norse sagas.

By the time 13th-century scribes got around to committing the tale to parchment, the stockfish trade in which Thorolf had been dabbling had become the economic engine for the whole of Norway, accounting for more than 80 percent of the country’s exports, and a source of immense wealth. With medieval Europe’s population rapidly growing and urbanizing, there was an increasing demand for tradable foodstuffs.

A vendor hangs stockfish in a Genoa market.

Stockfish was the ideal commodity. Lightweight, durable, and highly nutritious, it could last for years without spoiling and be reconstituted quickly by soaking in water. Demand soared. Bergen, a picturesque seaport founded on the cod trade, became Norway’s capital and an important seat in the Hanseatic League, a medieval merchant-trader confederation, with over 2,000 resident members exporting thousands of tons of stockfish each year to Germany, Holland, and England.

While it was the prosperous burghers in town who made most of the profits, the tough peasant fishermen did well too. A man with a boat had his own business, free and clear, with all the lucrative upside that might entail. Reveling in their freedom and spurred by the possibilities of jackpot wealth, these fishermen braved hardships and dangers, sailing north to Lofoten’s cod banks each winter as though it were a gold rush—Norway’s own annual Klondike.

By the turn of the 20th century, more than 30,000 fishermen were flocking to these islands each winter. Grainy black-and-white photographs show Røst’s harbors so jammed with boats that it was possible to walk from one side to the other without getting your feet wet.

“This was Lofoten,” Norwegian author Jan Bojer wrote in his 1921 coming-of-age classic, The Last Viking. “A land in the Arctic Ocean that all the boys along the coast dreamed of visiting someday, a land where exploits were performed, fortunes were made, and where fishermen sailed in a race with Death. Through hundreds of years they had migrated thither, and many of them had lost their lives on the sea. A few returned home with well-filled pockets, but the greater number sailed to the end of life in poverty. Yet they went up again and again, year after year, generation after generation. It was their fairy land of fortune. They had to go.”

Will young Norwegians keep the stockfish lineage alive?

Times have changed. In a world alive with 21st-century opportunities, young Norwegians no longer daydream about scooping fortunes in cod out of icy midwinter seas. Their aspirations lie elsewhere—in safe, comfortable jobs in distant cities. In recent years they’ve been leaving their picturesque fishing villages in droves—not just on Røst or Lofoten, but all over Norway.

Even if they wanted to take up fishing, few could afford it. Buying a cod quota—essentially a commercial license to catch cod—can cost as much as half a million dollars. And then you have to buy your boat and equipment, and hire a crew.

It was always a risky proposition, all the more so in an age of changing climates. “Banks are not keen to lend that kind of money to young people just starting out,” says Pedersen.

Fishing in Norway is increasingly consolidated in the hands of a few old families or companies with deep pockets, while jobs in the fish factories, or hanging the thousands of cod on wooden frames, are increasingly filled by migrants who flock north, much as in the stories of old.

“The face of the stockfish trade has changed a lot over the past few years,” says Olaf Pedersen. “And it will continue to change and evolve. But at the same time, it is still the same business it always was—drying fresh caught cod in the open air.”

Same as it ever was.

By midnight the day’s catch is hanging on the wooden frames. And under the eerie glow of the Northern Lights begins the age-old curing process that will render it into stockfish.

Stoic – You Can Seize This Moment

This is an email we weren’t expecting to send, but sometimes sudden events call for sudden responses.

Right now you, and much of the world, are locked down, doing your part to fight the spread of COVID-19. Perhaps you’ve already been trapped inside for weeks. Perhaps you just got back the test results and now you are in complete isolation. Perhaps your job has furloughed you and you’ve got a lot of time on your hands.

Things seem serious now, but the truth is, it’s only going to get more serious.

All of us are looking at the potential for some serious lost time. Dead time, as Robert Greene calls it. But do we have to be? A Stoic knows that while we don’t control what happens, we do control how we respond. So that’s the real question: How can we use this time to get better? To grow? To be of service and use? To create “alive time” where we’re actively getting better.

With that end in mind, we have been scrambling to put together what we’re calling the Daily Stoic Alive Time Challenge: Resilience, Productivity and Service in the Time of Coronavirus. It’s 14 days—the length of the suggested quarantine—of Stoicism-inspired challenges, practices and reading that will help you grow and help you help others.

If you’ve done any of our other challenges over the last two years, you know we pack them full of great content, actionable advice, and strategies to make the habits stick. This one will be all that… and incredibly timely. We’re taking our best material and the best insights from the Stoics and organizing it to help you make the most of this time we have. Why shouldn’t you emerge from this process having at least wrested from it some real advantages? Why would you kill time when you could be seizing that time? Why not use it to create better habits and a better perspective?

Since there is little time to lose, we are putting the challenge on sale right now and starting it this coming Monday (March 30th). The more of us doing it together, at the same time, the better (people who sign up late can still do it, but they’ll miss some of the fun). We’ll create a Slack channel for sharing and holding each other accountable. And we’ll do a wrap-up call at the end to discuss keeping these good practices going.

More important, we’re giving $5 of every sale (20% of all proceeds) to Feeding America. By doing this challenge together we can create what Marcus Aurelius calls a double bonus—doing good for ourselves and the people on the front lines fighting to keep us safe.

Collection – 6 Habits of Highly Healthy Brains

By Thomas Oppong

Full link: https://medium.com/mind-cafe/6-habits-of-highly-healthy-brains-ef0c1c86014b

Key lifestyle habits that can help keep your brain healthy

The relationships between our brain and body and the world around us are complex. What you do or don’t do can significantly change how your health and wellbeing.

A healthy brain is determined by both biological and physiological factors — genes, hormones, the immune system, nutrition, exercise, and other lifestyle choices.

Social, psychological and environmental factors including relationships, stress, emotions, mindset, life events and current circumstances also contribute to your brain health.

Each element can impact others in a multi-directional and dynamic way. Example, your thoughts can influence your physical health (which is why chronic stress can lead to abnormal heart rhythms or heart attacks).

Everyone wants to live an active, vibrant life for as long as possible. And that goal depends on robust brain health. You can’t do much about your genes, but other physiological, social and environmental factors can be modified to improve your brain.

Our brains naturally decline if we do nothing to protect them. However, if we intervene early, we can slow the decline process — it’s easier to protect a healthy brain than to try to repair damage once it is extensive.

You can improve your lifestyle habits to promote a highly healthy brain — one free of physical or mental illness, disease, and pain. We have more control over our ageing brains than we realise.

These habits are just a reminder — you already know the importance of these lifestyle choices. It pays to make a conscious effort to help yourself — your brain will thank you.

1. Healthy brains know the long-term value of brain food

That means eating lots of foods associated with slowing cognitive decline — blueberries, vegetables (leafy greens — kale, spinach, broccoli), whole grains, getting protein from fish and legumes and choosing healthy unsaturated fats (olive oil) over saturated fats (butter).

The connection between what goes into your body and how your brain performs is a strong one. The best diet should also be good for your brain, your heart and blood vessels.

“Omega-3 fats from fish or nuts fight inflammation associated with neurodegeneration. Fruit and vegetables combat age-related oxidative stress that causes wear and tear on brain cells,” says Dr Gary Small, a professor of psychiatry and ageing, and director of the Longevity Center at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles.

2. A healthy brain creates calm: It really matters!

Find your moment or place of calm and separate yourself from chronic stress.

Chronic stress can change the wiring of our brains.“Stress shrinks the brain’s memory centres, and the stress hormone cortisol temporarily impairs memory,” says Dr Small.

To reverse stress and improve your mood and memory, adopt relaxation methods like meditation. “Meditation even rewires the brain and improves measures of chromosomes’ telomere (protective cap) length, which predicts longer life expectancy” argues Dr Small.

Find your place or moment of calm, and do something pleasurable that makes you come alive — a personal passion project can help you destress.

3. Even 20 minutes of daily brisk walking is beneficial to maintain a healthy brain

Physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your brain and body. You already know the countless benefits of exercising.

Dozens of research have found that that nearly any type of physical activity — walking, running, cycling, minimal weight-lifting and even mindful exercise such as yoga contribute to improved cognitive performance.

Exercise stimulates the brain to release brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a molecule essential for repairing brain cells and creating connections between them.

Physical activity also boosts endorphins, which can lift your mood. “Aerobic exercise helps improve the health of brain tissue by increasing blood flow to the brain and reducing the chances of injury to the brain from cholesterol buildup in blood vessels and from high blood pressure,” says Dr Joel Salinas, a neurologist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.

A simple walk outdoors gets you away from digital devices and into nature. You’ll do your best thinking when walking.

4. Engaging in mentally stimulating activities creates new brain connections and more cognitive reserve

Stimulating and challenging the brain helps it stay fit and firing. Spend some time in new thoughts.

