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Let's talk about the mind tricks and psychological warfare being waged by cheaters, hackers, and RMT vendors in Tarkov, and what we can do about it. This is a long post, but Tarkov is worth it, and a TL;DR is provided at the top.
Edit: There's obviously big money at stake as I started receiving death threats the moment this post hit the front page on hot. Be careful with your personal info and probably best to avoid commenting here if you have doxxable details on your reddit account. Stay safe, it's just a game and not worth it. TL;DR:
Tarkov is a crazy wild game with a bunch of people running around trying to do weird things. Remember that bizarre outcomes are just as likely (if not more) to be happenstance than suspicious behavior. Don't let others gaslight you into thinking every encounter is a hacker or cheater.
Cheat sellers, RMT vendors, and their customers, all want to push the narrative that rule-breaking is far more common than it actually is, and that the game developers are ruining the game so you may as well just hack/cheat yourself to level the playing field. It's great for business as a seller, and it helps rationalize malicious actions as a customer. Spreading paranoia, mass outrage, and undermining the developers are CIA-level tactics to sow chaos and anarchy that benefits bad actors at the cost of everyone else.
The best thing we can do is silence attempts by bad actors and focus on productive, positive discussions in Tarkov and let BSG (who are the only people who can do anything) do their jobs. They spend 65% of their resources on crushing bad actors and their profit margins, so this isn't an issue that's flying under their radar. As a community, the best voice we have against malicious behavior is deafening silence to starve it of attention and free publicity, minimizing the chances that they can sow enough fear and angst to radicalize players to get more customers.
--- First off, the point of this discussion is not to debate how prevalent cheating in Tarkov is. This sub already has more than enough speculation on that topic and as you read further along you'll see that letting fear and paranoia fester is exactly what bad faith agents in Tarkov want. Wherever you have competition, you're going to have cheating. Whether it's Tarkov, Olympic sports, or the stock market. As long as there is competition, there will always be someone who looks to gain an unfair edge, and it doesn't even matter if it's something as mundane and trivial as online chess, there's always going to be that guy who runs their opponents moves into a grandmaster-level AI because their enjoyment comes from that win at any cost. However, despite the fact that bad faith competition exists in nearly every facet of life, it seems like the Tarkov community is far more paralyzed by fear, anger, and suspicion than any other competitive forum. Why is this?
The game design makes it exceedingly difficult to discern bad faith actions from legitimate play. A naked level 1 with a TT pistol can accidentally get a lucky hipfire shot that instantly kills a fully kitted veteran who is highly skilled in the game. The incredibly punishing nature of the game also makes it so that deaths are highly impactful, which makes it difficult to "let go" of trying to figure out what went wrong. All put together, it means that players are forced to simply accept highly punishing deaths without being given any insight or explanation on how they were killed. 20 headshots with an R99 SMG in Apex Legends is incredibly obvious aimbotting. But in Tarkov, the fight is over with just 1, which leaves a lot of unanswered questions with no satisfying answers.
Because the shared raid map system that Tarkov uses, players have a wide variety of objectives that lead to very differing goals, resulting in bizarre interactions where the original intentions of other other players is unclear. Someone who's hiding in a raid to wait for the violence to die down could be stumbled upon by some other person who is completely lost trying to find a quest objective, or wandering around exploring an obscure area trying to find easter eggs. From the vantage point of the hider, it seems suspicious they were hunted down by someone who had no reason to legitimately to hunt in the location that they were. In other words, players will frequently run into other players acting in inexplicable ways that can be easily misattributed to malice when it was just as likely to be happenstance.
The lack of SBMM (skills-based matchmaking) means that all players are drawn from the same pool when forming raids. This means a complete new player to FPS genre entirely could be running face first into the most skilled players in the entire game. When the competition spans the entirety of the skill curve, it's incredibly difficult to know what is going on because player actions are often contrary to expectations of others. Chaos makes it easy to be suspicious about bad faith play because nobody is acting "logically" from each perspective. Naive players may charge in aggressively in silly ways that end up working by sheer luck that more experienced players will assume would only be as a result of unfair information. A very high skill player can take fights that they win with superior mechanics that most would assume you would only engage because of unfair aim.
The point is, this game is designed to breed suspicion, paranoia, and fear. Which is great in one way, because it's what makes it so exciting and fun to play. However, when channeled in the wrong way, is a serious problem because it's exactly what bad faith actors want. Let's think about various actors in Tarkov, and ask the question, "do they want people to believe that rule breaking is more or less prevalent than it actually is?"
CHEAT SELLERS: MORE
Because the narrative is, everyone is cheating, the game is unfair no matter what, every raid you load into has someone that is map-hacking, every fight you take is against someone who is aim-botting. Therefore, you should consider picking up some little helpers yourself to make it fair again, or be a naive idiot that willingly plays at a disadvantage while everyone else is using hacks. The idea that literally cheaters and hackers are infesting every single raid is probably the best possible sales pitch a cheat seller could have. The few instances of cheating leads to fear and paranoia festering, prompting more people on the fringe to consider cheating themselves, leading to more cheating, more fear, more paranoia, more business.
RMT VENDORS: MORE
Because the narrative is, this game is filled with cheaters anyway, half the lobby is people who bought stuff with mom's credit card, and Nikita is setting out to personally reduce your happiness in life and the game is unrewarding and unplayable for a normal legitimate player that doesn't hack or make a full-time job out of Tarkov. Why bother doing all the pointless stupid grinds while you're dying 50 raids in a row to hackers or someone who bought all their gear with their credit card, when you can just buy a few little cheeki Roubles from the side and get to having fun in the game? Negativity and toxicity toward both the existence of other bad faith players, as well as toward the game design itself, is inherently the best possible environment for a thriving RMT system. This is especially perfect for Tarkov because unlike other MMORPGs, it's much more likely that incremental changes will be more brutal rather than having power creep / loot creep / money creep, which fuels despair and more interest in RMT.
