Editor's note: You can find a full transcript of Doc and Matt's briefing, complete with slides, below the video. If you'd like to view a pdf of the slides, click here.
Dr. David Eifrig: Hello everybody and welcome to conversation number nine. I like to call it COVID combo. With me is Matt Weinschenk. I'm Dr. David Eifrig and we are socially distant.
Welcome, Matt. How was your week?
Matt Weinschenk: It was good. Week nine was as good as the others. I'm getting a little antsy though ready to… ready to move on from this stage of life. But we'll see. We'll see how much longer it goes.
Doc: I hear ya. Listen, we got lots of comments last week and we'll jump right into that after I just remind people that if you have questions, give us a shout. Talk to us at REM@Stansberryresearch.com.
And, again, encourage people to sign up at https://www.HealthandWealthBulletin.com. We've seen hundreds of folks sign up in the last couple of weeks and we appreciate that from you. So spread the word. Share this with people. I think this week's going to be a good one.
Matt: Yeah, and I think also next week, just to give some news. I think we might be taking a break next week. But we want to keep you informed if you want to. You could go to Twitter and follow me – https://twitter.com/MattWeinschenk I just set that up and I'll share some charts and try and keep you up to date. But next week, maybe no, maybe no video update. We'll see. News is slowing down a bit, right?
Doc: Yeah, in spite of me wanting to give you a week off, you still want to work?
Matt: Well, I mean… Yeah. I love share. I love sharing charts.
Doc: Conversation number 10 next week just because of that.
Matt: There you go. We'll see.
Doc: Alright. Last week, I threw this chart into the slide deck about 10, 15 minutes before game time. And I know you sort of listen to me babble and we couldn't really think and explain it, but some readers wrote in. And here's, here's the thing… I was worried that the United States was right on top of the every five day line. And again, these are the doubling lines and the gray in the background. And you know that we were moving that way. And that was exciting.
But then I realized, wait, we haven't been doubling. And the point is, and this chart's one of these examples of how hard it is to express meaningful data in a useful way that doesn't get hyped, but I gotta tell you, I've been looking at this thing for a month and a half, six weeks. And I think other folks were as well because I've seen this displayed. But the key is the angle of this line.
And you can see how the sharp ones if you go to the next slide, I've added one that goes
Doc: And takes just the United States and Sweden back to the early times and so down where the lines are going up, the orange is the United States. You can see it's paralleling right along the every two day doubling line and then curves over. And so the slope where it gets to equal the 10 day line where that again is the doubling time, is when way back, probably over somewhere right in there. Where the slope of that line. And so really for 40 days, we have been beyond and past doubling every 10 days.
I don't know, we're probably doubling maybe, I don't think we will double again from here. So anyway, the line is flat, it's much better. And it was me that was mistaken. Not Matt and not the data. So sorry about that, Matt, and sorry about that, folks. And thanks for everyone that wrote in - We got about a dozen people that explained it very, very well to us. So.
Matt: So it's the, it's the slope. So it's not when they are between here and here in space, it's whether your line matches the slope of this line. So when you get parallel there, so yeah, good.
Doc: And I think what's interesting about that, just for fun, but for a second, as you can see Sweden, people always ask about Sweden. So I threw that in on this one. Um, how have they done compared to us and you can see that, again, this is just confirmed cases. So they're really past the 10 day doubling line long, long time ago. And it Looks to me if I had to guess maybe about three weeks into their you know, 100 confirmed case, they were over there. So that's pretty impressive on their part and again, looks like we're at about the same path.
Matt: Alright, so just our standard charts, deaths dropped way off down under 1,000. I think it might be 800 yesterday. So that's good heading in the right direction.
Cases. You know, so we've talked about this as a bit of a plateau, but we're, we're easing down, you know, testing numbers are only going up. I think that the test positive rate is down to like 7%, which is good. That would suggest, you know, there's opinions about testing. The World Health Organization wants you to hit about a 10% rate. That means you're doing enough testing, but your rates are low. So are we coming off the plateau? Are we trending down? Probably looks like it. So that's certainly good news. And the boat we're trying to find, you know, people with more symptoms. So Doc would tell us what you think about this.