To improve your brain health, try to do one activity that challenges the mind every day — spend some time in new thoughts. The desire to learn and understand other people, ideas, cultures and concepts can boost your brain.

“…higher cognitive activity endows the brain with a greater ability to endure the effects of brain pathologies compared to a person with lower cognitive engagement throughout life,” says David S. Knopman, M.D., a clinical neurologist involved in research in late-life cognitive disorders.

Lifelong learning and mentally challenging work build cognitive reserve. Find reasonably challenging activities you can practice regularly — try activities that combine mental, social and physical challenges.

5. Make meaningful connections to stay sharp

We’re social creatures — meaningful social connections make us happier. Happiness makes your brain work better.

Psychological studies show that conversation stimulates the brain. It may seem effortless to many, but it requires a complex combination of skills including attention, memory, thinking, speech and social awareness.

study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that better social interaction can help protect the brain against dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Social connections are as important to our flourishing as the need for food, safety, and shelter. The urge to connect is a life-long human need.

Matthew Lieberman, a social psychologist, neuroscientist, and author of Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect, sees the brain as the center of the social self. He writes in his book, “It’s hard to find meaning in what we do if at some level it doesn’t help someone else or make someone happier.”

Researchers at the Oregon Health & Science University and the University of Michigan have suggested that human interaction and conversation could be the keys to maintaining brain function as we grow older.

Supportive friends, family and social connections helps you live longer, happier and healthier. Socialising reduces the harmful effects of stress

6. A healthy brain doesn’t overlook or underappreciate quality sleep and “wakeful rest”

Sleep is the number one, fundamental bedrock of good health. A good night sleep every night should be a priority, not a luxury.

“Without good sleep, we see increased anxiety and stress. Sleep is restorative, helping you be more mentally energetic and productive,” advises Sandra Bond Chapman, Ph.D., founder and chief director of the Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas at Dallas and author of Make Your Brain Smarter.

Apart from getting a good and quality night sleep, make time for “wakeful rest” — it pays to plan breaks in between your busy schedule. Plan downtime on your calendar.

After a busy day, give your brain time to recover — sit back, close your eyes and let your mind wander (spontaneous thought in our wakeful life)— in the knowledge that your brain is busy consolidating information.

In a study on Boosting Long-Term Memory via Wakeful Rest, the authors found that “wakeful rest” — without any external stimulation — allows the brain to consolidate the memories of what it has learned.

It is never too early or too late to start living more healthily. Your daily habits have more impact on how long and how well you live — plan to eat well, take short walks, engage in mental stimulation, and manage your social connections for better brain health.

Collection – Young workers likely to be hard hit as COVID-19 strikes a blow to restaurants and other service sector jobs

A Boston restaurant owner surveys his empty establishment. (Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

COVID-19 and the coronavirus that causes it are proving to be not only a public health crisis but also an economic one. With calls for social distancing, service sector jobs that depend on customer-provider interactions or involve the congregation of large numbers of people are likely to take a huge hit. Workers in industries such as restaurants, hotels, child care services, retail trade and transportation services are at a higher risk of losing their jobs.

Nearly one-in-four U.S. workers – 38.1 million out of 157.5 million – are employed in the industries most likely to feel an immediate impact from the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data. Among the most vulnerable are workers in retail trade (10% of all workers) and food services and drinking places (6%). In total, these two industries employ nearly 26 million Americans.

The United States is in a historic moment, and there is a great deal of uncertainty about the short- and long-term economic effects of this pandemic. But it’s safe to say the short-term impact on employment will be significant. The latest report from the Department of Labor on unemployment insurance claims shows an increase of 3 million in initial claims in the week ending March 21 compared with the previous week. A 15% reduction in the workforce of higher-risk industries alone would add 5.7 million workers to the unemployment rolls. This would result in an almost immediate doubling of the U.S. unemployment rate from 3.5% to 7%. In contrast, it took nearly two years for the unemployment rate to double during the Great Recession as it climbed from 5% in December 2007 to 10% in October 2009.

Young adults are disproportionately at risk of job losses from COVID-19Based on the demographics of workers in higher-risk industries, young people in particular are set to be disproportionately affected by virus-related layoffs. Among the 19.3 million workers ages 16 to 24 in the economy overall, 9.2 million, or nearly half, are employed in service-sector establishments. Younger workers make up 24% of employment in higher-risk industries overall, and many establishments in these industries are facing a high likelihood of closure in areas with more severe COVID-19 outbreaks.

Higher-risk industries also employ slightly more women than men: 19.4 million workers in these industries are women compared with 18.7 million men.

There are slightly fewer white workers in the higher-risk industries relative to their share of the workforce overall, while black and Hispanic workers have a slightly larger presence in these industries. But the differences are not large. For example, Hispanics account for 18% of employment in the economy overall and 21% of employment in the higher-risk industries.

Most workers at a higher risk of job loss due to COVID-19 are low-wage workersWorkers in these industries have lower-than-average earnings. Across all industries, the average weekly earnings in January 2020 were $975. By contrast, workers in food services and drinking places earned only $394 per week on average. Workers in the other high-risk industries had earnings ranging from around $500 to $600 per week, with the exception being transportation workers, who earned $956 per week. Many of these workers do not have access to benefits like paid leave and teleworking, which some workers in other types of industries are utilizing to comply with social distancing guidelines.

While businesses in some of the higher-risk industries are trying to adapt to the new economic reality for survival – for example, restaurants moving to take-out orders and “contactless delivery” – many others, including entertainment-related businesses such as sports arenas and movie theaters, are presently closed, either voluntarily or due to government mandates. In other cases, such as air transportation, operations are largely curtailed by travel restrictions.

Employment outcomes in retail trade, which employs 16.2 million workers, are more uncertain. While brick-and-mortar operations are at higher risk because some are closed by government mandate and shoppers are otherwise encouraged to stay home, electronic shopping providers may stand to benefit.

Note – Blooloop weekend briefing: COVID-19 | Attractions reopen in Asia | Super Nintendo World | Epic Universe

Theme parks

Merlin Entertainments has temporarily shut attractions in response to the global coronavirus pandemic, including Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures, and Legoland Windsor.

The opening of Tyra Banks’ beauty theme park ModelLand has been postponed in response to COVID-19. The attraction was set to open at Macerich’s Santa Monica Place in Santa Monica on May 1.

Japan is beginning to open theme parks and attractions, as well as businesses and schools, after COVID-19 resulted in closures through early 2020. Huis Ten Bosch and Legoland Japan are open, as well as GrinPa Amusement Park.

Disney’s theme park closures during coronavirus could cost the company more than $500m in lost admission revenue as global attendance takes an 11 million visitor hit – the equivalent of annual attendance at Disney California Adventure.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Village Roadshow Limited announced the temporary closure of its Gold Coast theme parks; Warner Bros Movie World, Sea World, Wet’n’Wild, and Paradise Country.

Museums

Hong Kong has decided to close its government-run museums once again after a wave of new coronavirus cases hit, largely due to returning travellers. Closed museums include Hong Kong Museum of Art, City Gallery, and M+ Pavilion.

Hong Kong also said that the leisure venues and cultural facilities that reopened earlier this month have closed once again as cases of coronavirus spike.

The National Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City enlisted the help of its security guard Tim Tiller during the attraction’s temporary closure. Tim has been learning on the job about hashtags and TikTok amid COVID-19.

The Met Museum launched the #CongressSaveCulture campaign to advocate for financial relief for non-profit arts organisations in light of COVID-19. The Met hopes that $4bn in government support will be included in the $2tn package.

Arts Council England launched a £160 million emergency package for theatres, galleries, museums and artists who have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The cash injection will help artists, venues and freelancers in the cultural sector.

China has lifted the coronavirus lockdown in the province of Hubei. The city of Wuhan will remain in lockdown until April 8. In addition, tourist attractions are reopening in Shanghai and Beijing.

Social distancing

Disney and Universal theme parks have temporarily closed because of COVID-19, and people are taking to Twitter to create #HomemadeThemePark rides, all from the comfort of their own homes.

The Neon Museum is providing ways to #NeonMuseumFromHome and remain engaged during the coronavirus outbreak. It offers content on its app, YouTube channel, and social media during the temporary closure.

Disney+ launched in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and Spain. It will debut in France on April 7. The launch comes as fans of Disney’s theme parks practice social distancing during the outbreak of coronavirus.

The V&A Museum has a range of online content, including virtual tours and blog posts, in light of social distancing during the global outbreak of COVID-19. More options include access to the museum, its collections and archives.

Denver Zoo is keeping visitors entertained and engaged with Zoo to You: Virtual Safari. The attraction is offering daily videos, facts about animals, and family-friendly activities to do at home.

