back to article Supply, demand and a scary mountain of debt: The challenges facing IT as COVID-19 grips the global economy

If The Register's readers are anything like its writers, Monday is not the most cheerful morning of the week. We might console ourselves with the thought that if the weekend was a blur, perhaps last week was a dream. Sadly, it was not. The worst day on financial markets since 1987? Real. The US stopping flights from most of …

  1. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Stop

    Planned obsolescence

    It's going to end.

    Maybe the wheels will even fall off subscription software too.

    The economy won't be able to support such nonsense in the future.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Planned obsolescence

      "Maybe the wheels will even fall off subscription software too."

      Maybe people will even start to look at OSS in a new light.

      1. sabroni Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Maybe people will even start to look at OSS in a new light.

        This is the year of the linux desktop!!!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Maybe people will even start to look at OSS in a new light.

          This is the year in which, possibly, more people worldwide do their client computing on a mobile phone than a Windows PC, and a majority of backends are Linux based.

          The "year of the Linux desktop" meme is a bit as if people in the late 19th century were making jokes about "the year of the oil fuelled triple expansion steamship." Oil fuelling came all right - but the major beneficiaries were turbines and Diesel engines. In the same way, Linux and the Linux way of doing things (app stores, in effect) created a new paradigm rather than taking over an old one.

          1. sabroni Silver badge

            Re: more people worldwide do their client computing on a mobile phone than a Windows PC

            If by "client computing" you mean "consume social media" then you're probably a bit late, I'd imagine there's much more of that on mobile than on desktop.

            You don't see many people who's main work computer is a phone.

            The "linux desktop" line is dated because it comes from 30 years ago.

  2. Khaptain Silver badge

    Just wait 2 weeks

    Let's see what is predictable, I forsee the following :;

    * Some very old and ill people will have died from compound complications.

    * Scammers will have made their money from hoarding then selling at a price.

    * Bank will inform us that our pension stock is worth less whilst the CEO buys a new Yacht.

    * Stock Markets brokers will make a killing without publishing a single word about how they make money from other peoples losses.

    * The government will now introduce further measures to secure the population health using Heat Seeking Facial Recognition Webcams.

    * Children will have an excuse for failing upcoming exams.

    * The Extreme Left will continue to blame the Male IT crowd for not providing the Female staff members with powerfull enough PCs... because of the Patriachal hierarchy that is systemic within the IT Dept.

    * The Government will annonce that they handled things extremely well but somehow 5 Billion went missing from the COVID-19 Budget..

    * The media will be left panting for a new Panic Driven Newsfeed article to hit the shelves.

    Normal people will have just gone about their lives as though nothing had happened.

    Meanwhile I am urgently preparing PCs , VPN tokens, creating non admin local accounts on empty laptops, blocking all traffic other than RDP 3389 within the new RDP-SSL firewall VPN group, receiving calls to confirm that from home the VPN is working, preparing people to use MS Teams to communicate, rerouting phone lines to mobile numbers.......pant pant pant and also writing in El Reg forums because it make me feel good.

    Business As Usual..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just wait 2 weeks

      The far left would say that the idea that economic growth is ensured by allowing escalating debt and by allowing corporations to be purchased and loaded with debt is a scam to transfer wealth from the majority to a few very rich people, that we learned nothing from 2008, and that it is high time people demanded a separation of auditors from purveyors of financial services, put controls over purchasing assets with debt, and made it illegal to buy intangibles with debt.

      If you visit Highgate Cemetery and listen carefully, that faint noise in the trees is the old boy repeating "I did tell you" over and over again.

      1. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

        Re: Just wait 2 weeks

        Why do you think that only the far left would say that?

        Its pretty obvious that everybody from ICANN and PIR to XEROX and the so-called 'Activist Investors' think this is a really neat way to make money. Never mind that when they cash out they load the company they bought with the debt they incurred to buy it. That's now Somebody Else's Problem and its perpetrator couldn't care less whether it gets fixed or not.

        Anyway, its unlikely the company will have recovered from that before the next shyster does it to them again.

        Its been that way since the first time the East India Company had to be bailed out by the Bank of England in 1771 so don't hold your breath waiting for this style of predatory capitalism to be outlawed any time soon.

        One good thing that Gates, Bezos and Ellison have in common is that at least they made their money by hard graft rather than by playing shell games with borrowed money.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just wait 2 weeks

          I was correcting the post from Khaptain who seems on the face of it to have no idea what "left wing" means and confuses it with "white privileged would be socially progressive."

          Left wing and right wing are about who should benefit from the economy, and derive from the layout of the French Parliament - the rich on the right and the people like us on the left.

          Marx pushed this a bit further left and wanted the upper middle classes lumped with the aristocrats and the new factory workers to have the upper hand, to stop predatory capitalism.

          That Marx, the one who admittedly ensured his daughters got a good education (and music lessons), but, I doubt, would have a lot of time for today's celebrity woke brigade. The early feminists, like the Pankhursts, people like Virginia Woolf, and today Germaine Greer, are hardly left wing. They are definitely part of the bourgeoisie that Marx detested.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: Just wait 2 weeks

            Left wing and right wing are about who should benefit from the economy, and derive from the layout of the French Parliament - the rich on the right and the people like us on the left.

            I think the main left/right difference is wrt spending, and the source of capital. Which I guess is the current challenge. So we've had a decade or more of QE, printing money and a debt fuelled economy. We now have a crisis that requires government intervention, which means more money, which will likely mean inflation or currency devaluation.