CHEAT/RMT USERS: MORE
This one is simple. If they can convince everyone that it's more common than it actually is, the more they can rationalize their own behavior. It's not that bad, everyone else is doing it anyway! Besides, it's not even that big of an advantage, some other cheaters cheat even harder! Some of you may have seen a recent thread where one individual texted "lmao I'm gonna turn off cheats for this group though, cuz these guys play legit." As if playing legit was actually the minority situation for a massively mainstream FPS game. Zzz.
THE AVERAGE PLAYER LIKE YOU AND ME: ?
It is human nature to rationalize defeat. When you face down failure with no explanation on why like in Tarkov, it's tempting to blame cheaters, hackers, etc. Different games often have different ways of rationalizing defeat. In team games like Overwatch or League of Legends, teammate-blaming is common to offload the burden onto random strangers. In solo matchup games like Starcraft II, race balance is often used by players who are frustrated that they lost. What's even more, these other games do an excellent job of explaining where you could have done better, but players will still look for ways to blame someone other than themselves. It's no surprise that in Tarkov, fear and suspicion of bad faith gameplay exists. The problem is, if we allow ourselves to be tempted to err toward the side of suspicion, to blame negative outcomes on the belief in rampant cheaters, hackers, etc., then we are aligning ourselves to the same narrative that bad faith actors like cheat sellers and RMT vendors want to push. We allow ourselves to be corrupted with the idea of "this game is bullshit, everyone else in the game is not playing fairly, why do I even bother trying?" This is a dangerous mindset because it fuels a toxic narrative that "this game is never going to be fair to me, the devs don't care, the game is becoming less and less fun for me, I should just quit if I'm not going to cheat myself." Let me be clear, I'm not saying that toxicity itself will convert an entire playerbase into cheaters. In fact, I think it has a minimal impact at a high level perspective because there just aren't that many people that are willing to traverse to the disreputable ends of the internet and take risks just to gain some internet points. However, even a 1% cheating rate to 3% cheating rate is a 300% proportional magnitude in the profitability of selling cheats or RMT vending. And more importantly, it significantly damages the enjoyment and integrity of the community at large. You can see clear evidence of bad faith actors in this subreddit. There have been several threads in this subreddit just in the past few days that have reached the front page claiming 1) false bans are rampant, Nikita should just let RMT be 2) hello I am bob, I am hacker all day, you should hack too because literally it's everywhere you don't even KNOW, btw PM me for cheap hacks 3) xyz devs are ruining the game, why stop RMT/hacks, just let it go, you're DESTROYING THE GAME, STOP DOING THAT BSG!. I'm not going to say any individual thread (even though many examples have been debunked) are complete bullshit. I'm just going to say that the narrative of these threads is completely aligned with individuals who are lobbying to protect their interests in making a profit out of bad faith play.
What can you do to stop this?
It starts with the self.
When you get an incredibly lucky clutch/kill, remember it for yourself, and use it as a reminder as to how fickle this game can be. Think about how your opponent must be so confused/suspicious about what you got away with.
When you yourself are on the receiving end of that ridiculous death, remind yourself of all the times where you were on the other side. Make your default reaction be "damn, Tarkov is crazy" rather than "I bet that was hacking 100%." Remember how easily flukes can occur, and how easily luck could be conflated with cheating.
Focus on learning and improving in a game where there is endless room to get better, something that is irrelevant to whether some minority of players chooses to play unfairly.
Encourage productive discussions, positive mentalities, and discourageDESTRUCTIVE SPECULATIONand toxic attitudes.
Upvote threads that discuss legitimate aspects of the game, whether it's discussions on strategies, advice on how to get better, or general productive discussions that are within our control as regular players.
Downvote threads that revolve around discussing cheating, hacking, or a bullshit "Reddit expert panel" of trying to speculate whether gameplay footage was legitimate or not, especially when there is a lack of context on user lag/latency, frames, system specs, server issues, date stamps, etc.
Upvote threads that explain technical nuances known to impact Tarkov gameplay, e.g. desync bullets resulting in apparently unkillable players, etc.
Downvote threads that attempt to sow paranoia in masses of players that have nothing to do with anti-cheating efforts. At best, they are attention-seeking threads made by users to profit infamy at the cost of community integrity. At worst, they are propagandized pieces designed to undermine faith in the developers and increase the temptation to use black market cheats/services and perpetuate a death spiral.
Downvote threads that attempt to induct mass outrage against developers. When someone says "they nerfed X, this is bullshit, we should all just RMT now," it could be from legitimate upset players, but keep in mind that it's also perfectly aligned with exactly the type of agenda that bad faith actors have. Remember that the best thing that malicious actors can do is to pit the player base against the developers so they can create a lawless wasteland to do business undisturbed.
BSG has shown an exemplary degree of interaction with this community. Always wait for an official response before jumping to conclusions.
Go try making a thread about cheating/hacking/boosting in Overwatch or Apex Legends and see how much official response you ever get from developers. This subreddit has been gifted with probably one of the best levels of community engagement from devs you could ask for.
When someone tries to hit the front page with a thread like "I've been falsely banned," track that thread carefully and wait 3-4 days for the official response. If it's anything like 90% of the threads we've seen in the past few days, you're going to see the truth hammer get dropped, providing the poster doesn't delete their own threads/accounts when they're exposed to be full of lies.