New projects

Japan is proceeding with its integrated resorts as planned, despite the outbreak of coronavirus. Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, said that the IR project is on track and that the first IR in Japan will not be delayed.

Universal Orlando Resort is continuing work on its new theme park, Universal’s Epic Universe, despite the global outbreak of COVID-19. Super Nintendo World attractions are also on track in Japan and California.

In depth

How theme parks are responding during coronavirus closures MORE

Attractions news: Coronavirus | Theme parks and museums reopen in China MORE

The impact of coronavirus on theme parks: What we’ve seen so far MORE
The Blooloop guide to working from home during COVID-19 self-isolation MORE
Coronavirus update: News from the attractions industry MORE
To ride or not to ride: Choosing the right experience for your IP MORE

How your attraction can cope with COVID-19 MORE

IAAPA Leadership Summit 2020: The experience economy MORE

Collection – Private equity and the new reality of coronavirus

By Alejandro Beltran de Miguel, Jeremiah Connolly, Alexander Edlich, Ari Oxman, Vivek Pandit, Laurens Seghers, and Elizabeth Skovira

Full link: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/private-equity-and-principal-investors/our-insights/private-equity-and-the-new-reality-of-coronavirus?cid=other-eml-alt-mip-mck&hlkid=27c5611c69784f7e8e91aeb846949d64&hctky=2618809&hdpid=b060c58e-ec45-42de-8705-679ecdb28035

Sponsors and their portfolio companies need to adjust quickly to the COVID-19 outbreak. Here’s the new playbook.

COVID-19 is an enormous global humanitarian challenge. Millions of health professionals are battling the disease, caused by the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), and putting their own lives at risk. Governments and industries around the world are working together to understand and address the challenge, support victims and their families and communities, and search for treatments and a vaccine.

The economic damage is becoming palpable. Every business, large and small, is coming to grips with the unfolding crisis (see McKinsey’s global perspective on the implications for business). Private equity (PE) firms and their portfolio companies come into the crisis riding a decade-long wave of growing transaction volumes, valuations, and fundraising. That position of strength may prove a bulwark in the months ahead, especially for firms that have exercised prudence recently. But there are also fault lines in private markets: deal leverage recently reached a new high, and multiples paid in recent months reached a multiyear high.

Every industry needs to respond to the crisis—including PE. This article provides an outline of the emerging playbooks for both PE firms and their portfolio companies.

Firm actions and priorities

For many experienced investors, a crisis is not uncharted territory. But the COVID-19 outbreak is fundamentally unique in its disruption of core working processes. Every sponsor needs to make five kinds of adjustments; some leading firms are already taking several of these steps.

Take care of employees

PE firms need to make sure that colleagues can prioritize their own and their families’ health, energy, and stress levels, in line with guidelines from the relevant public-health organizations. Many firms are already investing heavily in the blocking-and-tackling needed to expand remote technology and back-office infrastructure (for example, by adding VPN access and extending help-desk hours). We have seen others planning to enhance virtual training (to come back from the crisis with a better-skilled team) and adding benefits such as telehealth services.

Many of the tools, even if they have been in use for a while, will be unfamiliar to colleagues. Firms need to provide appropriate training for all employees to get comfortable with this new operating model and to make sure they can do their jobs remotely.

Firm leaders need to role-model the emerging best practices and ensure their presence (through videoconferences or more frequent informal calls) to maintain both organizational connectedness and ongoing critical activities.

Ensure continuity of critical processes

PE firms need to keep crucial machinery running; they should continue to assess the investment pipeline, conduct investment-committee discussions, and manage all other essential processes through videoconferencing. Similarly, they can continue regularly interacting with portfolio-company leaders through videoconferencing and shift to conducting board and review meetings virtually.

Firms might consider increasing the frequency of interactions, thus reducing lead time on agreed actions. This would allow maximum flexibility and agility for responding to fast-emerging challenges and making quick, risk-mitigating decisions (such as halting an exit).

Prioritize the portfolio

Sponsors are looking for clarity on the areas in which portfolio companies urgently need support and, when appropriate, course correction. Of course, the industry sector in which a portfolio company operates will be a strong determinant of how it will be affected. Some portfolio companies in healthcare or retail are part of the frontline response or provide critical products and services; ensuring that their supply chains are operating at peak performance is essential. Others (such as travel and hospitality companies) are experiencing immediate and unthinkable drops in consumer demand. Since most sponsors have limited resources to share with their owned companies (such as liquidity, operating executives to provide leadership and execution support, and critical relationships with other organizations), they will need to decide where best to allocate time and resources.

A handy way to prioritize is to consider six indicators of disproportionate risk or impact (Exhibit 1). These aren’t exhaustive, and they may change as the crisis unfolds. But these are the six that sponsors are currently using successfully. These six dimensions can quickly identify portfolio companies that require more support. For example, some sponsors whose portfolio companies are dependent on international supply chains have rapidly identified a need to develop regional alternatives for critical parts to maintain operations.

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While some portfolio companies require support to address risks, others may be experiencing countercyclical support. Some might be able to make incredible differences to society—say, through supply-chain improvements. And some may have opportunities to restructure their balance sheets in fluctuating financial markets. For example, some manufacturing companies have found ways to shift production toward critical necessities or medical products that are in short supply, while some retailers are finding innovative ways to meet unprecedented consumer demand in an orderly manner. For example, a field-services company is retraining its maintenance workers to handle break/fix calls to keep critical retailing infrastructure up and running.

Finally, sponsors can use this prioritization exercise to bolster the confidence of their management teams, reassuring them that support will be provided where necessary.

Assess investment strategy, asset allocation, and financing

The current financial-market displacement and equity valuations have undoubtedly created potential investments for sponsors with dry powder. It is difficult to determine which of these will be actionable, not least because obtaining debt finance for buyouts could be challenging. In some cases, sponsors may move ahead, even with limited information. But many sponsors are preparing for a broader range of investments. These can include debt or other rescue financing for companies suffering the brunt of the crisis and other situations that are outside the norm for control-equity investors. Either strategy will require an agile investment process in order to move quickly when potential investments arise.

One final note on investment strategy: COVID-19 has proved again that black swans exist. Investors would do well to consider a wider range of disruptive scenarios when considering new investments.

Support your limited partners and consider your stakeholders

Limited partners crave insights from their investment managers during crises. Some sponsors are supplementing market updates with communication on additional topics relevant to their board and public stakeholders, reinforcing the value and credibility of in-place risk-management and preparedness practices.

Now is also the time to consider investment and portfolio actions in the context of the unfolding humanitarian crisis. At a time when public expectations of business’s role in society are shifting rapidly, firms should consider doubling down on their commitments to environmental, social, and governance (ESG)-related investing and evaluate their actions through a lens of social citizenship, taking a long view as they plot their course.

Portfolio-company actions and priorities

Many portfolio companies are engaging in some or all of five priorities: workforce protection and productivity, managing financial and liquidity risk, stabilizing operations, engaging with customers, and preparing for recovery and growth. Workforce protection is a must for every company; the others will vary by sector (medical companies and hospitals may focus their resources on supply chain and operations; travel and leisure companies, as well as oil and gas companies, on liquidity risk; tech companies on supply chain; and critical-goods retailers on customers and growth).

These five priorities are typically coordinated by a central team (Exhibit 2).

Exhibit 2

In the following sections, we outline how portfolio companies are approaching some of these priorities.

Set up a ‘cash war room’ to manage financial and liquidity risk

Companies in sectors with especially tight liquidity or hugely reduced customer demand may benefit from standing up a dedicated “cash war room.” This team typically focuses on three tasks:

  • Rapid assessment of risk and potential cash savings. This assessment, based on internal data and some publicly available sources, includes modeling cash flow to view balances under different scenarios (Exhibit 3).
  • Identification of cash levers. This step includes a review of the balance sheet and proposing cash-generation levers for major asset and liability categories. Many portfolio companies are exploring ways to restructure or refinance while debt is available and comparatively cheap. Simultaneously, a working-capital diagnostic can highlight potential short-term cash releases.
  • Collaboration with business leaders and outside experts. This step allows companies to address urgent issues related to liquidity and crisis management.
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The war room can work entirely remotely yet in constant cooperation with the portfolio company’s CFO, treasurer, and executive team. A dashboard of balance-sheet and cash-flow diagnostics, shared virtually over any confidential platform, can help maintain oversight and keep focus on the most important levers.

Stabilize operations

Portfolio companies should move to assess operational risk rapidly and, when necessary, stabilize their operations. This will vary widely by sector. For example, many manufacturing companies are moving swiftly to create visibility into their supply chains, even in advance of potential issues, given the rapid shifts in customer demand. This can include analyzing available inventory (some is often hidden along the chain), comparing it with demand forecasts (which can be refined through direct customer communications and external market insights), and identifying alternative supply sources for critical parts. For example, some portfolio companies may look to source parts from vendors in regions with slower demand to supply more active factories. Manufacturers might also consider how to optimize production, distribution, and logistics. New production methods, vendors, and routes may be necessary to avoid supply disruptions.