            Which is where the oil moves get interesting, especially for the US which had an economic boom from cheap oil/gas, and looking to export. But it's production costs are higher than say, Russia and US shale production's looking rather vulnerable. But thanks to the joys of Ch.11, it's possible those will keep producing after investors have taken a big haircut. Same could be true for other sectors, which with creative financing (a la the bank bailoust) could lead to reduced debt and deflation.. Which could be a good thing, but bankers don't seem to like the idea of lower prices & prefer inflation. They do however like snapping up distressed assets, and I'm guessing that won't end up being considered gouging under the current crisis..

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Just wait 2 weeks

              Well, not entirely. The Soviet Union never really solved its own internal contradictions - the 1920s showed that simply ordering people to do stuff (a pure command economy) didn't work very well, but in any case they never solved the problem of how you made what people actually wanted. To do that you need a degree of liquidity so that people can invest to make things, and therefore some debt is unavoidable if you want a functioning economy. Hence social democracy and the mixed economy.

              The problem starts to come when debt itself is repackaged and sold -the cause of the 2008 crash - or when the desperate attempt to find investments for capitalists result in asset bubbles.

              Yes we are going to have a lot of inflation to try to bring the money in circulation into parity with the actual value of the economy, once the bubble shares have fallen apart. QE is a means of keeping the very rich happy by giving their sources of income money at a rate which exceeds inflation. It has been pointed out that a much better way to manage QE is simply to hand money to poor people. They spend it on things they need. That tends to raise shop prices and get the real economy moving. But people like Rishi Sunak are much more interested in the short term benefits of concentrating the wealth where they want it, than in a slowly rising tide lifting all ships.

            2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

              Re: Just wait 2 weeks

              Fortunately it is World-wide. If all currencies devalue it's not such a big deal. Especially for those in debt or without savings.

          2. BebopWeBop Silver badge

            Re: Just wait 2 weeks

            One of the Pankhursts was a founding member of the union of British Fascists and eugenics were popular amongst many at the time (come to think of it, today as well).

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Just wait 2 weeks

              One of her Daughters was in the BUF, one of her grand daughters today is a militant feminist in her mould, deadset men are to blame for all the trouble's of the world (a bit like the SNP with their "Equally Safe" Policy, which spends much of its time ranting about why men are PREDATORS, ABUSERS, MURDERERS, RAPISTS and worse (when its not patronising and infantilising women by telling them they are exploited and a victim if they choose to be a stripper, porn actor etc - more exclusionary authoritarian "feminism" just like Millicent Fawcett and the WPSU believed in), while downplaying male victims of abuse, murder, rape etc justified by "we're protecting women", then having the gall to claim that the transphobes within the SNP aren't transphobic but "concerned simply that men will abuse any opportunity to molest and abuse women, while ignoring the blatantly and vitriolic transphobic comments, endorsements and retweets by many of its female members - Patrick Harvie called it on the nose - its the Gay Panic of the 1980s all over again, same slurs and false accussations being lobbed at trans people as were lobbed at gays and lesbians in the 1980s and 1990s and worse many of those throwing these allegations are lesbians (and likely of the radical lesbian separatist mindset) Put it this way - swap trans or men for any other group and see how many minutes before the police knock on your door to arrest you for racist, homophobic etc abuse

              for example any one saying

              Blacks abuse women

              Lesbians want to gain access to molest young girls

              Children shouldn't be exposed to the "lesbian and gay agenda" in schools (one uttered till quite recently and yet the world hasn't ended and the sky hasn't fallen)

              Muslim Women want to pass on vulnerable girls to their paedo mates

              The above would ALL rightly be pillioried and the utterers of that language forced to account for their behaviour in court, likely facing jail time or at the least a serious spell of unpaid work and requirement to attend counselling to address their offending behaviour and bigoted views. If they were elected members they would be forced to resign their position, but instead labour and the SNP look the other way whenever transphobia rears its head in their parties.

              Its wrong and needs to stop

          3. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

            Re: seems..to have no idea what "left wing" means and confuses it with "..socially progressive."

            To be fair to Khaptain, Benson'sCycle, your usage is essentially never seen outside academia. "Would-be socially progressive" would be a fair description of how "left wing" has been used by 99% of westerners for many decades, certainly since WWII. (The NHS was left wing at the time.) It extends the original core concept, to include the acquisition of implied social status by forcing others to change (without responsibility: always appealing to a higher virtue's demands).

            The core original concept was that of being offended by another's wealth or privilege relative to oneself, and seeking to destroy it or preferably acquire it. (At country level, only the latter has been seen in practice : revolutions never destroy differences in wealth/power but instead transfer them to new owners, typically those urging the need for urgent change.)

            Disinterested observers typically note strong hypocrisy amongst these activists, and their poster boy Karl Marx certainly stands as a representative example:

            * Marx sustained his preferred lifestyle of privilege by sponging off a trustafarian rich boy.

            * Marx wrote that he despised Engels' girlfriend because she was "too common".

      2. Jonjonz

        Re: Just wait 2 weeks

        Tax assets not income, that is where the real wealth and GDP ends up. Taxing the income of workers is just indentured service.

        1. Zolko

          Re: Just wait 2 weeks

          "Tax assets not income"

          tax heritage, that is how aristocratic dynasties are built up. Let everybody compete on equal footing and merit.