Upvote threads that make grandiose claims that are worthwhile for an official response. Then mercilessly scrutinize how events unfold, because 99% of the time, it's always liars that are hoping they can incite a riot as "punishment" for the developers interfering with them than anything else. This is a common occurrence in other communities that have high developer interaction like Old School Runescape, where banned players are known to make top-page threads about being falsely banned, before evidence is provided showing that they are completely full of shit and memes ensue when the truth hammer is dropped.
-- BSG spends 65% of its resources fighting cheaters and RMT and is a developer that has shown endless passion and commitment to its install base. As beta players that are trying to help them develop the best possible game, the best voice we have against bad faith actors in the Tarkov community is deafening silence. Starve them of attention, free marketing, free publicity. Demonstrate that just because they can infect one player, that will not tilt the hundreds of legitimate players into letting themselves surrender and be infected themselves.
Another recent TFTS post reminded me of this gem. Back when I was in college, I had a job as a part-time PC tech for a rather large regional IT contractor in the SF Bay Area. One of our bigger contracted clients was a large medical nonprofit, "MedGroupCo", that we maintained with a bi-weekly maintenance contract. Every two weeks or so, we'd send a handful of techs out to do a quick sweep for problems, tune-up their printers, and perform rotating scheduled maintenance on some of their leased PC's and networking equipment. They had more than 600 computers spread across several medical campuses, along with dozens of shared laser printers and associated network closets. We had a solid maintenance plan in place to keep up with everything and they'd been a happy client for many, many years. One day, out of the blue, MedGroupCo's CTO "Tom" called us up and asked to renegotiate the contract. The medical group was having financial problems and had just gutted his IT budget...he couldn't afford us any longer. After a long sit-down with our sales and support people, we placed the client into a new and cheaper contract. Rather than visit every two weeks, we'd shift them onto a semiannual maintenance plan. We'd come out twice a year to do regular maintenance, and all other calls would be handled on an on-demand basis. Equipment failures would be covered under the lease warranties, but anything beyond that would involve a per-call support charge. The maintenance visits would be more disruptive and require a larger number of techs, but the overall contract cost was substantially lower. "Six figures annually" lower. We warned them that moving to an on-demand based support model would be a bit of an adjustment. Because we'd been visiting every two weeks, the client had never used our ticketing system before. Their employees usually just jotted their computer issues down on a piece of paper and taped them to the sides of their monitors, knowing that we'd be by within a couple of weeks to get them fixed. We emphasized to the client that this might be an employee training issue, but the CTO insisted that he could get his users trained to use the new ticketing system and that it wouldn't be a problem. Fast forward five months. Our department manager had started to plan the first of MedGroupCo's semiannual maintenance visits and opened their ticket history to see whether they'd been having any recurring issues that might need special attention. Nada. And by "nada", I don't mean "No recurring issues". I mean no issues at all. The company hadn't filed a single ticket. That was...unlikely. At a minimum, they should have statistically had at least a half-dozen PC crashes during that period, and their printers should have required some maintenance. In hindsight, the manager later admitted that we should have followed up with the company sooner after the contract switch, but we had a LOT of clients and support was spread across several teams, so nobody had noticed that one of our biggest clients hadn't logged a single ticket. Because MedGroupCo hadn't logged any complaints, there was a general assumption that the client was submitting tickets and that they were being handled by one of the other teams. Our department manager, worried about the discovery, called up their CTO's office and asked for Tom. He was even more worried when the receptionist responded with, "I'm sorry, but Tom retired three months ago. Would you like to speak with our new CTO Dave? Can I ask whose calling? Please hold while I get him on the line." After a long time on hold, the receptionist came back on with a curt, "Dave isn't currently available to speak with you and he said that we no longer do business with your company. Can I take a message?" What? We just signed a five-year, $3+ million contract. You bet we'd like to leave a message. CTO Dave called us back the next day. He dove right in and wasn't kind: "Your company violated our contract and we fired you. When I was hired, we had more than 50 computers that weren't working at all, nothing had been maintained in months, and our printers were a disaster. Every single user had support requests that had never been addressed. This was the most unprofessional thing I've ever seen...you completely abandoned us and we've contracted with CompetitorCorp for our maintenance from now on." What again?!?!? Our support manager patiently explained to their CTO that we hadn't abandoned anything and that we had a signed contract stating that we'd only be doing onsites every six months. As for their claims that we'd failed to support them, we pointed out that the company had never logged a single support ticket. We'd have happily fixed anything they requested, but they'd never asked. The new CTO, looking over a freshly emailed, newly scanned copy of the current, signed contract, was dumbfounded. He'd never seen it before. He'd...have to call us back. Two days later, our company leadership, CTO Dave, MedGroupCo's CEO, and a bunch of lawyers sat down for a meeting. Apparently, MedGroupCo had a "cost savings benefit" they offered to their employees. If you find a way to reduce operating costs, the company will credit the first-year savings to the employee as a "bounty". Literally, if an employee found a way to save the company a million dollars a year, they'd give the employee a million dollars. I'd want that deal! CTO Tom wanted that deal too. As it turned out, there had never been any budget cuts. Tom had simply known his retirement was approaching and renegotiated the contract to shave nearly a quarter-million dollars off MedGroupCo's IT maintenance contract...neatly pocketing that quarter-million-dollar "bounty" for himself as he headed out the door. This deception left MedGroupCo in a tough position. They still had four and a half years left on their five-year, $3+ million contract with our company. And they'd just signed a new five-year, $4 million contract with CompetitorCorp. Both contracts were binding. MedCoGroup was stuck. Because they'd been a customer for so long, our CEO had a bit of sympathy and made them an offer. He'd allow them to end their contract for $1 million, on the stipulation that they sign an agreement to rejoin our company when their 5-year contract with CompetitorCorp expired. He even sweetened the deal by offering to credit the $1 million to their new contract when they returned. They'd been a profitable customer for a very long time, and he was willing to take a short-term hit in exchange for getting them back in the future. MedGroupCo loved the offer and would have signed the agreement right there, but one of our managers picked that moment to bring up another issue by asking, "Did your contract with CompetitorCorp include equipment? Because if you're not under contract with us we'll need to retrieve all of our leased computers, printers and networking equipment." Alas, CompetitorCorps's agreement DID include hardware. And printers. And networking equipment. They'd already swapped everything out with shiny new hardware maintained under CompetitorCorp's own leases. And what had CompetitorCorp done with our hardware? As the story was later told, CTO Dave had told them, "They abandoned the equipment...just wipe it and send it all to the dump." And with that, a $1.4 million dollar equipment loss fee was tacked onto that $1 million buyout, which was promptly refused by MedGroupCo's CEO. The lawyers on both sides went to work feverishly pointing at various clauses in the contracts, trying to negotiate higher ground and paint themselves as the victims in this debacle. Lawsuits were filed. Countersuits were filed. Law enforcement was called in to investigate. Newspapers ran stories about the mean IT company that was trying to fleece money from the poor, poor doctors. And, in the end, MedGroupCo cut us a settlement check for $2 million. And CTO Tom? Last I heard, he was enjoying his retirement. He was never arrested, charged, or sued for his role in any of it.