For service-oriented businesses, capacity planning and demand management are important levers to consider to maintain effective operations. For example, for one communications-services business, maintaining call-center capacity was the most urgent operations concern.

It’s also important to consider risks to critical counterparties, such as suppliers and customers. Portfolio companies may need to work closely with and even support counterparties, especially small- and medium-size businesses, to maintain stability. Several public companies have been noteworthy leaders in this regard.

Prepare for recovery and growth

After taking initial actions to recover and stabilize, portfolio companies can prepare for growth. In the last downturn, many portfolio companies had success by investing at greater rates than their competitors. In the United Kingdom, for example, one prominent study found that PE-backed portfolio companies cut investment by five to six percentage points fewer than their public-company peers did (in other words, they invested more), contributing to an average six to eight percentage points faster growth than their underlying markets.1

Commercially, portfolio companies could consider tailoring product or service offerings to help customers weather the downturn. An equipment business, say, could offer leases to lower customers’ up-front investment costs (these may be especially germane in businesses in which leasing economics enhance the lifetime value of customers, irrespective of the macroclimate). Businesses might also reconsider contract structures and identify ways to increase customer “stickiness.” For example, a rental and services business is offering near-term commercial concessions in exchange for increasing the minimum duration of the contract and tightening break requirements.

Portfolio companies should also prepare for M&A. McKinsey research shows that public companies that outperformed coming out of the last recession divested underperforming businesses faster than others did and made acquisitions earlier in the recovery phase.2 Portfolio companies can utilize a similar strategy by planning and executing a through-cycle strategy for M&A and divestitures and by building a pipeline of potential strategic targets.

Finally, as strategy and goals evolve, companies will need to reset budgets and management incentives for the new environment.


The scale of human catastrophe from COVID-19 is yet to be seen. The economic damage is likewise uncertain. Given the range of potential outcomes, sponsors are right to move quickly and decisively on new-playbook initiatives, internally and with their portfolio companies, to help weather this storm and position themselves for the eventual recovery.

Landscape – China is rewriting coronavirus history and nobody will stop it

By Natasha Kassam

Full link: https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/China-is-rewriting-coronavirus-history-and-nobody-will-stop-it?utm_campaign=RN%20Free%20newsletter&utm_medium=opinion_newsletter_free&utm_source=NAR%20Newsletter&utm_content=article%20link&del_type=6&pub_date=20200328093000&seq_num=2&si=%%user_id%%

Disarray in global governments gives Beijing chance to step up and reap rewards

“Were it not for the unique institutional advantages of the Chinese system, the world might be battling a devastating pandemic.” So boasted a supposedly prophetic editorial in the state-owned China Daily newspaper on February 20, when most COVID-19 cases were contained within China.

It does not look so prophetic now: there are more cases outside of China than inside it and the World Health Organization has declared a global pandemic. At least the daily new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in China have dropped from the thousands to zero on some days last week.

As the crisis of COVID-19 has shifted from being a China problem to a global one, Chinese authorities have switched gears. From the early days of a defensive cover-up and censorship, they have surged into an all-out propaganda offensive.

The message lauds the strength and resolve of China’s party-state and deflects scrutiny of the systemic failures and cruel incompetence of the Chinese Communist Party’s initial response to COVID-19. The rest of the world, struggling with the outbreak, is allowing this message to go unchallenged.

At the outset, Beijing was focused on the domestic audience: the party-state’s vocal defense of its efforts to contain the virus was aimed at countering popular scrutiny at home. The narrative simultaneously blamed the local governments in Hubei province for its governance failures while touting the central government’s efforts to salvage the crisis.

The propaganda machine in China is known for its ability to rewrite history within the country, through a combination of censorship and repression, and the ensuing days and weeks have seen this success replicated overseas.

Now China’s message for the world is threefold: it has bought the world time to prepare for the pandemic; the virus may not in fact have originated in China; and China will help people who have been failed by their governments.

On some level, Chinese doctors and other front line heroes did buy the world time — time that has been squandered in many countries. But the world might not have found itself in this position if not for the initial cover-up of the outbreak. That most countries are deep in the crisis as China emerges from it makes this view resonate all the more.

A woman wearing a protective mask walks near Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Mar. 15: the world might not have found itself in this position if not for the initial cover-up of the outbreak.   © Reuters

The rise of the conspiracy theory that the COVID-19 did not emerge from Wuhan has been amplified through official messaging. A Foreign Ministry spokesperson from China tweeted on March 12: “When did patient zero begin in US? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan.”

If you type “was the new coronavirus” into China’s largest search engine, Baidu, the first suggestion is now “made by the Americans?” A number of China’s ambassadors have since doubled down on the theory.

This propaganda push may be retaliation for some prominent Americans giving airtime to the conspiracy theory that the novel coronavirus was weaponized by Chinese scientists. But any additional uncertainty or confusion also helps to deflect blame for the crisis away from the China’s party-state.

Finally, China is seizing on the absence of clear and credible information from authorities that people can trust. This is only helped by the many failures of foreign governments to properly prepare for the onslaught of the virus and the genuine contribution that China is now well-placed to make.

Xi Jinping in Wuhan appears in the CCTV state media broadcast at a shopping center in Beijing: China is seizing on the absence of clear and credible information from authorities that people can trust.   © Reuters

China has sent teams to Iran and Italy, and is planning for Spain, gestures that have been well-publicized. Serbia’s President is appealing for help from his “friend and brother” Xi Jinping after the EU, which does not include Serbia, restricted exports of medical equipment. Pacific Island officials are receiving tele-briefings from China on how to manage this crisis.

Contrast China’s behavior to that of the competing superpower, the U.S., which blindsided its security ally Germany in attempting to purchase exclusive access to a possible coronavirus vaccine.

China can present itself as a benevolent and responsible world power, stepping up to the plate. This accords with the ambitions of China’s leaders to demonstrate that China’s system is more effective than that of the West. Xi Jinping’s long-standing emphasis on governance reform seeks to show that authoritarian states, like China under him, can coexist and compete in an effective way with established democracies.

But China’s approach has also evolved into a global push, and most countries are in no position to argue. The shortcomings of others in preparing for this public health crisis have made it almost too easy for China to pivot.

Buried in our own crises that we should have seen coming, China’s leaders are rewriting history so that they are not held responsible for the world’s fatalities, disruption and inevitable economic recession.

By buying this propaganda line, we are effectively erasing the many missteps and governance failures at the outset of this crisis and the thousands of documented and likely undocumented deaths of victims in China, many of whom were front line health care workers. But the story of China’s victory in the “people’s war” against COVID-19 has already been written.

Note – AngelList: Big tech could emerge stronger from COVID-19

Even the worst crisis creates opportunities

While the rest of the economy is tanking from the crippling impact of coronavirus, business at the biggest technology companies is holding steady — even thriving. With people told to work from home and stay away from others, the pandemic has deepened reliance on services from the technology industry’s most prominent companies while accelerating trends that were already benefiting them.

Increase in demand for cloud computing platforms

For companies managing their internet infrastructures, making adjustments to computing needs on the fly is expensive and complicated. Cloud computing makes it easier. Companies were already dumping their own data centers to rent computing from Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. That shift is likely to speed up as millions of employees are forced to work from home, putting a strain on corporate technology infrastructures.

Increasing usage of remote and collaboration tools

Microsoft has aggressively pushed its new business messaging and collaboration tool, Microsoft Teams, which competes with the independent company Slack. Last week, Microsoft said the number of users on Teams had grown 37 percent in a week to more than 44 million daily users. There have been at least 900 million meetings and call minutes on Teams every day.

Grocery delivery apps are in demand

Amazon has muscled in on brick-and-mortar retailers for years, but shoppers now reluctant to go to the store, are turning to the e-commerce giant for a wider variety of goods, like groceries and over-the-counter drugs. Amazon said it was hiring 100,000 warehouse workers to meet surging demand. While Amazon has changed shopping habits for items like books, getting customers to trust it with groceries has been challenging. That’s now changing.

Other grocery delivery apps including Instacart, Walmart Grocery, and Shipt, have begun to see record numbers of daily downloads. Instacart plans to hire 300,000 gig workers over the next three months, more than doubling its current base.

Increase in traffic to video streaming sites and social media platforms

Voice calling over Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging service has doubled in volume. Facebook’s Messenger app has had similar growth. Analysts are bullish about Facebook’s prospects because many people turn to it for news in times of crisis and to distract themselves while working from home.