        2. Steve K Silver badge

          Re: Just wait 2 weeks

          Assets have been bought out of taxed income, so if you tax them (apart from Capital Gains/Losses on sale/transfer) then you have double taxation.

      3. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Just wait 2 weeks

        The far left would say...

        The far left are interminable idiots.

        If you visit Highgate Cemetery and listen carefully, that faint noise in the trees is the old boy repeating "I did tell you" over and over again.

        Yup, but thankfully Jeremy Clarkson has more influence than Jeremy Corbyn these days. And yes, I do know who you meant - see my earlier remark about interminable idiots.

        Socialism is the last great evil of the 19th century and must be vanquished at every opportunity.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just wait 2 weeks

      Well done mate. Just show everyone how much of a See You Next Tuesday you can be.

    3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Palpy

        Re: Just wait 2 weeks, Bob

        Two weeks is a good timeline: it took Italy 14 days to go from 322 cases to 10,000+, at which point there were not enough hospital beds and ventilators for the hardest-hit victims. California is on Day 3 of their own 14-day count-up. So far the progression looks similar to Italy.*

        Nobody I know has jumped off a cliff, Bob. Some people are wearing gloves, and many where I live seem to be spending less time in crowded public areas. I don't see any panic, though.

        As far as "just a bad cold", that's ignorant Fox News bullshit. Colds might open up a vulnerable person to pneumonia, and a secondary infection could be fatal, but common colds themselves don't kill. For COVID-19, one would expect 6 or 7 of the Californians on the Day 3 count to shuffle off this morbid curl, mortifying crawl, mortal coil, whatever. And no one in the US is immune; at least with the flu a fair number of people get shots, which are at least 60% or 70% effective.

        Shoot, Bob, I thought you'd been kicked off the forum or something. I have to say, I admire your grit. Can't be all that much fun, posting reactionary messages to a forum which seems to get more progressive by the week.

        * I arbitrarily started each count-up when known the infections reached around 320 cases. The first week of Italy's count, 322 to 2502, seems to give the infection an initial doubling rate of 2.45 days. (See also this chart.) Applying that number to California, with a starting count of 319 instead of 322, today (Mar. 16) should see 562 cases; the count as of 20:00 EST is 557.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Just wait 2 weeks, Bob

          As far as "just a bad cold", that's ignorant Fox News bullshit. Colds might open up a vulnerable person to pneumonia, and a secondary infection could be fatal, but common colds themselves don't kill.

          They can do, same with flu. So cold/flu-like symptoms progressing to bacterial/viral pneumonia. Difference is in the progression, so COVID spreading down the airways into the lungs, and viral pneumonia. But problem with COVID is it latches onto the ACE-2 receptors in cells, so if it spreads outside the lungs, then it hits the heart, kidneys etc and starts killing those cells, leading to septicemia and death. From what I've read, the 'good news' is it doesn't seem to share some of the lethality of other outbreaks, so highest risk is for people with weaker immune systems, and less risk to younger people where other nasties have turned their immune systems against them.

        2. Noonoot

          Re: Just wait 2 weeks, Bob

          I'm in Italy. With everyone at home, the surge in internet access over broadband is off the scales.

          As for the health situation, China sent over 1000 ventilators and hundreds of thousands of masks and other supplies. Furthermore, Italy has done very well in converting public and private medical units to be able to house the ill. In Lazio alone, 1500 places have been created, all equipped with pre-intensive facilities and ONLY for Covid19. Indeed, they are called Covid19 Hospitals 1, 2, and 3. Lombardy has added another 400 beds to the ones it already has.How many ICU beds there are, I'm not sure.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: Just wait 2 weeks, Bob

            I'm in Italy. With everyone at home, the surge in internet access over broadband is off the scales.

            Here in my bit of the UK (Milton Keynes), so far I've noticed the GP's locked their doors and screening patients before they're allowed in. Which was a novelty when I went for a regular INR test. Supermarket was more interesting.. No sliced bread & only stuff from their own bakery, and shelves starting to empty in other areas, including fruit & veg. So a bit odd if people are panic buying things with a limited shelf life, and might be a sign of supply/distribution challenges.

            Also been curious about mandatory quarantining & how that will affect shopping. As well as asking industry to ramp up ventilators & hand sanitiser, might be an idea to also ramp up MREs and other rations and plan food distribution.

            Furthermore, Italy has done very well in converting public and private medical units to be able to house the ill. In Lazio alone, 1500 places have been created, all equipped with pre-intensive facilities and ONLY for Covid19.

            Neat, and I guess countries are dusting off civil emergency & war plans, along wih stocks of things like beds & blankets. Challenge I suspect is staffing & protecting nursing & clinical staff.

            1. herman Silver badge

              Re: Just wait 2 weeks, Bob

              With the schools closed, there is no shortage of good quality government buildings to turn into temporary hospitals.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Just wait 2 weeks, Bob

              Local Rag in Dundee stopped people in the street

              Retired plumber who used to work in the hospital "I don't agree with self isolating, we;re too hygenic nowadays" (thank hell he's retired)

              Mother of 2, 32 "all 4 of us have had a bad cough but I don't think its corona virus and I'll self isolate only when I feel I need to"

              Idiot women in the supermarket the other day was coughing constantly, and came up behind me in the queue, I move forward she's right up my backside to the point she was nearly on top of the pin pad when I was checking out and giving me death glares when I gave her the "mind backing up" sure she was intent on lugging in for gossip material.....