Doc: Yeah. So it's hard… hard to say what exactly is going to come out of my mouth this week. But I'm even more jacked up than I was last week. Some people didn't like the analogy to me being a caged animal, I just more cabin feverish kind of… and many others are, are feeling. So I've tried to meditate and be a gentle human. So look, when I look at this, the question in medicine has always been, you want to ask a person, okay, what do you have? And I was taught that when someone gives you a history, most really great doctors and algorithms from the history can tell you pretty much what you got. So I can tell you this, that if someone came in and said, I've lost my smell and taste, it doesn't mean you have COVID-19. There's lots of things that can do that.
Drugs can do that. Other viruses can do that.
And I found these two charts that lists a dozen symptoms. So shortness of breath, cough, wheezing, fever, runny nose, phlegm, and six of those things pretty much show you that with these different viruses, COVID, human metapneumoviruses, influenzas, rhinoviruses, respiratory syncytial virus, these are and go to the next slide.
They're over, they're not specific to anything. So it's not helpful. So the UK adding loss of smell just lumps it all in with all of these things that if you came into a doctor's office, they just say get out of here you got a cold, get out of here you got an upper respiratory infection. And in most cases, it's viral. You know, the story about treating with back you know, antibacterials, antibiotics, who's not supposed to be doing that, yada yada. There's no antiviral, so on and so forth.
So it's a… it's a group of symptoms that becomes meaningless. And to add it on now allows you to lump in presumed COVID cases. So, again, just the craziness that's going on at the, at the government level.
And I've done some look back here, and this is a paper came out about a month ago. And just so people know, this is Germany, and they were publishing by age. This is a question of, in past years, who dies from pneumonias. And as you can see, again, the COVID-19 is not unique. It kills old people. It doesn't kill 50 to 69, but it is the second-largest cohort as defined randomly. And then under 49, five, you can see there are still under five year olds that die. 47 five to 14, which is a large group, only 14. 408 in the 15 to 49.
My point is, old people die from upper respiratory infections. This happens, it's not going to go away. There's no government official that can mandate that.
Here's the problem. Next slide. I don't know if you've heard that this week but Georgia and Florida both accusations of data being manipulated. Manipulated really just means crappy reporting. Florida there was a woman there. A young woman was in charge of the data. She said she refused to manipulate the data. The allegations are that it's being changed and altered so that the governors can release people from their homes, which I don't believe the governor has any right to release or not release. But that's a 14th amendment question.
The point is don't believe em.
That the data is being massaged, manipulated… Even our President of the United States. Look on April 10. His folks were telling him, he's reading it off of a sheet, less than 55,000. A week later, 65,000. 10 days after that: 60 to 70. Couple days after that, hopefully below 100. Today, supposedly, number of deaths from this and again, supposedly the number of deaths around what is it 83, 87? Don't believe them. They don't know what they're talking about. They don't. They're making numbers in many, many ways. There are people dying from COVID-19. Every year people will die from upper respiratory infections. The German slide shows that. I hope people recognize this. I am not saying this is made up by government officials, some disease made in China. I'm saying people die from this every year. Next slide.
So, found a paper a doctor a real, as they say, legal doctor. This is translated from German, looked at deaths in Hamburg, and determined that virus was the last drop in these cases. And I quote, "not a single person with no previous illness has died of the virus in Hamburg." So if you don't have other comorbidities when he did this, and it was about six weeks into the pandemic… No deaths from COVID. Well, first of all, no deaths from COVID. And it was the last drop. It was the last. So it wasn't the cause of death.
You have any comments or you just going to let me roll?
Matt: No, you're on a roll, Doc. I'll just… I'll sit back.
Doc: Here's the problem that's bugged me all along. I can't. I can't say that northern Italy, which, two years ago in the height of the winter flu season was staffed maximally and they had to bring in extra help. And they were running out of ventilators back then. But I can tell you that in northern Italy, there's a genetic mutation and that's called a G6PD deficiency. And this particular deficiency is known and it's a question on step two in the medical… Becoming a medical Doctor, the exams you take when you're training. It's an early question on what happens if you have G6PD deficiency and you give this drug? Well guess what people, their blood hemolyzes, and they die from it.
