Corona Diary 27 March 2020

2020-03-26 10.55.02-1

Today is the 14th day of lockdown for the kids and me. As you can see above, lockdown in Boulder is perfectly acceptable. We are happy to stay put.

At this stage, I don’t see the way out.


This NPR report is similar to the concern my medical mentor expressed: Some Recovered Coronavirus Patients In Wuhan Are Testing Positive Again

The duration of the true lockdown in Wuhan is something I’ve been watching. It’s longer than you think. It’s also a lockdown in a totalitarian state, which is wee bit different than any American equivalent, even with the National Guard deployed

2020-03-26 11.02.04

Exponential functions are difficult to intuitively grasp, particularly at the start.

This is why it’s so tough to get people to start saving, begin an exercise program and stop global pandemics…

Positive tests Colorado

  • 33/44/72/101/131/160/183/
  • 216/277/363/475/591/720/912/
  • 1,086/1,430
  1. First we see the positive tests pop.
  2. Over the last few days exponential growth has moved to our hospitalizations.
  3. Unfortunately, the final move is with Colorado’s deaths.

We have friends who decided to go on vacation. We are all safer at home, folks.

2020-03-26 10.55.33

How I Handle Bad Deals

In the summer of 1990, I started my career in Private Equity. I lived in London, before it was expensive. So great.

Our cost of borrowing was ~15% and the UK was undergoing a structural transition due to Thatcherism. We did a lot of good deals and a few bad ones.

At first we tried to save our bad deals. Millions of Pounds Sterling went up in smoke, seeking to save British Industry from the early effects of Globalization.

Eventually, we realized this might not be the most effective approach and changed direction with a focus on the following:

Seek a way out => Free up time, and head space, for better opportunities.

Learn from our mistakes => go back to our original investment memo and see why we thought this would be a good risk to take.

Be careful to assess based on information that was knowable at the time you made your decision. Good decisions can go bad. Likewise, you can get lucky and make money despite bad investment process.

Never follow your money => as a class, bad deals make bad deals. It is essential to remember this rule with regard to people.

I have applied these investment lessons within my own life.

With people, I add: don’t sweat the small stuff and treat people “too fairly.”

About “too fairly”

  1. The other side rarely thinks you’ve been too fair
  2. The goal is to prevent a bad deal from hanging around. When you’ve been “too fair” your heart can let go and move on. This also frees the other side to get on with their lives, which you very much want to have happen.

How’s this relevant?

Many of the people reading this blog are able to withstand the financial shock that’s landed in our laps.

There are tens of millions of people, who are going to be struggling with basic necessities.

There is going to be an expectation for us to forgo luxury spending to support assistance with basic necessities. It’s coming.

Additionally, we are going to have the opportunity to make things better for… your housekeeper, your soccer coach, your music teacher…

Extend offers to prepay for services => especially for people with kids.

Write it all off to the virus.

Free your mind to focus on the good things in your life, as well as future opportunities.


Quick Hits

Cyber Break => I’m going to turn all my devices off for the weekend. See how I feel on Monday. 

Personal => Yesterday, Ax joined me on my “work capacity” training. He did great with his 15# sandbag. Did the entire workout, below => swings at 8#, rows with 3# DBs.

2020-03-26 07.51.08

=> it’s nice to have a fellow savage in the basement.

2020-03-26 08.23.32

East Asian vs American Responses to Authority => If total lockdown is required for the USA then it’s going to be a struggle. Having lived in both places, the US and Asia respond “differently” to authority.

Exhibit #1 follows => Polis is our Governor…

2020-03-26 11.10.24

This attitude is part of what makes America Great. It a vivid example of how each of our strengths is linked directly to a weakness.