              We are all up shit creek without a paddle with these idiots walking the streets, worse my wife is immunosuppressed (MS) so we are hiding out at home and I'm keeping WELL away from others

            3. hoola Silver badge

              Re: Just wait 2 weeks, Bob

              You were lucky, about 50 miles up the M1 supermarkets were empty. I mean totally empty, no fresh, tinned, dry, refrigerated or frozen except for the odd packet that was somehow missed.

              Far too many in the population has just gone insane buying everything and have turned a concern into a major crisis. The supermarkets were far too slow in limiting quantities and the size of them means that multiple sorties from the car park back inside are possible. It was obvious this was going to happen with the toilet roll saga.

              Bluntly, if it is not sorted in a few days then full on rationing to stop these imbeciles is needed.

              There are still some people who heeded the guidance and only bought what was necessary who are now royally stuffed for doing nothing more that what they were asked to do.

              The totally selfish, me, me, me attitude of a large section of the UK population has been exposed. I also suspect that an awful lot of what these people have bought will never be consumed and will end up being dumped, an even more stupid situation.

              Just how those who do not have huge amounts of spare cash and cars are going to survive I just don't know. It is a seriously sad state of affairs driven by people with not a thought for anyone other than themselves and the bloody social media accounts.

          2. Palpy
            Pint

            Re: In Italy --

            @ noonoot: Interesting to be in Italy right now. You may insert your own values for "interesting"... I read a Twitter feed several days ago, written by a medical professional in Italy, which described some desperate times in the hospitals. My understanding is that Italy has a good first-world health system. From your post, it sounds like some creative and intelligent emergency measures are being taken.

            New York has previously worked out scenarios for a flu-like epidemic: "But a panel convened a few years ago by the state found that in the worst-case scenario of a flulike pandemic, New York could be short by as many as 15,783 ventilators at the peak of the crisis."

            Just on the numbers, New York is about 2 days "ahead" of California on the extrapolated infection curve. I really, really hope these extrapolations turn out to be drastically wrong, or that the affected communities do manage to flatten the curve a lot. I would very much like to see this cup pass us by in some way.

            @ Jellied Eel: Good points, and I appreciate the biology info on COVID-19 coronavirus. Some of the sites I've been on mention organ failure, and the ACE-2 receptor connection explains how that would come about. On the common cold, yes it can kill, but while I could find estimated fatality rates for influenza, SARS, and MERS, and so on, I couldn't find any for the rotten old rhinovirus that causes our winterly naso-pulmonary sorrows. The rhino is apparently, by contrast, pretty tame. To equate COVID-19 with the common cold, as Bob did in his now-vanished post, is even more egregiously misleading than equating it with influenza.

            --------------

            I notice that Bombastic Bob's initiating post has been scrubbed. I suppose it violated reasonable rules about spreading misinformation about COVID-19. Too bad, but I see the point.

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: In Italy --

              @ Jellied Eel: Good points, and I appreciate the biology info on COVID-19 coronavirus. Some of the sites I've been on mention organ failure, and the ACE-2 receptor connection explains how that would come about. On the common cold, yes it can kill, but while I could find estimated fatality rates for influenza, SARS, and MERS, and so on, I couldn't find any for the rotten old rhinovirus that causes our winterly naso-pulmonary sorrows.

              This chap summarised some cases from China, explaining the progression-

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0A0LyMru3I

              as well as other fascinating and strange cases, like death by nachos. Or for the current food crisis, why reheating old pasta can be a very bad idea. For deaths from colds, that I think is back to some of the China conspiracy theories, ie suggestions that China was trying to hide deaths by listing cause as pneumonia.. Which is also true for common colds, ie in someone who's already got a weaker immune system, a cold may lead to pneumonia and then death. But as you say, rhinovirus is less severe, and more easily treatable. I guess those deaths would end up in winter excess mortality stats, and maybe teased out by looking at pneumonia & subtracting flu. It's the kind of challenge one of my relatives has as an epidemiologist & medical statistician.

              As for misinformation.. There's been some interesting reports about antimalarials having some effectiveness. Which I guess could be good news as self-isolating with a good supply of gin & tonic could be an agreeable way to pass the time.

              1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

                Re: There's been some interesting reports about antimalarials having some effectiveness

                Actually, it's a combination of 2 drugs: 1 standard anti-HIV drug, and 1 previously-standard-now-defunct antimalarial (gathering dust in many warehouses) whose name I can't remember (chloriquinone?)

                And yes, in Aussie testing it's wiped the virus in every recipient. But only in a sample of about a dozen so far I think.

                So please god maybe news of this will stop the hysteria. The virus itself is only slightly more dangerous than the various flus over the years, the only real oddity being its age-mortality being the inverse of flu. Rat's arse. The HYSTERIA, on the other hand, is likely to do some real damage. (A poignant example: the Fujian hotel being used for quarantine , collapsed. Death count 29 before halted, but hey! not from coronavirus right?!)

                1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                  Re: There's been some interesting reports about antimalarials having some effectiveness

                  Actually, it's a combination of 2 drugs: 1 standard anti-HIV drug, and 1 previously-standard-now-defunct antimalarial (gathering dust in many warehouses) whose name I can't remember (chloriquinone?)

                  Yup-

                  https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/927033

                  Could the old generic malaria drug hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil, Sanofi-Aventis, among others), which is also used for the treatment of rheumatic disease, be an essential treatment for COVID-19?