A Basic Introduction to Vertical Spreads - Stop Losing Money When You Predict the Correct Direction
Vertical Spread Basics Spreads often get a bad rap for sounding more complex than they end up being. I’d wager quite a few people here don’t even know what the “Select” button is for at the top right of the options screen on Robinhood. I see over and over people losing their money with puts or calls when a vertical spread would have accomplished the same thing but better. To keep this basic I will stick to vertical spreads (both credit and debit) and a bit about Iron Condors, and once that’s done I’ll go into a bit of detail about when and where I use them. A vertical option spread is purchasing two options; one you’re buying and one you’re selling. You’re literally trading based on the difference between the two option prices. For example, if I bought a SPY 300c 6/3 and sold a SPY 305c 6/3, I would have a SPY 6/3 305/300 Call Debit Spread. What do we accomplish by both buying and selling the right to 100 shares of SPY though? The short answer: This defines our risk. This can seem kind of difficult to comprehend, but it’s fairly simple: The value of the spread can never be more than the difference between the two strike prices. For the above mentioned trade, we can currently purchase a SPY 6/3 305/300 Call Debit Spread for $0.65 per share ($0.65*100=$65), meaning that the difference in price between the 305c and the 300c is $0.65. If SPY finishes above $305 on 6/3, our 300c we bought finishes in the money as does the 305c we sold, which means the spread between the two option prices has reached its maximum of $5.00. We can now purchase 100 shares of SPY at $300 then sell them to the holder of the option we sold for $305, netting $5 per share for a neat $500. This means that we can make up to $500-$65 = $435 on the trade, a tidy 769% profit. If you take anything away from this write up, please take this: An easy way to view a SPY 6/3 305/300 Call Debit Spread is then that you’re betting $65 to win $500 as long as SPY ends above $305 on 6/3. If you’re not starting to see why vertical spreads are more intuitive than single calls or puts then I encourage you to look back over the paragraph above. The Greeks still matter a lot, but the trade can easily be distilled to the above sentence which is not the case with a single option. I continually see people buying calls and puts, correctly predicting the direction of the market, and still losing money due to IV deterioration or the price not moving enough in the right direction. Vertical spreads simplify the trade by making it only as complicated as you want it to be. If you simply want to bet that a stock will go up over the next month, just set the strikes up to straddle the current price, for example, a SPY 290/280 Call Debit spread. Similarly if you wanted to be against the market, you would do the same thing but by buying a 290 put and selling a 280 put making a SPY 290/280 Put Spread. A credit spread is very similar to a debit spread but inverted. To create a SPY 6/3 300/305 Call Credit spread, we would sell a 300c and buy a 305c, and because we’re selling the more valuable contract (the lower the strike price the more valuable the call), we get a net credit instead of a net debit, meaning we receive money in our account rather than pay it. That means just like when we short a stock, to close the position we need to pay money rather than receive it. With a call credit spread, we’re now betting against the market: If SPY stays below $300 on 6/3, the credit we received when we sold spread stays ours forever since both the 300c we sold and the 305c we bought expired worthless. You’re still betting on the spread between the two option prices, but now you’re betting on the differences between the two going to 0 rather than the maximum. Now, if the position moves against us and SPY finishes above $305 on 6/3, our SPY 300c we sold will exercise and we will pay for those 100 shares with our 100 shares we receive from our 305c, meaning that we pay at maximum $500. NOTE: Robinhood will hold the maximum you can lose as collateral just in case your trade goes poorly, so if you receive a credit of $65 on the trade, you’ll effectively have another $435 locked up until you close the trade. Until now I have assumed that the underlying stock price will always finish outside of the range of your spread which has made things a little cleaner. In reality, if you should choose to hold until expiration and the underlying price is between the two strikes, one of your options will exercise and the other will expire worthless. For example, if on 6/3 SPY ended at $303, for our SPY 6/3 305/300 Debit Spread our 300c would exercise and we would have 100 shares of SPY purchased at $300, netting us $3 per share. Considering that most people in this sub could not handle a purchase of 100 shares of SPY at $300, Robinhood will exercise your spread an hour before close at market prices (which is why I will always sell before this point since you can do a lot better than market prices most of the time). Basics Summary Thus ends the basic portion of the write up. The benefits of vertical spreads are:
Defined risk just like calls and puts
Much simpler to conceptualize profitable scenarios
Requires less capital than calls and puts in cases where share prices are high (TSLA and AMZN). This is due to the fact that you’re playing the difference between option prices and not the ability to sell 100 shares of the underlying.