And this drug is wait for it. Drumroll…. Hydroxychloroquine. So we know from step two of the medical exam, that you don't give hydroxychloroquine to G6PD deficient people. 58% of folks in northern Italy have this mutation. And older folks in northern Italy who aren't, you know, recent immigrants are more likely to have this as well. So this is a problem because this drug was given out like candy early on, as you recall, and maybe an explanation for these weird deaths in excess in certain populations. African American - it came from this area we think in the Middle East, Northern Africa up into northern Italy. in that part of the world, Turkey. So I'm not saying this is the cause of all COVID deaths, but it's, it's again, why you got to be careful who you give to what and when. So I found this fascinating.
Matt: And do you know offhand this 58% prevalent in northern Italy - how does that compare to in general? Do you…
Doc: Oh, gosh, in general, it's tiny, tiny, tiny, I want to say. I mean, let's see, I've got a couple good friends are hematologists. And I think I hear a story about someone they test for once every six months. And it's usually because it's someone who's come from…
Matt: So seeing single digit.
Doc: Oh, yeah, no, no, it's so it's… It's a test question to fool you on a test to see if you can memorize rare things.
Doc: But it's very common that part of the world you know, you can't eat fava beans or some other things foods they can't eat. Gotta be careful with, so yeah, it's a real thing. And I was shocked. I wouldn't have guessed it was that high, but looking through some papers, that's what I've come up with so…
Matt: And so this might explain why the death rates in Italy were so scary. And then as it's gone through the world maybe it seems not so, so bad but…
Doc: one and you know, parts of New York City there's lots of immigrants there and I don't know, again after the fact we'll have… People will research this and someone, someone is studying it now. How many folks who died also have G6PD deficiency. We'll know that. My guess is going to be high. These weird stories of, you know, someone coming in with blood disorders and weird things. Likely, that's, you know, if you're, if your red blood cells hemolyzed it means they break up. All of a sudden you have stuff clotting your blood and making it more thicker, more viscous, and that leads to strokes and causes cardiovascular problems. So, again, these are things I'm finding and I want to share with people.
Matt: Yeah. And so also again, with hydroxychloroquine back in the news, you would probably repeat that that is not a safe thing to do on your own for sure or to hand out aggressively. Is that your opinion?
Matt: Okay. All right. All right. Oh, my God, this Virginia news Doc, on this next slide.
Matt: So, yeah, I'll just I'll just want to set up. So we've talked before about there's a test to see if you have the virus. And there's a serology test to see if you have the antibodies in your blood to show if you had had the virus. Those are two very different tests. Those are two very different results, very different dependability of those tests. But what has Virginia done, Doc?
Doc: They've blended these two tests together.
Matt: The result? The data, the results of the test, they first started reporting it as one.
Doc: I mean, I, yeah, this article, it was in the Atlantic. Amanda sent it to us a couple days ago, and it's… I mean, my jaw dropped, right? It can't get worse than that. This is, you know, we worry about Georgia and Florida. Supposedly people worry about manipulating, like the logic and the rationale of the transparent, non-transparent and data and information. It's probably the more… My guess is Virginia is close enough to DC. My guess is they figured out that the more cases they had, the faster they had it, the more they're going to get money in the new handouts. That's my guess. I mean, you know.
Matt: Yeah, I don't know.
Doc: Don't put all those together and give us more positive reasons. I bet.
Matt: But the Florida –
Doc: You could have gotten tested the beginning and then positive, and then get an antibody test later, a month later and have the antibodies. And now you might show up on the Virginia database as 2 people.
Matt: Yeah. But now the Florida manipulation they were trying to get numbers down to show that it was safe to reopen. So it's… it's so complicated.
Doc: These are the allegations.
Matt: The allegations, right. So who knows? I mean, now… Okay.