                  Emphasis on 'could'. But trialled in a few places like France, and seems promising. Plus a cheap generic that could be cranked out in the millions. And being a qunine analogue, it's organic! (ish). But given the spread & hype, would seem plausible to trial in multiple places and compare notes. Give or take rules regarding medical trials, but it's a public health emergency, so emergency powers could be used to cut red tape. Guessing there'd still be a problem of lead times to churn out & distribute enough doses though, but any new/alternative treatments or vacines would have the same challenge.

                  The HYSTERIA, on the other hand, is likely to do some real damage.

                  Or 'is', ie all the economic damage. On the plus side, people might be re-learning the importance of basic hygiene stuff, like hand washing, and that coughs & sneezes spread diseases. Still some weird stuff, like bog roll. D&V isn't a symptom, so why stockpile that? Or vacant spots on shelves where liquid soaps used to be, next to the piles of bar soaps that still seem available.

    4. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Just wait 2 weeks

      Stock Markets brokers will make a killing without publishing a single word about how they make money from other peoples losses.

      Nonsense like this makes it hard to place much value on the rest of your post. Brokers make a fee when you transact, whether you buy or sell. Market markers make the spread (difference between bid & offer price). Short sellers, however, are the ones that make money when you (long buyers) lose it.

      Normal people will have just gone about their lives as though nothing had happened.

      Normal people are terrified of killing their elderly relatives just by visiting them.

      Business As Usual..

      No, no it really isn't.

      Anyone, anyone with a cold or flu like symptoms NEEDS to stay home and isolate for at least 7 - 14 days. You can't just push through it as what you're doing is pushing pensioners and transplant/cancer/other immuno-compromised patients off their perch.

      Your stupidity may well have lethal consequences.

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: Just wait 2 weeks

        @LucreLout

        Read the title again , here, we are only in day two of the lockdown. Come back in two weeks and then we will speak again.

        "Stock Markets brokers will make a killing without publishing a single word about how they make money from other peoples losses."

        Isn't that the whole point of Short Selling.

        "Normal people will have just gone about their lives as though nothing had happened."

        You will see how quickly people forget .. very very quickly. They will have adapted very quickly and after two weeks will have a hard time remembering what the problem was.

        "Business As Usual.."

        Business has not stopped, it has changed so it has become the new BAU... We have always had to put up with crisis. The Black Swan is in town, that's all... Life will go on, it's what makes human being so damned amazing... After only one day of working at home, almost all of my colleagues have accepted this situation and are just moving on.

        "Your stupidity may well have lethal consequences."

        My stupidity, no, I do not agree, I am on a forum where the majority are very intelligent people who know how to make decisions.. None of what I say has any consequence to anyone on El Reg.. This is not twitter, this is El Reg where sarcasm, irony and quip are quite common, some people like it, some don't....

        Perhaps you see things differently.

        1. Khaptain Silver badge

          Re: Just wait 2 weeks

          Didn't have to wait two weeks for the stocks and shares, no surprise there

          https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-51976484

  3. BebopWeBop Silver badge

    The leader of the free world dumbly in denial over the basic scientific facts of the worst public health crisis in a generation? possibly better written as 'The leader of the free world'? But given he can not even be trusted to be consistent on what he had for breakfast, anything else is just wasted hope.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      In his own head he's probably 'The dealer of the free world'...

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      The moron being described as 'Leader if the free world' is not a leader and the bit of the world he is allegedly leader of, is certainly not free.

      In any sense of the term, not even it's apparently 'free market'.

      I live in a place that I consider a part of a reasonably free world and there is no fecking way he is my leader.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Unfortunately, Vladimir Vladimirovich told an interviewer recently that Obama had explicitly told him - Putin -that the US is the exceptional country and it is right that it should run the world. (He added that Germany had finally come round to his way of thinking, that this should be opposed.)

        Trump just says the same thing but in ten year old English.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This whole "free world" thing is our version of Battle of Britain syndrome -- just as it always seems to be the eternal summer of 1940 in the UK as it stood alone against whatever we in the US of V-J day, we reign supreme everywhere (and we've got the loot to prove it). MAGA and all that....

      (Both images are actually not quite true.....but that's the problem with notalgia, its got a serious rose-tinted hue.)

      Please ignore the Man With the Organge Hair, whether or not he's behind the curtain......

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Notalgia is backache. You could say that both Johnson and Trump with their fake patriotism in the interests of their income induce notalgia. but it's nostalgia that isn't as good as it used to be.

  4. Andrew Moore

    Meanwhile, in Ireland...

    ...my design cycle has sped up immensely as my clients are all now at home with nothing better to do than run test cases on the project I'm working on.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, at least i now understand why supermarkets have no loo roll...

    All those male IT worker, home alone in front of their computers all day. There will be a peak in abrasive injuries in the next week or two, mark my words.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well, at least i now understand why supermarkets have no loo roll...

      There will be a peak in abrasive injuries in the next week or two

      If they're getting abrasive injuries then they're holding it wrong...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well, at least i now understand why supermarkets have no loo roll...

        No problem ,there is always some Genius that will show them how to hold it properly.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Well, at least i now understand why supermarkets have no loo roll...

          A menu option for gender choice?

    2. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: Well, at least i now understand why supermarkets have no loo roll...

      You need kitchen roll. Loo roll falls apart too easy.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Well, at least i now understand why supermarkets have no loo roll...

        Only if you try and use it twice...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well, at least i now understand why supermarkets have no loo roll...

      >>>There will be a peak in abrasive injuries in the next week or two, mark my words.