Options Profit Calculator is a very useful resource for learning not only vertical spreads but any options and I highly recommend playing around with it if you’re new to options: https://www.optionsprofitcalculator.com/ Details and Tips
Liquidity: Spreads are inherently less liquid than single options since it's twice as many transactions (even if it doesn’t seem like it since you’re paying for it all at once). You’ll find that until single options, it is more difficult to get prices that are in the midpoint of the bid-ask spread, meaning you’ll have to pay more for debit spreads and get less credit in credit spreads when opening the positions and vice versa when closing the position. What this means is that it is important to trade options that have high volume, and as a result, low bid-ask spreads. I’ve been burned in the past by purchasing PLNT spreads and losing $100 when purchasing and selling, so I stick to highly traded securities such as SPY, DIS, AAPL, BA, etc. I also always trade on $5 increments when I can help it, since $5 increments are nearly always more liquid than any other strike.
Risk and Reward: There are a lot of knobs to play with if you want more or less risky spreads. Clearly the further OTM your spread is the less you’re paying for that spread and the higher the reward is, which also goes for ITM being more costly as less reward. Wider spreads between the two strikes gives you a larger zone of “medium” rewards whereas tighter spreads create a more all-or-nothing reward structure. I don’t have too much more to say here, if you want to know more about this, play with Options Profit Calculator linked above.
Impact of Implied Volatility: One of the chief benefits of vertical spreads is that we’re avoiding the largest effects of changes in IV since it hits both the leg that we are long as well as the leg we are short. IV still impacts spreads though, since increases in IV cause spreads to increase due to larger expected moves, and contractions in IV cause decreases in IV for opposite reasons. All this means is that we want to use Debit Spreads when we expect IV to increase and Credit Spreads when we expect it to decrease.
Theta: You’ll hear a lot about people saying that theta works for you in a credit spread and against you in a debit spread. This is technically true, since as theta causes option values to tick down, spreads tighten by nature. In reality though, theta only really hurts your debit spreads when they are OTM. Believe me, you’ll still be feeling the theta burn if your credit spread is OTM as you watch your 5/15 SPY 300/305 Put Credit Spread become less and less likely to be ITM. It’s one of the reasons why Iron Condors are set up with two credit spreads, one capping the range and one creating a floor: You want theta to be working for you in both cases (since both are ITM).
Uneven Payouts: I couldn’t find a better term to use for this, but you’ll find that especially for underlyings that have significant upward expectations, you’ll get “more value” out of betting on a downward move. For example, for a SPY 290/280 Call Debit Spread, you’ll pay $6.24 even though SPY nearly right in the middle after closing at $284.97. If there was no expectation of upward movement we would find that a $10 strike debit spread perfectly centered on the current price would cost $5.00, but that is not the case. This spread functions as an interesting indicator of current market sentiment, but it functions more as a lagging indicator than a leading one, which means that betting on upward moves is much more cost effective after a large drop (such as if you’d made bullish bets during the drop over the past few days).
Entering a Position: I’ve found that two things hurt me when I’m entering a position: Giving up too much value when picking a bid, and being too patient in filling my bid. Robinhood is pretty shit at showing you the actual bid-ask spread for a vertical spread, so I like to start bidding at slightly lower than the midpoint of the bid-ask and slowly canceling and reordering the position, upping the purchasing point each time I do. This way I don’t accidentally lose $20 of value by accepting a worse ask than I needed to while also not giving my position time to move while I’m not in it yet. Spreads are surprisingly frustrating to enter when you’re inexperienced, and I’ve certainly given up a thousand or two in fucked up entrances over the past few months. My advice would be to not skimp on planning your entrance.
When to Close Position: I dislike holding my winning plays until expiration for multiple reasons. When the underlying finishes between the strikes of your spread, you end up exposed to pin risk as you can’t sell out of your long/short position until the market opens. I personally also don’t like having the risk that a sudden change in the underlying can cause a winning position to suddenly shift into a losing one, so I usually don’t look for more than 95% gains on a single position and exit out once that has been achieved.
Iron Condors: The only strategy I’ll talk about other than vertical spreads in this writeup since they’re also fairly basic in execution. Iron Condors involve two credit spreads: A call credit spread which forms a cap and a put credit spread which forms a floor. With an Iron Condor you’re betting that the underlying will expire between the two spreads. For example, I currently hold a 6/19 275-300 Iron Condor that consists of a 270/275 Put Credit Spread and a 300/305 Call Credit Spread. While the idea here is basic, realistically you’re not holding an Iron Condor to expiration every time, so it's important to experiment with how the value of an Iron Condor valuation changes as it matures. Taking a look at a theta decay curve will show you where you should expect most of the value to come from. The another big Greek to consider for an Iron Condor is Delta. The delta of an Iron Condor is determined by simply adding the delta of each position within the Iron Condor (short positions are negative delta). Since the expectation for SPY is that the underlying will go up over time, a zero delta Iron Condor (hedged against price movements at time of purchase) will be significantly lower than the midpoint between the two spreads of the IC. I personally like a bit of negative delta in this environment since you end up making money when the underlying decreases and IV increases due to delta, and you also make money when the underlying increases and IV decreases. One last thing to consider when opening and closing an Iron Condor is that it is purchasing two spreads at once, which means that it requires even more liquidity than spreads do to trade profitably. Since you have to buy these so close to the ask and sell so close to the bid, Iron Condors work much better as trades to hold over a period of at least a week. This isn't to say I haven't bought and sold an Iron Condor over a one day stretch, but its certainly not optimal.