Doc: All right. So this… My commentary here is not that I'm anti-vaccines, but that you got to be careful with vaccines. And I'll say this again, rushing to and having vaccines… We had that chart about three weeks ago that showed you how quickly and close and how long it takes you to get to a vaccine that works, all the different test levels and verification of safety. And I mean, just this week, we saw something that was with a company Moderna, which I've also heard there's ties to people in the NIH, and the associations that deal with infectious disease might have ownership. One guy's got options on it. And this thing shot up because they reported Moderna had antibodies in a couple people, right. I mean, I don't know what your –
Matt: Yeah, I mean, it was good results, but it was small and early results. So though I mean, from my perspective, I'm looking at the market being up 3%, 4% that day on that news, which is, I mean, just it's crazy. I mean, if it works, it would be worth that much. But it's way too early. I, I can't judge, you know, I'm not gonna say it's gonna work or not work, but it's definitely very early.
Doc: Yeah. And so that's the big headline here, the smaller point I wanted to make. When I researched Corona, I was looking at the seasonality of the other ones we know of, I think there's seven genotypes now that we know. Four that regularly occur annually around the world. But even when they come out, it seems like they can only infect up to about 20 to 25% of the population. I found that interesting. I'm not gonna stake big money on that fact. But it suggests, as you pointed out, that it means a herd immunity would maybe be created sooner. Could also be that it only infects that many people because seasonality cuts off its infectiousness.
Or this one could be different. Could be the case but… We're looking at what we can. It's different this time, trust me.
Matt: It's different.
Doc: All right. This is a this is a mix of stuff that, as I was looking at and making this claim that we're in the midst of a testing pandemic. I look back at the original test that was done that, you know, started all of this crazy path. It was designed by two guys. It was a German polymerase test, this PCR test. And the designers of it, one of them specifically said this is not designed for detection. It was for scientific use and analytics. And that's because it was super sensitive. So it's meant to pick up pieces and parts of genomes that have the corona virus in it and they just took a snapshot in time around the time of the Chinese stuff. And lo and behold, it picks up Corona viruses that are in bats and cats and dogs and lions and humans and tigers. Oh my! It's everywhere. The Corona! No.
This is just a really sensitive test, originally not designed for testing, or detection of disease. And then I want to make the point that it's not possible that the SARS virus is just four months old, and just appeared in China. It there's evolutionary phylogeny… phylogeny, as they call it, where they look back and trace the history of it by following mutations. Just like 23andme does, where you give them your sample, and they test it with other people around the world who talk about the history and where they think stuff comes from. So we can do that. And my point is this PCR test, medically is not designed to be used medically was useless test, the original sensitivity and specificity. The FDA - there's no way this would have gotten through the FDA. No way. Next slide. I just want to make this case of…
These are people when they look at the family tree of this virus, this is the Corona, to show both color of where they've existed. So you can see in the oranges is in China. And then you can see some of the blues in France and Sweden. Already there have been mutations that have evolved as this thing goes around the world, again, making it really hard to make a vaccine that works. This idea, this promise of the holy grail of a vaccine that cures everyone is nonsense. Nonsense.
Doc: Pneumonia in Germany, I want to show this again. Every year, pneumonia that people been trying for decades to come up with vaccines to prevent this. Influenza. We still can't get that right. And it's not it's… it's not a knock on the technology. It's a reality. Why? Because these things mutate. They're as smart as us, if not smarter, but it's nature. They're trying to survive. We're trying to survive.
I saw something… I can't remember if you sent it to Matt. But I got so annoyed. Someone was actually asking the question, was it true that human Coronaviruses are seasonal. Now, these again, I just want to show people in red at the top, blue, green and orange are the strains. These are the genotypes of Coronaviruses from the past that infect humans. And these are years where you see the peaks in the winter. And the drop off in the warmer, wetter summers. This thing is seasonal. I'm going to show it to you again with the next slide.
These are them in one particular year. I think this is the University of Michigan study again, right? Peaking, the top 2 peak in February. The bottom two peaked in January. These things exist and they've existed for a long, long time. Next slide because…
Doc: And you jumped on this which I was happy to see
Matt: Well, I'm just putting out what I find. So this is, this is… now we're not talking about general Corona, we're talking about COVID-19. And I've got two studies on the seasonality. And these circles are the larger outbreaks, the larger the circle, the larger the outbreak. And you can see that they kind of cluster in this temperature range and in this humidity range, okay. So you can see it there.