      Nothing left but a small cloud of pink mist.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well, at least i now understand why supermarkets have no loo roll...

      Use hand sanitizer!

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well, at least i now understand why supermarkets have no loo roll...

      Some of the shortages in local supermarkets...

      Last week: skinless chicken fillets, avocados, large bottles of olive oil, luxury loo paper (but plenty of the recycled stuff)

      Yesterday: Ciabatta, Paul Hollywood crusty rolls, all loo paper... and bottled water! Who hordes bottled water?!?

      (I'm hoarding M&S Marmalade Hot X Buns... Oi!, hands off!... they're mine, all mine!)

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Well, at least i now understand why supermarkets have no loo roll...

        Home Depot was short on drywall joint compound the other day. Joint compound.

        Maybe people are taking work-at-home time to do some renovations.

        (On the other hand, they still had plenty of nitrile gloves, which is good because I wanted some to wear while gluing up Schedule-40 PVC drain lines. They had cleverly put the nitrile gloves in the middle of the door hardware section, so presumably no one could find them. For once HD's astounding inability to organize their stores has benefited me.)

  6. tiggity Silver badge

    Just In Time

    And similar systems beloved by accounts are great in good times but fall apart big time in scenarios like this.

    Keeping decent stocks (oh, the horrors of a bit of warehousing) costs more but brings resilience.

    Decisions were made to sacrifice resilience to keep costs down.

    Not helped by mania for everyone wanting the "latest & greatest" (as Dan 55 said - planned obsolescence is a real issue in IT kit) so in fast changing areas like IT keeping large stocks is less of an option than in industries with a slower pace of change)

  7. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    The NEUKlearer Option ..... in Derivative AI Futures Markets in Support of Quantum Leaping

    A lack of liquidity is going to cause complicated problems, analysts warn ..... Lindsay Clark

    I wouldn't be worried too much about a lack of liquidity complicating problems, Lindsay.

    There's bigger phish to ply and apply ........

    amanfromMars [2003161304] ....... exercising a simple penetrations testing of market leaders on https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/emergency-smes-face-global-crunch-drowned-liquidity

    Governments and central banks are committed to do whatever it takes in terms of demand-side policies, spending and increasing liquidity as much as needed to avoid a 2008-style crisis. However, these measures, which were already ineffective for years, will be even less successful this time.

    Oh?  You might like to start thinking this time is it very different depending on what/who governments and central bank provide with liquidity for spending.

    Does one have to ask for investment or is the current system able to recognise to where for what and who such funding provides and leads via its simple fiat vehicle much better utilised by other folk to a much greater extent ?

    It's not all doom and gloom out there you know. Many Spaces and Places are Thriving and Sharing Both the Experience and the Expertise to Realise it with AI and IT Presenting Views Promoted for/with Unilateral Universal Support. And that's an Almighty Heavenly Engagement and Encouragement in any language anywhere and everywhere. 

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: The NEUKlearer Option ..... in Derivative AI Futures Markets in Support of Quantum Leaping

      Is the seven and a half trillion dollar US debt considered to be liquidity?

      Asking for a friend.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: The NEUKlearer Option ..... in Derivative AI Futures Markets in Support of Quantum Leaping

        Is the seven and a half trillion dollar US debt considered to be liquidity?

        Asking for a friend. ..... Chris G

        If you're holding it, any dollar US debt, the American Way is to spend it thus transferring and leaving it with others to spend again in a similarly mutually beneficial fashion/process. I'd consider that immediately available liquidity for onwards transfer to many including a Valued Client of Venture Capitalist Marketeers ..... :-) An Élan of AIMusketeers

        Keeping Everything So Simple Allows IT to be Easily Followed and to be More Fully and Much Deeper Understood.

        And whenever the markets are crashed and sub-prime drivers are required to say ..... "Whatever it takes ....... there be something different to try out this time.

        Suck it and see. It is Almightily Well Designed for you to like and love what needs to be supplied and done, and surely not many programs can guarantee delivery of that sort of Immaculate Driver.

        If there are any, can you please reference them here for us on this thread. Thanks.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The NEUKlearer Option ..... in Derivative AI Futures Markets in Support of Quantum Leaping

          If you're holding anything in US dollars you haven't been paying much attention to the shell game that is being played in the background over there. The US dollar is tied to fossil fuel and, expressed in imperial measures, an absolute sh*t ton of debt, presided over by the king of debt bankruptcies himself.

          The only thing that was holding up the dollar was the economic blackmail that the US has been keeping up for decades. Thanks to the combination of crisis and record breaking debt, the whole house of cards is now coming down around our ears because we let this dependency continue instead of planning for the worst and now going down with it.

          Even simply on the basis of history, the pattern was clear: all Republican presidents have presided over a crisis, and thuis moron has done his damndest to maximise the damage (likely on behest of Putin) by hollowing out reserves into making them non-existent, pretty much like Gordon Brown did in his days by the brilliant idea of taxing the gains of pension funds. You'll be paying for that one for some years to come - those reserves are thus also spent.

          Looking at worst case is pretty standard for me, but really, I cannot be the only one who saw this coming. Here's some more fun news: even after recovery, I would still very much stay away from US dollar values. They've missed the boat, exactly because of their government's continued aversion to alternative energy sources. The dollar will go with it.

          1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

            Re: The NEUKlearer Option ..... in Derivative AI Futures Markets in Support of Quantum Leaping

            Here's some more fun news: even after recovery, I would still very much stay away from US dollar values. They've missed the boat, exactly because of their government's continued aversion to alternative energy sources. .... Anonymous Coward

            Here's a leading question for you, AC ...... Are the alternative energy sources, radically private and fundamentally different proprietary intellectual property forces?