Downloads of Netflix’s app — a proxy for traffic from the streaming site — jumped 66 percent in Italy. In Spain, they rose 35 percent. In the United States, where Netflix was already popular, there was a 9 percent bump. Streaming services like Netflix have dampened box office sales for movies in recent years. Now, as movie theaters close under government orders, Netflix and YouTube are gaining a new audience.

Video game usage and live streaming have spiked. Globally, the weekend of March 14 saw a significant increase in streaming audiences over the previous weekend, with Twitch’s viewership going up 10% and YouTube Gaming’s by 15%. Verizon found that online gaming has increased by 75% during peak hours in North America, while streaming is up 12%.

Increased usage of apps

Even Apple, a company with hundreds of closed stores around the world, is increasingly looking as if it will emerge from the pandemic in good shape. Many of Apple’s factories are nearly back to normal. People are spending more time and money on its digital services. Last week, Apple even released a lineup of new gadgets.
More time and money spent on phones is also good news for Apple and Google because they take a cut of most app sales and in-app purchases. Over the past two weeks in the United States, Apple and Android App Store revenue has risen 14-20%.

The largest tech companies could emerge much stronger

That’s not to say major technology companies shouldn’t be worried. Advertising, the lifeblood of Google and Facebook, tends to suffer during economic downturns. The stocks of Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and Google’s parent company, Alphabet, have collectively lost more than $1 trillion in market value in the last month. And Microsoft, Twitter, and Apple have cut their short-term financial forecasts because of slowing consumer spending.

Beyond the big five, things have been more of a struggle. Communication tools like Zoom are now essential, but ride-hailing firms like Uber and Lyft and property-rental sites like Airbnb are seeing customers vanish. The $3.9 trillion global technology industry will suffer this year, though just how much remains unclear.

But when the economy does eventually improve, big tech could benefit from changes in consumer habits. And despite more than 18 months of criticism from lawmakers, regulators, and competitors before the pandemic hit the United States, the biggest companies are likely to finish the year stronger than ever.

AngelList

Note – Fisher: Around the World in Coronavirus Stimulus

By Fisher Investments Editorial Staff

Full link: https://www.fisherinvestments.com/en-us/marketminder/around-the-world-in-coronavirus-stimulus

While the US’s $2 trillion stimulus bill is hogging headlines stateside, governments around the world are rolling out their own sweeping rescue packages in an effort to mitigate the economic consequences of COVID-19 containment efforts. Here is a look at some of the major responses we have seen from North America and Europe thus far. This isn’t everything worldwide, and many more provisions may emerge or shift in the coming days. But it should give you a sense of how the globe is responding and what investors should reasonably expect from it.

UK

Britain’s government has rolled out a sequence of measures.


Sources: Bloomberg and The Guardian, as of 3/26/2020.

As with the US stimulus plans, we are sure these provisions (and all those that follow) will spur lots of debate about the wisdom of the capital allocation, whether the funds could be spent better elsewhere and more. We won’t wade into that here—as with all such plans, eventually the money will leak into the hands of someone who spends it efficiently.

The key to these: timing. VAT cuts are immediate but don’t actually add liquidity when the issue is business closures. The other measures—like increased welfare, sick leave and grants—may help in the short run, but we doubt any can really offset the impact of interruptions to daily life. Most of them would actually hit at a lag, suggesting they mostly boost the eventual recovery rather than spur it.

Germany

Even fiscally stalwart Germany—long considered a bastion of austerity—is getting in on the stimulus act. Thursday, the country unveiled a supplemental budget amounting to more than $800 billion designed to counter the crisis’s effects. Major provisions include:


Sources: Deutsche Welle and Reuters, as of 3/27/2020

This plan isn’t a done deal yet—as we type, it is slated for a vote in the upper house of parliament on Friday. But, like all these measures, timing is key—and the German plan offers few details on that front thus far.

France

France is also reconsidering its plans in light of the coronavirus’s impact. In mid-March, the country announced it was scrapping its planned budget and near-totally rethinking its priorities. In the new budget:

  • President Emmanuel Macron’s long-touted and controversial pension reforms—that would have amounted to benefit cuts—are out.
  • On March 20, the country enacted $327 billion in business loan guarantees designed to ensure banks won’t lose out on loans made between March 16, 2020 and yearend—an effort to keep capital flowing to businesses.
  • It also enacted $50 billion in delayed (and potentially canceled) tax payments, unemployment benefits and transfers to certain struggling businesses and individuals, including forestalling evictions and postponing utility bills.

The government’s loan guarantees are an interesting measure that could help businesses that need to roll over credit lines. However, whether bank will be willing to go along with the measure remains to be seen—a fact that hinges as much on the ECB and accounting principles as it does the government’s maneuvering.

Canada

Canada, like the others, has enacted a multifaceted approach aiming to ensure continued credit flow to businesses as well as increase the social safety net. Initially, the government pushed for a bill that would empower the cabinet to tax and spend without Parliamentary approval through 2021, but opposition lawmakers shot it down, and the resulting legislation was a compromise across the board.

  • The key credit move: The government announced it would buy up to USD $107 billion in mortgages from banks, a move aiming to infuse them with fresh capital to lend to business and individuals.
  • Separately, the government announced a financial aid package that includes a six-month delay in student loan repayments, expanded unemployment benefits for four months for workers affected by the crisis, wage assistance for small businesses, tax credits and more.

These measures, which would hit over a period of months beginning in April, are only likely to matter much if the interruptions to business prove lasting—and in that case, they are likely insufficient. In the other scenario—a quick end to the crisis—they may never be used at all.

Ultimately, and as we wrote recently, while fiscal stimulus can help money circulate some during recessions, it can’t end them. Nothing here changes our view on that. However, it is clear that, whenever disruptions to business end, fiscal policy should be a powerful tailwind for growth across much of the developed world.

Note – McKinsey: The CIO checklist: Keeping things running during the coronavirus

This week, how chief information officers can embrace their central role in navigating the public-health crisis. Plus, three articles on how companies should think about Gen Z and millennial consumers, and Manish Chopra, a McKinsey senior partner, on the power of meditation.

drawing of people's heads

The coronavirus outbreak is presenting CIOs with the greatest challenge of their careers. We are seeing infrastructure breakdowns, denial-of-service attacks, and sites going down because of traffic load. Even as companies grapple with the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is already clear that CIOs are playing a central role in navigating the crisis.
We expect the crisis to play out broadly across three waves: Wave 1, ensuring stability and business continuity while containing the crisis; Wave 2, institutionalizing new ways of working; and Wave 3, using lessons learned from the crisis to prioritize tech transformation and shape it for resilience.
Based on conversations with more than 100 CIOs at global companies, we developed a CIO checklist for navigating the crisis. Even before the virus began disrupting business activity around the globe, many CIOs had not accepted the degree to which their role needs to expand beyond cost and performance responsibilities into one that leads the push to turn IT into a core driver of business value.
According to a recent McKinsey IT strategy survey, 79 percent of the organizations that have pursued digitization are still in the early stages of transformation. Many CIOs continue to look after their department’s cost and performance, not yet embracing their power to use IT to drive business value.
In the most competitive companies, tech departments that once supported operations have already made the leap to leading them. The landscape is being reshaped by transformation offices, which help organizations combine technical know-how with “soft” capabilities.
Transformative CIOs are on top of all this—learning not only the operations of their companies but also staying current by serving on outside boards. They build tech structures that support creativity, innovation, and fast-twitch responses—not bureaucracies with layers of approval that stifle initiative. They scout outside talent and also develop from within. And, vitally, they are translators who turn tech into simple language, educating company leaders about technologies and their applications for the business.

Private equity’s new playbook

Private equity firms and their portfolio companies come into the coronavirus crisis riding a decade-long wave of growing transaction volumes, valuations, and fundraising (see our Private Markets Annual Review from February 2020). That position of strength may prove a bulwark in the months ahead, especially for firms that have exercised prudence recently. But there are also fault lines in private markets: deal leverage recently reached a new high, and multiples paid in recent months reached a multiyear high. Portfolio companies must stress test their financials against a variety of scenarios.

Private equity’s new playbook exhibit

the Shortlist

McKinsey & Company

 

Note – DealStreetAsia: The Week That Was

It would be disingenuous to suggest that the global pandemic is anything but bad news for all, but it’s also important in these times to remember that it is not all doom and gloom out there.

Deals are getting done, funds are being raised, and folks everywhere are finding ways to keep on keeping on despite the challenges. To quote the late Freddie Mercury, “The show must go on.”

Princes of the universe

In our search for bright spots, investors told us that the COVID-19 outbreak could unearth some hidden gems in productivity platforms and digital healthcare businesses. Startups in artificial intelligence, software-as-a-service and education technology are drawing interest from customers and investors. Healthtech seems like an obvious play, but sharp minds are also looking at supporting players in the bigger healthcare ecosystem.