Alright this got a bit long, and there's more to talk about, but I’ll stop here. DISCLAIMER: Now that you’ve read this post, I'll admit I’ve only been actively trading for about three months. I just finished a Finance undergrad and I've been investing unsuccessfully for five years until this point where I’m finally up about 100% from when I started over something silly like 100 trades. I’m not gonna post all of my past positions, but my current positions can be found here. Suffice to say that I made a ton off bearish spreads and it was a rude reeducation that made me learn it was necessary to play both sides of the market. TL;DR: Spreads are easier to conceptualize, don’t worry as much about IV and theta, have defined risk, and require less capital than puts/calls. An easy way to view a SPY 6/3 305/300 Call Debit Spread is then that you’re betting $65 to win $500 as long as SPY ends above $305 on 6/3.
NFL teams most likely to go from worst to first in 2020
We have talked a lot about the draft, biggest remaining needs for every NFL team, some breakout candidates and other stuff, so let’s now get back to more of a big picture and look at some teams from an angle of where could they go next season. In this article, I am analyzing those teams that finished fourth in their division this past year and why they could win it in 2020 or land at the bottom once again, plus an outlook where I actually see them. Of course much of this is about these eight teams and how much better or worse I feel about them than the general public, but it was heavily dependent on their three division rivals as well. The top half I could certainly see earn a playoff spot and surprise some people if everything goes right. After that a lot of my faith is more built around the lack of great competition and giving some hope to these respective fan bases. As the cliché goes – everybody is 0-0 right now. https://preview.redd.it/rs90lt6ckf751.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=3ddfc8945862472b52b5ef8c69076acde904c44c
1. Arizona Cardinals
Why they can win the division: Let’s just start with the main point here – this Cardinals squad has all the ingredients to make a big jump in 2020. I expect Kyler Murray to enter the superstar conversation in year two, after impressing with his arm talent and ability to extend plays in a (somewhat controversial) Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign. Steve Keim managed to unload a bad David Johnson contract and basically acquire an elite receiver in DeAndre Hopkins for a second-round pick. Kenyan Drake now has a full offseason to learn this offense and make himself a major factor once again, following up an outstanding second half of the season once the Cardinals traded for him with Miami. He perfectly fits into this offense with a lot East-West based rushing from shotgun sets and his involvement in the pass game, including those quick throws as an extension of the rushing attack. Arizona’s defense should be a lot better with run-stoppers being added in the draft that fit their 3-4 base front with Utah’s Leki Fotu and LSU’s Rashard Lawrence, since they can stay in those packages against the other teams in their division running a lot of 12 and 21 personnel probably. Add to that a do-it-all player with ridiculous range and overall athleticism in Isaiah Simmons at eight overall, plus all the other guys being in their second year under DC Vance Joseph. I love Budda Baker as a missile from his safety spot and I think some of the other young guys on that unit will take a step forward, like second-year corner Byron Murphy, who I talked about last week. Now let’s get to rest of the West – every other team in that division has some issues. The 49ers are facing the objects of a potential Super Bowl hangover and some limitations with Jimmy G at the helm. The Seahawks have question marks on the edge on either side of the ball with Cedric Ogbuehi and Brandon Shell fighting for the starting gig at right tackle and Jadeveon Clowney still on the open market, with a bunch of draft picks these last couple of years having to step up. And the Rams had one of the worst O-lines in football last season and they lost some pieces on defense. The Cardinals already gave all these teams issues in 2019 and have now added pieces that were clearly missing when last matching up against each other. Why they could finish last again: Most importantly, I am still not completely sold on the Cardinals offensive line, with D.J. Humphries being signed to a rather expensive deal as a below-average left tackle, third-rounder Josh Jones – while earning a late first-round grade from me – still needing an overhaul on his footwork before he can slide in at right tackle and guard Justin Pugh finally having played a full 16 games for the first time since 2015 last season. NFL coaches had a lot of time to study Kliff Kingsbury’s Air-Raid offense, which when you break it down is pretty simplistic in the amount of schemes they run. Yes, he diversified it a little as last season went along, going under center and running some pro-style rushing plays, but at its core, you can learn how to create some issues for all those mesh concepts and spread sets. As far as the Cardinals defense goes, it is more about pieces than proven commodities. Patrick Peterson is seemingly on the decline, they are thin in the secondary and could Chandler Jones follow soon, after he has been one of the most underrated pass-rushers in the league for a while now? You are staring the reigning NFC champs in the eyes, a team that was a few inches away from earning a playoff bye and another squad that went to the Super Bowl just two years ago. This is probably the best division in the entire league. Bottom line: I still believe the 49ers have done enough to repeat as division champs, re-tooling for all the losses they have suffered this offseason. However, I’m feeling pretty good about the Cardinals earning a wildcard spot. While I believe in the Seahawks quarterback and the Rams head coach respectively to not allow their teams to not have throwaway seasons, I also see enough issues with those squads to make me believe the Cardinals could have the second-best year of anybody in the West. To me they are pretty clearly the best of these eight teams, because they have a young phenom at quarterback, stars at pretty much every position, a different type of system around them and what I’d like to call “juice” coming into 2020. https://preview.redd.it/anrr9erfkf751.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=5655b4452baff2691a0e060e8d70918d58801a4c
2. Detroit Lions
