Whipsaw Wednesday – Merkel and Oil Reverse Course

German Chancellor Angela Merkel takes down her face mask as she arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting of the German government at the chancellery in Berlin, Wednesday, March 24, 2021. In the background left Finance Minister and Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz. (Kay Nietfeld/Pool via AP)Reverse course!

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has apologized for calling for a lockdown in Germany over Easter after her people FREAKED OUT (Easter is a very big 4-day holiday there).  During a press conference, Merkel said the Easter lockdown was formed "with the best of intentions.  We must try to slow down the third wave of the pandemic. Nevertheless it was a mistake," Merkel said, adding: "Because at the end of the day, I carry the last responsibility. It's now important for me to say so here. A mistake should be called a mistake and above all it should be corrected, preferably in good time," she stressed, asking citizens for forgiveness.

Merkel said that on closer analysis, the planned shutdown risked doing more harm than good. She also said there was not enough time to adequately offset some of the problems that would come with it, such as lost earnings and working hours.  "It was well reasoned, but was not really doable in such a short time," Merkel said of the Easter measures. "Many too many questions, from missing wages through to the loss of time in factories and facilities, could not be adequately answered in time."

Mayor Larry Vaughn GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHYIn short, proper public health policy is taking a back-seat to Economic Policy in what, the day before, Merkel had described as an attempt to "break the exponential growth of the third wave."  Yesterday, Germany had 15,813  new cases and 248 deaths.  Here in the US, we had 58,764 new cases and 892 deaths, which is about right as we have 4x as many people as Germany – so we're in the same situation.  

In other reverals of fortune that never happen when oil prices are high, a container ship has "crashed" sideways in the Suez Canal, blocking off the waterway that transports 1/3 of the World's oil.  The cause of the accident, according to people in the know, was Oil prices slipping below…
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