Golden Gate Ventures managing partner Vinnie Lauria expects a wave of mergers and acquisitions, with deep-pocketed unicorns on the prowl for opportunistic targets among a growing pool of funding-starved companies.

Indian food delivery platform Zomato is chasing after new business opportunities through tie-ups with online grocery startups Grofers and BigBasket. Education startups are filling virtual classrooms as people are forced to stay indoors.

Don’t stop them now

Amid the crisis, it is notable that deals are still being done and fundraising is continuing, especially in China where a number of large transactions were announced.

In the private equity space, sources told us that private equity firm KKR is looking to raise at least $750 million for its first Asia-focused technology, media and telecommunications fund. Earlier reports had placed the target closer to $300 million.

China’s Gaocheng Capital raised $235.1 million for its debut fund, while Shanghai-headquartered Bojiang Capital raised more than 800 million yuan ($113 million) for a tech private equity fund.

Singapore’s Elite Partners announced the first close for its Elite Logistics Fund, which has a target of 150 million euros ($236.2 million).

In the venture space, our sources say that Singapore-based Majuven is in talks to raise up to $50 million for its second fund. Also in Singapore, Vickers Venture Partners has raised $200 million for its $500 million sixth fund to invest in deep tech startups.

Indonesia’s Kargo Technologies scored a strategic investment from Amatil X, the venture arm of Coca Cola Amatil, giving the trucking marketplace startup valuable capital to help tide over the pandemic and to improve its technology.

Singapore’s state-owned investment firm Temasek led a $109 million Series D2 round into India’s Cure Fit Healthcare and a $70 million Series C round into Chinese biopharma firm Abbisko.

Singapore-based waste management firm Blue Planet Environmental Solutions raised $25 million from Japan’s Nomura, and cybersecurity firm Horangi raised $20 million through a Series B round led by Provident Growth.

Under pressure

Of course, not everyone is so fortunate.

The exit market for Indonesia’s venture capital players has dried up, putting pressure on funds with vintages from around 2015 and 2016, industry players told us.

Singapore Press Holdings has called off a C$232.9 million ($175.4 million) purchase of six senior housing properties in Canada, citing market instabilities caused by the pandemic. In India, private equity firm Apis Partners will no longer make a $110 million investment into L&T Finance Holdings’ infrastructure debt fund.

Singapore-based robo-advisor Smartly is being wound down. The startup is controlled by Vietnam’s VinaCapital. Also in Singapore, grocery delivery company Honestbee lost court protection from creditors who are owed $230 million, pushing the troubled startup closer to liquidation.

Hang in there, folks, and stay safe.

— Kenneth Lim, Features Editor, DealStreetAsia

Note – Bloomberg: The Weekly Fix: What 1930s-Sized Moves Tell Us About the Present

Days Like These

So, uh, that happened. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (technically) entered a bull market, with a more than 20% gain in a three-day stretch that culminated in a massive advance on a day when U.S. initial jobless claims posted a surge that was quadruple the previous record.

Last week, we discussed how liquidity conditions were so poor and raising cash was so front-of-mind that there was a pan-asset sell-off.

Rather than risk-on versus risk-off, the recent price action could be more charitably described as a return to “liquidity-on” conditions from “liquidity-off.” Everything rose: it was the first time since at least 2002 that the S&P 500 Index rose 6% or more and the long bond (as proxied by the TLT ETF) rose at least 0.4%.

There’s a lot of talk about the mother-of-all-rebalancings coming, thanks to the extreme market moves to date this month.

Deutsche Bank estimates pensions may dump about $40 billion in Treasuries. JPMorgan Chase is touting rebalancing as a $850-billion spark for global equities.

But on Thursday, it seemed a whole lot simpler: more like a rebalancing from the cash everyone had been pining for back into the financial assets they had eschewed.

Lessons Learned

A trip down memory lane is required to attempt to comprehend the scale of this week’s market moves.

The superlatives associated with the immense swings take us back to the 1930s. Think of what was going on in America back then, and what the policy response was!

We all learned it. Even foreigners (well, Canadians at least) get taught about some of it in grade school.

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its biggest one-day gain since March 15, 1933. That was the first session markets reopened following an extended bank holiday instituted by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt – because so many of them were failing in the midst of a bank run. In the interim, the Emergency Banking Act was passed. That gave the federal government the powers of receivership over all national banks threatened with suspension, helping bolster confidence that Americans could trust the banks with their savings.

Thursday marks the culmination of the biggest three-day rally in the S&P 500 since the period ending April 20, 1933, when FDR took the radical step of de-pegging the U.S. dollar from the gold standard. (Technically we are backdating the index here, as it only began in the 1950s.)

These were policy actions that succeeded in chopping off the left tail of systemic financial instability – much like the modern-day Federal Reserve’s rapidly expanding suite of programs to address liquidity and credit risk.

In the 1930s, these measures were accompanied by expansive fiscal policy, as is expected today. Think about the size and scope of FDR’s New Deal programs. Even they were insufficient to bring an unemployment rate of 25% in 1933 into signal digits before World War II was well underway.

The lesson from history: policies sufficient to shore up the financial system and spark furious rallies in risk assets are not enough to completely ameliorate supremely negative outcomes in the real economy.

That bears remembering when assessing the fiscal package that’s on the verge of clearing Congress. There’s no sign the bond market finds it a game-changer in terms of the outlook for growth and inflation.

“In the U.S., we see the 10-year reach a low of 30 basis points and end the year at 65 basis points as the Fed buys a significant amount of net issuance to support the economy,” writes Priya Misra at TD Securities. “Since we don’t forecast the Fed hiking until after 2021, we expect the 10-year to stay below 1% through 2021.”

Stimulus Funding

Nathan Tankus, research director at the Modern Money Network, deems nearly a quarter of the funds in the fiscal support bill to be a “useless accounting gimmick.”

At question here is the funds devoted to special purpose vehicles that will be backed by the Fed to facilitate assistance for beleaguered asset classes. There’s no reason to park so much cash there unless officials are worried about the potential of exposing the central bank to losses that leave it in the position of having a negative net worth, which is effectively just an accounting exercise with little true meaning.

“Each SPV associated with a specific Federal Reserve facility could be capitalized by a single dollar,’’ Tankus argues. “It really does seem to be the case that Congress people are taking large political hits for an irrelevant accounting gimmick.”

Allowing the Fed to hyper-leverage a smaller amount of funds would allow the “fiscal space” embedded in this bill to go elsewhere. On that note, governors are lamenting that the plans don’t sufficiently address their financial needs.

There is no indication, from the bond market or ratings companies, that this Congressional bill maxes out America’s fiscal capacity, far from it. Even Fitch reaffirmed the sovereign AAA credit rating on Thursday afternoon.

Interest rates are near historic lows. Yet the interest rate on the money we’re not spending by the delay in getting a fiscal package out the door is sky-high.

As Andrew Maragni quipped on Twitter, it’s like forgoing repairs on your roof and ultimately spending 10 times more to fix it after it caves in.

Massive red ink on the federal ledger – with uncertain implications for Treasury yields – are a forgone conclusion.

As Bloomberg’s Joe Weisenthal puts it: “Government deficits are going to soar. It’s a fact. Question is whether we do it the hard way or the easy way. Easy way: Spend a ton of money up front to save the economy. Hard Way: Let the economy collapse, and watch the tax base shrivel. Either way: Deficit soars.”

The Fed Has Done More

Some feared the Federal Reserve was “out of ammo” after lowering interest rates to the zero lower bound more than a decade ago.

It wasn’t, and it really never will be.

(Bloomberg Opinion columnist Tim Duy makes the case that the central bank can do even more, but let’s take stock of what’s already been set in motion.)

The central bank first set into motion facilities that would improve funding conditions and liquidity. The Fed has since embarked upon open-ended quantitative easing and credit support, and the effects are rippling beyond the asset classes it’s directly (or quasi-directly) helping.

BlackRock, as it happens, is assisting the central bank in carrying out credit purchases.

LQD, an investment grade bond ETF, soared 7.4% on Monday on the heels of the central bank’s announcement. The relative outperformance of investment grade five-year CDX (tightened dramatically) versus the S&P 500 Index (crushed) was the biggest in the history of the index.

Bloomberg

Bloomberg

Fund flows into investment-grade bonds have been steeply negative despite the Fed’s actions and price recovery, which suggests inflows into IG bond ETFs are a function of issuers catching up to the premium to net asset value that’s developed as these more liquid expressions of the high-grade market get Fed backing.

But at the start, this was just a case of investing alongside the Fed winning, and everything else losing. Monday also saw the most anomalous underperformance of high-yield CDX versus IG on record.

Bloomberg

Bloomberg

“However, high yield should eventually benefit indirectly as credit risk is removed from the market and potential fallen angels receive necessary capital,” wrote Daniel Sorid at Citigroup.