            Think SMARTR Pirates and proceed from there.

            1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

              Re: That Leading Question on Presently ACTive Existential Threat Vectors?

              Are the alternative energy sources, radically private and fundamentally different proprietary intellectual property forces?

              I'm not saying "I told you so" but ........

              A specialist cyber force of hackers who can target hostile states and terror groups is due to be launched later in the spring, after many months of delays and turf wars between the Ministry of Defence and GCHQ. The National Cyber Force, containing an estimated 500 specialists, has been in the works for two years but after months of wrangling over the details, the specialist unit was close to being formally announced. ..... New UK Cyber Force Targets Terror Groups

              And if you think that is not quite enough you might like to ask Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings and the Cabinet Office what they are doing/going to do about Future Shenanigans for Present Processing with Past Product Management/Established Operations, a Private/Pirate Sector Offering which has been languishing in one of their trays pending since 3 February 2020 at 17:05:36 GMT.

              I wonder if they fear IT as an Invisible Intangible Enemy and SMARTR AI RAT* rather than realising it Servers Best as a Loving Friend Best Never Crossed and Abused ......for both are easily available but only one has a Viable Vital Virile Future?

              * Systems Monitoring Analysis Reports Tracking Resources for Advanced IntelAIgent Remote Access Trojans

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: The NEUKlearer Option ..... in Derivative AI Futures Markets in Support of Quantum Leaping

        Of course. Massive debts have been considered liquidity ever since 2008-9.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: The NEUKlearer Option ..... in Derivative AI Futures Markets in Support of Quantum Leaping

          Much longer given the classic joke about bank debts - £500 your problem, £50,000,000 the banks.

    2. Youngone Silver badge

      Re: The NEUKlearer Option ..... in Derivative AI Futures Markets in Support of Quantum Leaping

      I think amanfromMars1 may have almost got the hang of English.

      I understood quite a lot of his post this time. Amazing.

      1. Julz Silver badge

        Re: The NEUKlearer Option ..... in Derivative AI Futures Markets in Support of Quantum Leaping

        The AI is learning...

  8. phuzz Silver badge

    At least a lot of IT jobs are just as easy to do from home as sat in the office, so there's no talk of shutting my employers down. In fact, what with helping all our clients rush to get VPNs and soft phones running, I wouldn't be surprised if we have quite a good month or two.

    I'm just not sure how it's going to work for companies that (eg) set up trade shows, and if they can't make money, they probably can't pay their IT supplier...

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Already Started Alas

      A friend of mine in the promotions\exhibitions trade, has already lost his job.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Already Started Alas

        My brother has too, although it's formal redundancy so at least he'll get some final pay.

    2. whitepines Silver badge
      Unhappy

      they probably can't pay their IT supplier...

      That right there is the problem. I'm increasingly concerned this will cement Slurp and co. and help drive anyone smaller to the wall.

      Worse, the effects will be delayed. Normally I'd say start polishing CVs, but this time I'm thinking start looking at career shifts. Problem is I don't know where IT folk would fit in a new career.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I forsee...

        Many, many more jobs going offshore as a result of this.

        We (IT staff) are going to be extinct here within 5 years.

        If you can get out, do it now. Don't wait. Take the exit door on your terms

        If you are sent home on no pay, use the time you would be otherwise working to develop a new skill.

        I did that after the 2008 debacle.

        I'm now a full time author. 16 books to my name so far. Not a huge income after Amazon takes its 30% (see Apple aren't the only one but I could have signed up for their 70/30, 70% to them deal).

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: I forsee...

          We (IT staff) are going to be extinct here within 5 years.

          Yeah, that's what they were saying in 1985, too. Still waiting.

  9. NonyaDB

    "The leader of the free world dumbly in denial over the basic scientific facts of the worst public health crisis in a generation? Opinions vary."

    And [CLOSE TAB] without bothering to read rest of this "analysis".

    1. BigSLitleP

      Yet you still came in here and made a comment on your closed tab......

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Cultists really don’t like it when you criticise their leader.

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      And [CLOSE TABMIND] without bothering to read

      FTFY. HTH. HAND.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reality Check

    US is the worlds THIRD largest economy, after the EU and China. It is not really the source of the worlds tech, it only thinks it is.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)

    Their economy is puffed up by debt, loading students with debt is borrowing from the future. Government debt is borrowing from the future. Loading up sick people with medical debt they cannot afford to pay back, is borrowing from the future.

    Republicans cut taxes for billionaires. It was supposed to trickle down, it didn't. Annual deficit practically doubled $600 billion to $1.2 trillion, that would be 6% GDP growth if it made its way into the economy. It didn't. Turns out billionaires had all the money they could ever need. Who knew??!! Only everyone knew, including every Republican signing the tax cut.

    That extra borrowing is supposed to be paid for by the future children already loaded with student debt and propping up existing treasuries. How? Billionaires won't pay taxes and won't be repaying the debt borrowed to fluff them, the rest of the economy has to cover that debt.

    Republicans get 2.9% growth that year, it falls down to 2.1% by end of the year. i.e. well below 6%. THEIR FUCKING FAKE ECONOMY IS IMPLODING. Perhaps it was dumb to attack your major customers, and your largest suppliers when you're running a huge deficit?

