The Diagonal Slice

There’s a lot of talk on the interwebs these days about the mass exodus from big cities. The riots. The looting. The arson. The migration of frightened people seeking safety in the hinterland… Roll the video loops of terrified white ladies clutching their pearls. The financial district is dead. The towers are empty. You can … Continue reading The Diagonal Slice

The Great Reshuffling

The Interwebs are abuzz over the mass exodus from cities triggered by the Coronavirus. Cue up the images of Moses parting the sea for a caravan of U-Hauls destined for the verdant cul-de-sacs of the Promised Land. This outward population migration is quantifiable and real. You’ll get no arguments at all from me. But the … Continue reading The Great Reshuffling

A Receding Tide

Lately I’ve noticed people describing our current economic situation as “negative growth.”  We used to call the same thing “contraction.” As in… there’s less now than before. But culturally we can’t seem to wrap our minds around anything other than more. So we still have growth! It’s just negative at the moment. I took these … Continue reading A Receding Tide

Quarantini

San Francisco is toying with a soft reopening from quarantine. It’s a tricky business. There’s a real risk of a Covid-19 boomerang as other cities and rural areas are beginning to exhibit. But people simply can’t be made to stay at home forever. Immediate friends and neighbors like mine are taking baby steps by selectively … Continue reading Quarantini

Pyrrhic Victory

I have an old friend back east who applied for CARES Act emergency relief funds for his small business and he received a $30,000 check. Millions of people are currently getting monthly stipends from the government to offset lost wages caused by Covid-19 closures. Numerous industries have been granted enormous sums of money to keep … Continue reading Pyrrhic Victory

Curfew

In order to avoid becoming any fatter than I already am during the Big Cooties I take long walks. My usual trek is a few miles and I take different routes to keep it interesting. With mask on and sanitizing gel at hand I’m enjoying my city along with a lot of other people. If … Continue reading Curfew

What if You’re Right?

For many observers Covid-19 has vindicating the view that cities are unhealthy doomed places. Dense urban centers, they insist, will be abandoned for sensible suburban and rural alternatives. Downtown office towers have already depopulated as companies switch – permanently – to telecommuting. Restaurants, bars, hotels, and public accommodations of all kinds will continue to founder … Continue reading What if You’re Right?

Contango

“The Word of the Day today children is Contango. Everyone take out your worksheets and your Number 2 pencils.” People of a certain age will remember those instructions from grammar school. Those same people will no doubt also remember the oil shocks of the 1970s. What does it mean when the options price of a … Continue reading Contango

¿Plomo o Plata?

¿Plomo o plata? Lead or silver? Your money or your life? That’s what the world is mulling these days. Do we preserve our health and trash the global economy? Or do we trash our collective health to preserve our finances? I know, I know. It’s a false narrative. The dead are a tiny sliver of … Continue reading ¿Plomo o Plata?