Right he was, at least for now.

Bespoke Investment Group flagged that the subsequent tightening in high-yield spreads on Tuesday was the best such showing for a 5% in advance in the S&P 500 since at least 1996.

Bespoke

Bespoke

Nonetheless, the potential for investment-grade creditors to lose that rating is in focus – especially after Ford became a fallen angel.

Citing the European Central Bank’s experience, Hans Mikkelsen at BofA Securities argues that the presence of the Fed as a high-grade quasi-buyer will firm the resolve of borrowers to retain that credit rating (even if an economic downturn makes that tough).

“A  sizable rating upgrade cycle in European high-yield followed the launch of the ECB Corporate Sector Purchase Program” in 2016, he writes. “Now obviously we are not predicting a US HY upgrade cycle as there is a recession, but would think that at the margin lower-rated U.S. IG companies should now be willing to fight more for their IG ratings.”

If investors were overly concerned about fallen angel risk, it seems odd that the relative surges in A-BBB spreads and BBB-BB spreads during the stretch of risk aversion would map so cleanly onto their 2016 peaks. Perhaps the perception of downgrades was sky-high then, too. Or perhaps it reflects Fed support for many credits that may lose high-grade status.

It wasn’t just high yield that found buyers: all the orphans of credit/income – municipalsshadow-banking lending vehicles, emerging-market debt and even mortgage REITs (a space which has been an absolute zoo) caught a bid over the middle of the week.

A solidifying high-yield market similarly bolstered stocks. As in accordance with a “liquidity-on” regime, a hyper-correlation between stocks and junk bonds has remained intact.

There’s no way to ascertain whether the Fed-induced improvements will have staying power. But that’s what’s been happening so far this week.

On Corporate Recessionistas

What’s relatively unique about this U.S. downturn is how much it came out of left field – so much so that it wiped out the start of a Major League Baseball season that was supposed to be underway by now.

Post-war recessions (prior to the dot-com bubble or financial crisis) were once viewed as inventory-correction cycles brought about by overproduction that needed to be remedied.

The last two were more balance-sheet recessions, in which financial imbalances became concentrated in one part of the economy and reached tipping points that bled into activity generally. It has become fashionable to put the current downturn into that latter camp as a “corporate-debt recession.”

But that analysis smacks of defeatist exaggeration.

The economy had weathered a number of shocks that failed to fell the corporate-debt market.

The oil crash of 2014-2016 didn’t infect the services sector, or the credit market outside of energy. Brexit? Nary a flesh wound. Chinese deleveraging and a trade war may have brought the global manufacturing sector to its knees, but it didn’t place a big enough damper on the bulk of American activity.

On Twitter, Modest Proposal (using somewhat stale statistics), reminds us that the most-leveraged quintile of firms didn’t gorge on debt this cycle. The increase in median leverage came from relatively less-indebted companies.

Moreover, additional corporate saving necessarily entails more dis-saving from households, governments or the rest of the world in order to keep demand from sinking, all else being equal.

Economists are projecting the worst drop in quarterly GDP going back to 1947. When it comes to ascertaining its cause and length, the magnitude that matters here is not that of the debt stock of U.S. companies, but that of the demand shock brought about by a global pandemic.

Q1 in Review

Since this is the last first-quarter edition of the Fix, we thought we’d do a brief overview of a couple of the key charts highlighted at the start of the year.

High yield now living up to its name versus EM:

At the start of 2020, U.S. high-yield bonds were on a record-long streak of trading tighter than emerging-market sovereign dollar bonds – even though on average, U.S. junk is less creditworthy.

On Feb. 18 – the day before the S&P 500 Index peaked – this gap was more than 76 basis points, its widest level since at least 2003. Now? About 200 basis points.

While the argument early this year for this spread moving back below zero keyed off a global reflation trade, that obviously hasn’t been the case. History shows there were two ways to skin this cat. The spread was at its most negative not when the world was doing great, but another instance in which it was imperiled: in the depths of the financial crisis.

Well, that spread escalated quickly:

Tame spreads in short-term, safe junk bonds – an oxymoron if there ever was one – were among the clearest signs that the outlook for the U.S. economy was bright. But two-year BB high-yield bonds would likely be in the cross-hairs if recession fears really did manifest themselves “as investors begin to mull a return to the zero lower bound and the prospect of squeezing through to the exits of a high-yield bloodbath.”

This is unfortunately precisely what happened.

In a little over a month’s time, this spread went from “worth monitoring” to “five-star alarm,” even taking into account the recent narrowing.

Bloomberg

Info – The 7 Best COVID-19 Resources We’ve Discovered So Far

Full link: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/7-best-covid-19-resources/

With all eyes on the COVID-19 pandemic and how its impact will be felt over the coming weeks and months, people are being bombarded with all kinds of noise and speculation.

Between a deadly virus, looming economic effects, and numerous government shutdowns, it’s clear that a fertile breeding ground has been created for misinformation, rumors, conspiracy theories, hot takes, and other potentially misleading content.

7 Indispensable COVID-19 Resources

At Visual Capitalist, it’s our goal to use data-driven visuals to explain the world around us.

In the last week alone, we’ve had more than 10 million people visit our site — many of them trying to understand more about COVID-19 and its effects on the economy and society.

With that in mind, we thought we’d curate a list of quality information on the virus and its impact. These COVID-19 resources are all from fact-driven, reliable sources, with some of them even being created by our in-house team and shared to our free daily mailing list.

On the below list, we start with the more contextual resources (understanding how the virus works, pandemic history, etc.) and then progress to real-time dashboards and up-to-date data.

Click any image below to see the full resource or dashboard. Many are updated daily or in real-time.

1. How Coronaviruses Work

How Coronaviruses Work

What is a coronavirus, and how does COVID-19 fit into the mix?

This educational scrolling infographic by SCMP walks you through some of the more familiar types of coronaviruses, how they spread, and how they affect the human body.

It also relates COVID-19 to other coronaviruses that cause diseases such as Mers, Sars, and even the common cold.

2. The History of Pandemics

The History of Pandemics

On March 11th, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

In this infographic, we look at the data to show you the history of pandemics — all the way from the Black Death to how the current COVID-19 situation. It helps give the historical context on how bad a pandemic can be. It’s also updated every day so you can see how COVID-19 compares to the impact of these previous events.

3. Coronavirus Simulator: Limiting the Exponential Spread

Coronavirus Simulator

Why does the virus spread at an exponential rate, and what techniques can be used to mitigate that spread?

This fantastic interactive page by the Washington Post actively simulates what happens when the virus spreads normally, contrasting it to how it may spread in a forced quarantine environment or when social distancing is practiced.

4. Real-time COVID-19 Map

Johns Hopkins: Real-time Coronavirus Map

If you haven’t seen this useful real-time dashboard by Johns Hopkins University yet, it’s worth bookmarking right now.

We check the resource every day, and it has the latest numbers for COVID-19 cases, deaths, recoveries, and more — and it’s all sorted by country and/or state and province. Importantly, it also updates in real-time, so you always know you are getting the latest numbers.

5. Which Countries are “Flattening the Curve”?

Our post on which countries are “flattening the curve” has had over a million views in the last week alone, and it features the above interactive graph from Our World in Data.

Go to the post itself to see a bigger version of the logarithmic chart, which plots the progress of different countries in flattening the curves of COVID-19 infections. The interactive chart updates daily based on the latest numbers, and you can actually search for any country by using the “Search” button. Using the filters on the right side, you can also sort by region as well.

6. Tracking the Coronavirus: The Latest Figures

Tracking the Coronavirus: The Latest Figures as it Spreads

Even though the Financial Times is a subscription-based website, it recently published this useful COVID-19 dashboard and made it accessible to everyone.

It features various charts and tables on the countries affected, as well as ongoing assessments on the economic damage caused by the virus. Like many of the other COVID-19 resources featured on this list, it is updated on a daily basis.

7. COVID-19 Stats and Research

The above graphic is one of many available on Our World in Data, a fantastic initiative led by economist Max Roser.

Their coronavirus research page has tons of stats, citations, and data for those that want to dive deeper into the situation. It’s also updated very regularly.

Bonus: The Coronavirus Explained, and What You Should Do

While this is less data-driven than the other pieces of content, this animated video by Kurzgesagt still provides a handy explainer on how the virus works.

It’s about eight minutes long, and might help you fill other knowledge gaps.

Please Share These Resources

At a time when misinformation can be dangerous and even deadly, it is worth spreading the above COVID-19 resources to your friends, family, and colleagues.

Many of the above resources are updated daily or they contain evergreen information, meaning they are not going to go out of date any time soon.