If you break down countries by significant transmission, or non-significant transmission, the significant ones cluster. This is temperature over here in this temperature range, they cluster in this humidity range. And as temperature rises, as you go up, the total of cases goes down. As humidity rises, the total of cases go down. So it's showing there is sort of a sweet spot for temperature and humidity. If that's kind of a complex way to look at it.
Here's a… here's a separate paper, it might be a little more intuitive. What countries have big outbreaks per population? Iran, Norway, France, Germany, USA. What has small ones? Indonesia, South Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia. Okay, clearly a cold/warm divide there. Go to U.S. states, big outbreaks in New York, Washington, New Jersey. Small ones in Arizona, Florida, California. Again, cold/warm diversion there. And you know, there's other factors at play, but it does look kind of apparent there. But let me ask you, this Doc that we have next.
Okay. So let's say it's seasonal. I mean, it is seasonal, let's call that proven. Is that cause for celebration that, hey, we're going to get – summers coming, it's going to go away? Or is that cause for concern? And now we're reopening but, you know, states have been reopening for about three weeks now. And that seems to be going well, case wise, they haven't come back. But are we just setting ourselves up for the fall? Or, I mean, is this a good news or bad news situation?
Doc: Yeah, so that's a great question. If you could go back up a couple of slides to the first colored.
Yep, that one. So what becomes apparent to me and again, I'm sort of a guy that likes to look at data and then make educated guesses and either try to improve my wealth or my health from that. So, I mean, I asked you Matt, on the left, you can see. And again in the gray in the background is all of them so it's all the Coronaviruses for that, that winter. Right. So that first winter of 2007, the majority was the top the OC43 variety. Agreed.
Doc: And next year, even though it was huge, and the majority of it. In the next year in 08, there's nothing and it was a tiny majority of it. So everyone's saying this year, Corona and everywhere and if we let people out and next winter, the sky will fall again. I don't see that. And I look at… I look at other peaks there. Look at the orange peaks or go down right below there in 11 and look at the blue peak, which was the NL 63 and 11. That was the majority that winter. Next year, nothing.
Matt: Yeah, instead, it was this one came out.
Doc: Yeah, in green, the biggest peak, but go up to 13 and the blue. Same thing. You know, two thirds of that year is Corona viruses that we're traveling around, and boom and 14 nothing again. So, like, I think, you know, if I'm a betting man, my bet is that it's gonna be nothing next year. Yeah. So,
Matt: Okay, here's a quote you have from Donald Henderson.
Doc: Yeah, so Don Henderson is a doc. He died a couple years back. He's the guy that's credited for smallpox. And I would describe him as kind of an old school thinker and old
School doc –
Matt: For eradicating smallpox. I don't want to sell his good name by crediting him with smallpox.
Doc: He eradicated smallpox. Yeah. And, you know, that was a devastating disease. It killed lots of people. But this was his comment on people thinking about quarantine. And let me just read it. Let me just read the highlights exactly in bold.
"The negative consequences of large-scale quarantine are so extreme (forced confinement of sick people with the well; complete restriction of movement of large populations; difficulty in getting critical supplies, medicines, and food to people inside the quarantine zone) that this mitigation measure should be eliminated from serious consideration."
So this is again a person is historically highly respected. And man, how we just rushed into this is beyond me. It's crazy. And by the way, I can't remember I got it. We'll get well cited when we post it.
Matt: Okay. Yeah. And you know, I was just I was reading something stuff about the 1980s. And that flu pan Spanish flu pandemic. And total quarantine was not even really considered. But I think what happened here, and I will place, you know, some blame. I think we came in, we didn't have the pandemic playbook that Bush had, and Obama had. They had plans in place. Those were apparently not looked at. So we came in, we didn't know what to do. They skipped out on developing the testing, which could have given us another option. And we were left with either, you know, rapid, rapid spread and lots of death or total quarantine.