Why they can win the division: Matt Stafford is back healthy and when he was in the lineup last season, this was a team that defeated the Eagles, Chargers and only didn’t finish the job against the eventual Super Bowl champion Chiefs because of some crazy stuff going on late. The veteran QB stood at 19 touchdowns compared to five picks and was playing at a near-MVP type level. However, Detroit’s identity will be built on the run game with re-investments in the offensive line as well as adding D’Andre Swift to form a dynamic one-two punch with him and Kerryon Johnson. Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones may be the most underrated receiving duo to go with Danny Amendola as a tough guy in the slot and T.J. Hockenson coming into year two as a top-ten pick a year ago, having shown flashes when he was healthy. The defense is finally starting to take shape with third-overall Jeffrey Okudah as an elite corner prospect being added to an underrated secondary, Jamie Collins being a chess piece in the front seven after already having worked well with Matt Patricia and some young guys up front trying to prove themselves to go with the versatile Trey Flowers. Maybe more importantly than the Lions themselves – Nobody else got that much better and none of the other three really stand out to me. Other than the Vikings probably – who had the advantage of making a record-breaking 15 selections – the Lions might have had the best draft within the division. Thanks to that last-place schedule, they get to face the Redskins in the East (instead of Eagles & Cowboys) and Cardinals in the West, who I just talked about taking a step forward, but are still a better draw than the reigning conference champions or possibly having to travel to Seattle. I believe that new regime in Detroit has finally built an identity on both sides of the ball with the heavy investments in the run game and back-seven on defense. Winning ten games might earn you a division title, if everybody plays each other tough. Why they could finish last again: Can these guys finally stay healthy? Matt Stafford to my surprise played a full 16 games in eight straight years before last season, but a lot of that had to do with his toughness to fight through pain and he had major issues with that shoulder early on in his career before basically breaking his back after putting the team on it for the last decade. Kerryon Johnson has missed 14 of 32 possible starts and he has never carried the ball more than 118 times a season. Their receiving corp has been banged up quite a bit too. More glaring even – how will all these additions of former Patriots players work out? Can Matt Patricia build a New England 2.0 in Michigan or is he just bringing in players he knows will listen to him and the way he wants things to be done? Detroit could also rely on a lot of rookies to be immediate impact players – possibly two new starting guards on offense, running back D’Andre Swift probably sharing the load with Kerryon, Jeffrey Okudah having to immediately become their CB1 and Julian Okwara being asked to become a much more consistent player if they give him major snaps. And I recently talked about how their uncertainty at punter could be an issue for their ball-control, defense-minded style of play. They also have an early bye (week five), which I’m never a big fan of, after facing the Bears, Packers, Cardinals and Saints, which probably includes three playoff teams. If Chicago can get any competent QB play, all these teams should be highly competitive. Bottom line: I don’t think any team in this division wins more than ten games. Unfortunately I don’t see the Lions go over that mark themselves either. The Packers won’t come out victorious in so many close games (8-1 in one-possession affairs), the Vikings have lost a few proven commodities and look for young talent to immediately replace those and the Bears still have a quarterback competition going on. So if Detroit can do any better than just split the season series with those three teams, I see them finishing above .500, but ten wins is the ceiling for me. In terms of the competition inside the division, the Lions may be my number one team in this conversation, but I see a much clearer path to things crashing down for Matt Patricia and them having another disappointing season than I do with the Cardinals. No team in this division may finish below that 8-8 mark. https://preview.redd.it/7ivo914ikf751.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=d029ddd274b78e78f5bc932d00086b8c697a466e
3. Miami Dolphins
Why they can win the division: When you ask the general public, the Buffalo Bills right now are the favorites to win the AFC East, but they haven’t done so since 1995 and they still have to prove they really are that team. The Patriots lost several pieces on defense and Tom Brady of course, which probably leads them to starting a quarterback, who over his four career pass attempts has thrown more touchdowns to the opposing team than to his own. The Jets are still building up that roster, with GM Joe Douglas trying to plant seeds on burnt earth, and they face a BRUTAL schedule. So Miami has a lot of things going in their favor for an organization that I believe in what they are trying to build. Depending on what happens at quarterback, you could have a veteran in Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was by far the best inside the division in several key categories last season and/or Tua Tagovailoa, who had one of the most prolific careers we have seen from anybody in the SEC. They added at least two new starters on the O-line, they now have one of the premiere cornerback trios in the league with the all-time highest paid player at the position in Byron Jones and first-round pick Noah Igbinoghene to go with Xavien Howard and with some added beef up front, they are finally looking a lot like what Brian Flores had in New England. DeVante Parker really broke out over the second half of 2019 and Miami should have a much better rushing attack because of the additions up front and two quality committee backs in Jordan Howard and Matt Breida being added. They have two other young pass-catchers ready to break out this upcoming season in tight-end Mike Gesicki and a UDFA receiver from a year ago in Preston Williams. Whenever Tua’s name is called upon, he will be a perfect fit for Chan Gailey’s horizontal passing game. Why they could finish last again: As much as I like what I see from this entire organization, it is probably just a year too early for Miami. So many young players could be thrown into the fire and a lot of them I look at as needing that experience – 18th overall pick Austin Jackson (USC) is more of a developmental tackle still with his footwork and hand-placement issues, 30th overall pick Noah Igbinoghene (Auburn) has only played cornerback for two years and was bailed out by his athletic tools at times, third-rounder Brandon Jones has to develop more of a feel in deep coverage and at least one more rookie lineman will likely start for them. Even outside of this year’s draft class, they already had several players on their roster that are still moving towards their prime. Whether you look at last year’s first-rounder Christian Wilkins, a lot of second- and third-year pass-catchers or their young linebackers outside of Kyle Van Noy. The Bills are entering year four of that turn-around under Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane, the Patriots still have the greatest coach of all time and will be a tough matchup solely based on that and the Jets at least have people