Wishing you a safe next few months,
– The Visual Capitalist team

Collection – Bài học cuộc sống

Full link: https://cafebiz.vn/nho-danh-hoa-picasso-ve-chan-dung-den-khi-hoi-gia-nguoi-phu-nu-tuong-minh-nghe-nham-20200310182427937.chn

Được một danh họa nổi tiếng vẽ tranh chân dung thì sẽ phải trả bao nhiêu tiền? Đây là điều mà người phụ nữ này chưa từng nghĩ đến…

 Nhờ danh họa Picasso vẽ chân dung, đến khi hỏi giá, người phụ nữ tưởng mình nghe nhầm - Ảnh 4.

Câu chuyện thứ nhất: Bài học quan trọng từ Pablo Picasso về giá trị công việc của chúng ta

Một phụ nữ đang đi dạo trên đường phố Paris thì nhìn thấy danh họa nổi tiếng Pablo Picasso đang ngồi uống cà phê ở một quán cà phê. Không kìm được sự xúc động, bà ta liền tiến đến chào hỏi danh họa.

Nhờ danh họa Picasso vẽ chân dung, đến khi hỏi giá, người phụ nữ tưởng mình nghe nhầm

“Xin chào danh họa Pablo Picasso. Tôi là một người rất hâm mộ các tác phẩm của ông. Tôi không muốn làm phiền ông đâu, nhưng chắc tôi sẽ chẳng bao giờ tha thứ cho mình nếu bỏ lỡ cơ hội nhờ ông vẽ hộ tôi một bức chân dung. Điều này sẽ rất có ý nghĩa với tôi. Tôi sẽ vui lòng trả bất kỳ mức giá nào mà ông yêu cầu”.

Nghe thấy vậy, Picasso đồng ý, và bắt đầu vẽ chân dung của người phụ nữ. Ông lấy ra một cây bút chì và tờ giấy, và chẳng mấy chốc, bà ta đã có một bức chân dung được ký tên Pablo Picasso.

 Nhờ danh họa Picasso vẽ chân dung, đến khi hỏi giá, người phụ nữ tưởng mình nghe nhầm - Ảnh 1.

Danh họa nổi tiếng Pablo Picasso cùng những bức họa theo trường phái ấn tượng của ông. (Ảnh: Internet)

“Ôi, đẹp quá, tôi rất vinh hạnh. Tôi sẽ trân trọng tác phẩm này suốt đời. Ông muốn bao nhiêu cho bức tranh này?”, người phụ nữ lên tiếng.

“Mười lăm ngàn Franc”, danh họa trả lời.

“Mười lăm ngàn Franc ư? Ông chỉ mất có vài phút để vẽ?”, bà ta phản đối.

“Không, thưa bà, bà nhầm rồi. Tôi đã mất cả đời mới có được kỹ năng như vậy đấy”.

Lời bàn: Giá trị công việc của bạn không được xác định bằng thời gian thực tế bạn bỏ ra, mà bằng tất cả những gì thuộc về bạn, những kiến thức, sự rèn luyện và cả trải nghiệm của bạn. Nó là kết quả của một quá trình dài được tích lũy và cần được trân trọng.

Câu chuyện cũng cho thấy, người ta thường chỉ nhìn thấy thành công của người khác, mà không thấy được những nỗ lực, những giọt nước mắt, thậm chí là cả máu mà họ đã phải bỏ ra để có được nó.

Câu chuyện thứ 2: Mọi chuyện có thể không giống như vẻ bề ngoài

Có hai thiên thần đáp xuống nhân gian để xem xét cuộc sống của người dân, trừng phạt kẻ xấu và giúp đỡ người tốt. Đêm đầu tiên, họ xin ngủ nhờ nhà của một gia đình giàu có.

Tuy nhiên, dù có đầy đủ tiện nghi cũng như phòng ốc, song chủ nhà lại là một kẻ thô lỗ, keo kiệt. Ông ta không cho các thiên thần ngủ ở một căn phòng tốt, mà bảo họ hãy xuống tầng hầm vừa ẩm thấp lại lạnh lẽo, cũng chẳng có giường ngủ để qua đêm.

 Nhờ danh họa Picasso vẽ chân dung, đến khi hỏi giá, người phụ nữ tưởng mình nghe nhầm - Ảnh 2.

Trong khi trải một tấm khăn xuống nền nhà để chuẩn bị ngả lưng, thiên thần lớn tuổi hơn nhìn thấy một cái lỗ ở trên tường và trám lại ngay lập tức. Khi thiên thần còn lại hỏi lý do, ông ta trả lời rằng, “Mọi chuyện có thể không giống như vẻ bề ngoài”.

Đêm hôm sau, 2 thiên thần lại tới ngủ nhờ nhà của một người nông dân nghèo, nhưng rất thân thiện và ấm áp.

Sau khi mời khách từ số đồ ăn ít ỏi của mình, cặp vợ chồng này đã nhường cho 2 thiên thần ngủ trên giường, còn họ thì ngủ ở dưới đất, để các vị khách có một giấc ngủ ngon. Khi trời sáng và 2 thiên thần thức dậy, họ thấy vợ chồng người nông dân đang khóc. Con bò cái duy nhất của họ, nguồn sống duy nha của họ đã chết ngoài cánh đồng.

Lúc này, thiên thần trẻ tuổi hơn rất tức giận, hỏi thiên thần kia rằng, “Sao ngài có thể để chuyện đó xảy ra? Người chủ nhà đầu tiên có tất cả và rất xấu tính thì ông lại giúp ông ta, còn gia đình thứ hai chẳng có gì song lại tốt bụng, hào hiệp thì ông lại khiến cho con bò của họ chết đi thế?”.

Thiên thần có tuổi đợi một lúc cho người bạn mình bình tĩnh rồi mới giải thích: “Khi chúng ta ở dưới tầng hầm của ngôi biệt thự kia, ta phát hiện ra đằng sau cái lỗ thủng ấy là một kho báu có rất nhiều vàng. Nhưng vì chủ nhà vừa tham lam lại ích kỷ, nên ta đã dán cái lỗ thủng ấy lại, để ông ta chẳng bao giờ tìm được nó.

Còn hôm qua, khi chúng ta ngủ lại nhà của người nông dân tốt bụng, Thần Chết đã tới tìm vợ của ông ta, nhưng ta đã nói, hãy thay bà ấy bằng con bò của họ. Anh thấy sao? Mọi chuyện có thể không giống như bề ngoài”.

Lời bàn: Người ta thường vội vàng đưa ra kết luận khi mới lướt qua một vấn đề nào đó, song nhiều khi, vẻ bề ngoài có thể che giấu nhiều điều ta không ngờ tới bên trong. Họa phúc đan xen, trong phúc có họa, trong họa có phúc, hãy bình thản đón nhận mọi điều xảy ra trong cuộc sống.

Câu chuyện thứ 3: Ba sợi tóc

Một ngày, một người phụ nữ trẻ thức dậy vào buổi sáng và nhận ra trên đầu mình chỉ còn có 3 sợi tóc. Với người khác, có lẽ họ sẽ vô cùng hoảng hốt, tìm đủ mọi cách để cứu vãn tình hình. Thế nhưng, cô ấy lại reo lên: “Hôm nay mình sẽ tết tóc”, rồi đi tết tóc và có một ngày tuyệt vời.

 Nhờ danh họa Picasso vẽ chân dung, đến khi hỏi giá, người phụ nữ tưởng mình nghe nhầm - Ảnh 3.

Với sự tự tin và lạc quan, phụ nữ sẽ luôn đẹp theo cách riêng của họ. (Ảnh minh họa)

Hôm sau, khi thức dậy, người phụ nữ ấy lại phát hiện ra một sợi tóc đã rụng đi đâu mất, trên đầu cô chỉ còn có 2 sợi mà thôi. “Chắc hôm nay mình sẽ rẽ tóc sang 2 bên”. Nói rồi, cô ấy làm đúng như vậy và vẫn có một ngày vui vẻ.

Hôm sau nữa, người phụ nữ lại thức dậy, soi gương và thấy rằng trên đầu mình chỉ còn đúng một sợi tóc. “Chà, chắc có lẽ mình phải buộc tóc đuôi ngựa thôi”. Sau đó, cô ấy đã buộc tóc đuôi ngựa và có một ngày rất thú vị.

Cuối cùng, một hôm, người phụ nữ ngủ dậy, nhận ra đến sợi tóc cuối cùng cũng bỏ mình đi mất rồi. Thế nhưng, cô bỗng nhìn vào gương và reo lên: “Tuyệt quá. Hôm nay đỡ phải chải đầu hay nghĩ kiểu tóc nữa rồi”.

Lời bàn: Tất cả chúng ta đều phải đối mặt với các vấn đề đau đầu mỗi ngày, nhưng thái độ và cách phản ứng của mỗi người với các vấn đề đó sẽ quyết định tất cả.