So it was this was, I will specifically say, I tried to be nonpolitical, this was complete failure of the Trump administration. They left themselves no other choice. Given preparation, there are other options and total quarantine. So that's where that's where, you know, that's what I'm going to say but you know, you might have a different opinion. But yeah, generally, you should have other options and we didn't.
Doc: Yeah, I'm actually surprised that you would jump on the Trump administration. I would jump more on, you know, divisions and departments and lifelong people that have been in government positions. You know, to me the definition of a true, a really good politician and political player is someone who's trying to spend less and less of the local government's, the state governments', the federal government's money by creating efficiency and putting themselves out of business. That to me is the ideal.
And I think that the current administration, the past, a lot of places have politico's in place. That's not their goal. Their goal is more power. Their goal is more authority. It's not true across the board, but it's a general problem. And this has gotten to a point of craziness. Complete, as I understand it, read it violation of 14th Amendment rights, thinking that the governor of a state can deny me of my Liberty without due process. Say that I can't go into a barber shop when, as far as I can tell, there's no one who's done a paper showing that if the barber wants to have his barber shop and only have one person come in because they don't want to get sick, barber could do that.
I just don't understand anybody not fighting this who has their business. They're starting to do that. But so I can't jump as hard as you did it seemed on the Trump administration. But I will say, yeah, in general, they just, they kind of gunk it up and want to have more power. The CDC, notoriously 10, 11 years ago he wrote about this with a virus back then, where their lab was even open and they were letting press, the world, and media inform as if this one virus was spreading around the United States, and it wasn't. They weren't even testing for it again. Enough. Enough.
So that's the bottom line here, which is look, if you're under 65, get back out, get to it, your immune system will be fine. And if you don't have comorbidities, if you're exercising already a little bit, you've got some cardiovascular ability, you know, you're able to get out and walk or jog. You're gonna be fine. That's virus, not going to take you down. You got to have a bad immune system, which is what happens when you get really, really old and other diseases. Or if you're young, or if your immune systems messed up. So get out there.
This is a paper this is a guy out of Stanford that everyone poo-pooed it lots of my MD-titled friends like, Oh, this guy's crazy at Stanford. I'm like, he's one of the leaders and thinkers in biometrics and medicine. He's got like, anyway, he did the analytics this week. I don't know if you saw this, this article, Matt, it's in pre press. But under 65 by his math and numbers – and I looked at it looks good to me – it's the equivalent of driving between 13 and 100 miles a day for 11 countries, and then six states in the U.S., and then driving a whole lot more in six other states and UK. So he didn't add some other risks in there, but it's, come on people. Let's get out. Let's get to it. What do you think?
Matt: I'd like just a clarification, make sure I understand this. So the 11 countries and six states are the risk of the virus, right? The driving risk is the same. It's the risk of the virus that varies, right?
Doc: Oh, yeah, it's risk from dying while you're driving s equivalent to the risk of getting corona and dying. Correct.
Matt: Okay, all right. Yeah.
It does seem to be more and more the case that the young are more impervious though the more we find. So –
Doc: But I showed you the German slide I put in there twice. You didn't want to have it in there twice. I showed you that now.
Matt: There's a lot of Germany in this one today. I think we're gonna have to question your motives.
Doc: Because I want to get to hike the Alps, you know.
Matt: Alright, so we will get on to wealth in a little bit. I knew Doc had a lot to go through. So we've only got a few charts here.
But we want to talk about what stocks have thrive, right. So if you take stocks, I'm sorry, this one's a little blurry, but this is the one I could get. If you take stocks and divide them by their credit rating, credit rating really applies to the bonds but you can apply it to the company as a whole if you want. Strong balance sheets have done really well. Poor balance sheets have not done well, they've dropped more and come back. And it's just you know, it's perfectly in line as credit ratings go.
So the first question you ask yourself, if you're out there trying to pick stocks, what do we do? Do we ride these triple A's, right? We ride the trend, or do we search for opportunity in the ones that have been left behind? Do you go against counter trend? And as an economist, I will tell you, the answer is you do both right. You want to make sure you're going to benefit from both of these scenarios. You obviously want some strong companies. You obviously want some speculations, but that's what's been working so far.