    April 2019: Trump appoints trumpettes to the Federal Reserve board. One is a Restaurant manager who set up a PAC to help Trump get elected. Quid-pro-quos all round!

    https://www.npr.org/2019/04/06/710712202/trump-picks-partisan-nominees-for-apolitical-federal-reserve

    March 2019: No surprises China reduces its investment in US debts. May, the 10 years treasury bond auction is dismal. People don't want that junk bonds from a Trump stuffed Federal Reserve!

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-treasury-securities-idUSKCN1SL2U4

    Nov 2019. Federal reserve steps in an buys up government debt with magic funny money. Warns it cannot continue like this.

    Funny Trump money is flowing! What could possibly go wrong! Trump Atlantic City Junk Bonds here we come!

    Jan 2020: Covid 19 hits. The Federal Reserve goes into frantic money printing mode, it buys up a shitload more government debt, it buys up distressed stocks at face value, the money presses cannot keep up there is a FUCKING TSUNAMI OF DOLLARS FLOODING THE USA!

    You get a billion and YOU GET A BILLION and YOU GET A BILLION, BILLIONS FOR EVERYONE!!

    Now it made money free as of Sunday, Fed targeting 0%. TOILET PAPER IS WORTH MORE THAN THE DOLLAR!

    But the USA is too big to fail right? It's the worlds biggest economy? With rock solid debt? Nah. It's the worlds third biggest economy with shaky unsupportable debt.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Reality Check

      "loading students with debt is borrowing from the future"

      The US doesn't have a monopoly of that, I'm afraid.

    2. A-nonCoward
      Alert

      have you seen Japan's? Re: Reality Check

      Years agom I looked at Japan's Debt/GDP, made the US look like responsible adults.

      Scary. Haven't looked at it again, denial is better for my nerves.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Virgin

    Peter Norris, the chairman of Virgin Atlantic, is calling for a £7.5bn bail-out.

    Is he now? Seems to me they already had it when they sued the NHS for millions just a little while ago. I sincerely hope they tell the bearded twat to fuck off and die.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: Virgin

      Cheaper to buy them when they go bankrupt.

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Virgin

      Never trust a virgin, they always cry when you bail out.

    3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Virgin and Boeing Bong Gone

      Can you imagine the dread panic at Boeing nowadays?

      So, no, nobody in their right minds should give Boeing even one penny in "short term aid". Instead, management and the board should be ordered to sell as much stock as they need - you know, the opposite of buying it back - to maintain the business, even it means sending the stock price crashing far lower.

      Because it's called capitalism, and because there is no reason why taxpayers should foot the bill for a company which instead of saving cash when times were good, was handing it out to shareholders and a handful of executives, and which should now for some insane reason be eligible for a bailout when times suddenly go bad.

      That makes sense. Is there anybody out in the market anxious to purchase or support a Double Whammy Zombie Ponzi Vampire Squid which leaves you with all the bills and expenses to be paid as they play ?

  12. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "The fear then is that a lack of liquidity leads to another credit crunch. Instead of the 2008-09 crash warning companies off debt, they have become addicted to cheap interest rates and built up a mountain of it."

    It's not surprising. Back in 8/9 governments were so terrified of the consequences of their low interest bubble that they didn't dare burst it. Their response was to keep interest rates low and print money - disguised by inventing a new term, quantitative easing. So instead of fixing the problem they kicked it further into the future and we're now in that future. Businesses did just what governments wanted them to do and they're now worse off than ever. Let's hope that this time a tiny smidgeon of sanity ans some of the worst excesses line leveraged buy-outs far into the future.

  13. A-nonCoward
    Boffin

    graph data looks odd, am I missing something?

    here's the data from the FRED horse mouth:

    Delinquency Rate on All Loans, All Commercial Banks

    or

    Delinquency Rate on All Loans, Top 100 Banks Ranked by Assets

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/DRALT100N

    neither looks anywhere like what is in the article. Defaults in 2003 were nowhere as big as the other peaks. And why 4-year old data?

    here a bunch of info on debt vs. GDP, not just for USA but also for others:

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/searchresults/?st=debt%20gdp

    1. Palpy

      Re: graph data looks odd, and I see what you mean.

      The only obvious thing I see is that the FRED graphs seem to indicate all debt, whilst the one El Reg posted appears to be labeled as corporate debt only. The early 2001 recession followed the collapse of the dot-com bubble in 2000, didn't it? Would that suggest that a plethora of corporate defaults -- a bunch of failed internet start-ups, I guess -- show up on the El Reg trend, but on the FRED trend they're not as prominent because in that particular recession there were not a lot of non-corporate debt defaults?

      I think my suggestions here are stretched damned thin. Tom Waits, playing the devil, delivers a great line in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus: "Ooohhhh, I think that's a very unlikely hypothesis."

      Somebody has to have a better explanation.

  14. Julz Silver badge

    Hindsight

    "There's a real tendency in the human condition to feel that if you don't know what to do, standing still is going to keep you stable. That is not the case; the situation is evolving around you and it's entirely possible in some situations that doing nothing can be more risky than doing something."

    It is also always possible that standing still is exactly the right thing to do and that doing something is the incorrect response. The buggeration is that knowing which is which is tricky. Looking at what is going on in my neck of the woods would lead me to the conclusion that the human condition is exactly the opposite of what he thinks and that the majority are happily going about just doing something, anything, so that they feel like they have some control. Even if it is as bizarre as buying up all of the available toilet tissue.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021