Doc: Did you see my economists on the other hand?
Matt: I'm a portfolio builder, Doc. I'm not necessarily a stock picker.
Okay. Now, okay, what other stocks have thrived? The big tech stocks, Google, Amazon, Facebook, they have been doing fantastic. Microsoft especially. Well, what have we seen as far as ecommerce penetration of retail sales? It was 5% in 2009, 13%, in 2017. So here, you know, it's been growing over 10 years. People are buying more online now. Eight weeks, you know, huge surge over the last eight weeks.
So obviously these companies are making money now, but they're going to keep some of those customers. Amazon Prime is going to get more Prime customers, which then go on to buy more stuff. So there's a reason those stocks are doing well. And they're probably going to keep doing well. Though they're certainly expensive, I think that you can't avoid some of those big tech companies.
And here's just another change in the market. This lower chart is the volume of bullish options from small traders. And you can just see, you know, shooting up. What's going on here? Why do people trade, I don't know, 4 million options a day and now they're trading 14. And there's a few things… Obviously the market has been crazy and people are paying attention to it. There's all these free trading apps and commissions are gone. You know, it used to be, I don't want to say prohibitively expensive, but if you're trading options you had to get over the commission's and things like that. Robin Hood and then all the brokerages have dropped to zero or close to zero.
There's no sports on TV. Sports are shut down. So people need something to gambling with.
Doc: There's no gambling. Where can we gamble?
Matt: No gambling. So there's a lot of speculation in this market on the bullish side. In the options market. We, in our paid services, are option seller. So we're going against these guys, which, you know, is really working for us and working with volatility being high. But it's just, it's changing everything in financial markets. You got to look for where you can find your advantages. I didn't make any changes to this. You know, I am thinking about it now. The news on the reopens is good. The virus case news on the reopening states looks good. There is little tick, you know, different across states little tick up here a little tick down there.
Doc: You can say you were right, Doc, that's okay.
Matt: So far looking good. Could be seasonality. The economic stuff actually, I've been working on some stuff I haven't even shared with you yet, Doc. There's very rich data set on mobility out of Google. And I'm breaking it down to see how fast people are getting out there because you can look at retail spending and things like that, but you can't get it fast enough. It's only been three weeks.
But mobility stuff shows that the open states are seeing a little bit of increased, but really people are not, my takeaway is people are not getting out there and they're not getting back into things. So not good news for the economy. But couple more weeks of good virus news, you know, that could turn around quickly.
I would upgrade the positivity of that baseline here, but the market still is still pricing in very good outcome. So we'll have to see if that's justified. What do you think?
Doc: Yeah, I'm in the same place I've been. I'm even more optimistic about the risk to anybody from the virus. The real risk in my mind is political and really more important legislative. I can tell a story if I may… Go back and put leave that up there as I babble.
Yeah. I got a notice from one of my subscriptions that… I should be careful because I don't want to I don't want to mess anybody up. I don't want to piss somebody off that might mess with me. But the California ABC, which is the Alcohol Beverage Control group, I've heard that they want to get rid of due process now during the coronavirus. And that is they want to be able to just have this blanket non legislated authority. And really that's the fundamental principle in the United States, as far as I believe in the 14th amendment is the states don't have the right to deprive you of your liberty and freedom to pursue that. And that would mean businesses without due process. So they can't have any government authority anywhere, whether the California or any other ABC to come in without giving you a chance to make your case and defend it. And so –
Matt: And can I just ask? So this is, you know, with your winemaking ventures, this would be decisions on who gets a license and who can ship? Things like that?
Doc: Yeah, I mean, it's not clear because I just go direct to consumer from my website, www.eifrigcellars.com.
It would mean for friends out there that have tasting rooms for example, they're not allowed to have anyone come in and taste which I find absurd. I think if they want to be in there wearing a mask pouring their wine for someone that doesn't want to wear a mask and come in and taste the wines, and risk catching corona from a proprietor, I think that ought to be a risk that people in California should be free to risk catching it.
But if you want to restrict it and say, we don't want to have more than two people in there. Or if someone walks in and says, Oh, I don't want to go in there with somebody else again, I think that's the freedom to decide. So instead they they've said all they can do now is have drive-up pickup. So just like a food thing. You know, I don't know what you've been doing food wise, but you know, you drive up you roll the back window down, someone drops food in your car.
In this case, you pop your trunk, and the proprietor of the winery, you know, drops in the case of wine or half case, and off you go and you don't touch it on see each other, you don't breathe near each other.
So some authority to regulate that and/or fine people who aren't abiding by all of this stuff that's, again, start to say, no due process. I find it absurd.
And let me finally tell you another story which upsets me but again points to this. People trying to take power and apply it downward to folks. A buddy of mine who I would describe as a Michelin level star chef has a restaurant and is doing the takeout Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights. He's got a bar that holds about eight people's whole restaurant is only about 26. And he sits down. He's sitting at his bar on a chair to see as people are driving up so he can put his mask on, walk out with gloves, drop the cold food that he's made the day before and has been refrigerated, drop it in their car, and go and come back
And someone from the health department – think about this – someone from the Health Department came in and said, he can't have a chair down at his bar and has to be up on upside down otherwise people will think that he's open. He's like, I'm not open. I'm doing take away. And the guy gave him a hard time and it's just crazy. Crazy. Crazy.
I don't know if I told you about this, but it's the guy who I made a wine named after his mom. This blend of Portuguese and Cabernet Sauvignon Portuguese grape varieties called Olivia. It's fantastic.
Yeah, but this guy, I mean, I feel terrible for him. And I don't want to. I don't want to get his name out there because I want to get him in trouble. He's in the midst of trying to get U.S. citizenship. And, you know, it's… anyway.
That's my fear is that sort of political, authoritarian stuff gets worse before it gets better. And then my fear is as there are debates and arguments coming into an election and then into influenza-like illnesses in the fall, that's my fear now.
And the economy, man. What do you make of the stock market being up? This resurgence is just wild.
Matt: Yeah, I know. I mean it is top heavy. It's top heavy in those techs. And I mean it makes sense because they are doing well. And then you have the Fed coming in, you have Congress talking about another $3 trillion package. So I get the optimism. If you're optimistic that you can drop out two quarters of earnings, but then they'll be fine after that… Yeah, I mean stocks deserve, you know they don't have to be down much. Never mind being priced for good times. You know, for fair times. They're priced for great times. They're still really expensive.
So I find it hard to buy, except, you know, unless they're things you really believe in. We've got a new one coming out today in Income Intelligence. We did Home Depot last month, and that's been doing great. That's one of the few things people have been out there doing. So I don't know. I think you've got to put – I don't want to say put blinders on. But you've just got to look for companies you want to own. Forget about what's going to happen the next nine months or even 12 months because it's going to be – it's either going to be a wild ride or it's just going to keep going up and you're going to be going, how is this happening?
We always say, look at long term, but that's all you can do right now more than ever.
Doc: Alright, fair enough.
Matt: Alright, well, probably no video next week, folks. But we'll keep you updated in some ways. Looking forward to talking to you again, Doc.
Doc: Yeah and put up the last slide and just remind folks send your questions and commentary to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free updates at https://healthandwealthbulletin.com. We do a daily there. We do a weekly. It's free. Pass that around to friends and family if you'd like. And thanks very much. I know we've enjoyed this.
The only reason we're not doing anything next week, and if something changes urgently we will, but really wanted to give the team and the group a week off. Even though Matt apparently –
Matt: And you know, I think the news has been slowing down. It's hard to do an hour every week maybe when there's not new stuff. But we'll see. Hopefully there's no new news, right?
Doc: If you're working, I'm working.
Matt: Sounds good. Alright, talk to you soon, Doc.
Doc: Does she know that you can not work?
Matt: No, I'm going to tell her that I'll be down here for an hour talking to you and she has to give me some peace and quiet from the kids.
See ya, Doc.
Doc: Bye, Matt.