playing for their jobs, plus a very talented young quarterback I still believe in. As much as I doubt Adam Gase, as long as Sam Darnold doesn’t get mono again, the offense should at least be competent, and the defense could potentially have a top-five player at every level with All-Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams, an 85-million dollar linebacker in C.J. Mosley and my number one prospect in last year’s draft on the interior D-line with Quinnen Williams. Bottom line: As I mentioned before, the Bills are the front-runners in this division for me. As much respect as I have for Bill Belichick, I haven’t seen enough from Jarrett Stidham to make me a believer and he shrunk in some big moments at Auburn. The Jets to me could be a lot better than they were in 2019 and still go 6-10 just because of the type of schedule they are up against. So the Dolphins to me could easily finish anywhere from second to fourth, depending on how some of the players on that roster progress. I wouldn’t bet on them actually making the playoffs, but they could absolutely be a pain in the butt for some of the better teams in the AFC and in 2021 they might be the pick here. https://preview.redd.it/nme3explkf751.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=3998c6026125c1b9b48438e3fc9afaf9601b116e
4. Los Angeles Chargers
Why they can win the division: First and foremost, this Chargers defense is absolutely loaded with no real hole that you can point to. Derwin James is back healthy after a first-team All-Pro rookie campaign, Chris Harris Jr. comes in to make this secondary one the elite units in the NFL to go with two more Pro Bowlers among it and they have some guys I expect to break out like Jerry Tillery, Drue Tranquill and Nasir Adderley. In terms of having matchup pieces and a versatile pass rush to challenge Kansas City, nobody in the league may be on the same level as these guys. Offensively, Ihave talked about how the left tackle spot is concern for L.A. with a battle between Sam Tevi and Trey Pipkins for the starting job, but the other four spots are as good as they have been in a while, acquiring Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner via trade, signing a top five right tackle in Bryan Bulaga and getting Mike Pouncey back healthy. Tyrod Taylor can steer the ship and even if Justin Herbert is thrown into the fire – which I wouldn’t recommend – they have the skill-position players and willingness to run the ball to take pressure off those guys. While the Chiefs return 20 of 22 starters from a year ago, this wouldn’t be the first time we saw a Super Bowl champion have some issues the following season and as much as we want to hype up the Broncos and Raiders, both their quarterbacks (and other players of course as well) have a lot to prove still. Outside of KC, the Chargers likely have the smallest changes to what they do other than moving on from Philip Rivers and we saw that formula work the year prior, when they challenged Kansas City until the very end for the division crown and the conference’s top seed potentially. While they probably would have liked to bring in Tom Brady over the offseason, the fact they decided against signing Cam Newton to a roster that is ready to win right now, shows you the confidence they have in that quarterback room. Why they could finish last again: I’m not a huge fan of Derek Carr, but the Chargers will probably have the worst quarterback in the division in 2020. And their starting left tackle could be the worst in the entire league. As good as their defense will probably be, you can not consistently win games in which your offense doesn’t put up 20+ points in the league today – especially when all these teams in their division have spent so much on acquiring offensive firepower these last couple of years. I believe all three of their division rivals got better this offseason and the Chargers spent their top draft pick (sixth overall) on a young quarterback, who might not even help them win games this season. As I already mentioned, Kansas City brings back almost their entire starting lineups and they went 12-4 despite Mahomes seemingly having his knee cap facing the sideline while laying on his back. I have uttered my thoughts on Denver several times now, which you can read up on later. As for Las Vegas’ new team, they did start last season 6-4 and just heavily invested into their two major issues – wide receiver and linebacker. And while I don’t like to talk about it – injuries have been a huge issue for this Chargers team in recent years and I don’t really know what it is even, but I can’t assume that they all of a sudden can stay healthy. Bottom line: In terms of talent on the roster outside of the quarterback position, you could make a pretty compelling argument that the Chargers are ahead of all the other teams on this list. That’s the reason they have a pretty high floor of finishing around .500 and if everything works out, they could absolutely be a playoff contender. However, for this exercise in particular, I believe their upside is capped by what they have under center. Tyrod Taylor can be a top-20 quarterback in the NFL this season and in terms of upside, Justin Herbert has all the tools to become a difference-maker once he steps on the field, but they don’t have the explosiveness the Chiefs or the Broncos have for that matter. With so much continuity on a team that has the best player in the entire league, I can’t go against the Chiefs and in the end we are evaluating the chances to actually win the division. https://preview.redd.it/rywropjokf751.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=ed77a7303af810b862abb2100c4f0b86841a2d38
5. Washington Redskins
Why they can win the division: These guys are very reminiscent of the 49ers with their defensive line, in terms of having invested a lot of high draft picks into the unit these last couple of years and now with that second overall pick bringing in a true stud from Ohio State – this time in Chase Young. When you look at all those guys up front – with the Bama boys patrolling the middle, Matt Ioannidis capable of moving around the front, Montez Sweat looking to break out in year two and Ryan Kerrigan still being there as a productive veteran – they will wreak some havoc this season. Ron Rivera could finally bring some structure to this organization and help them turn it around on defense with the addition of an old companion in Thomas Davis, plus some high-upside players like Reuben Foster and Fabian Moreau looking to prove themselves. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins had a very underwhelming rookie campaign, but he clearly wasn’t ready to be out there and found himself in a bad situation in terms of the support system around him. I like a lot of their young skill-position players the front office has surrounded him with, when you look at Terry McLaurin trying to become a young star in this league, who produced despite shaky quarterback play last season, Kelvin Harmon and Antonio Gandy-Golden being two big-bodied targets I liked these last two drafts, Derrius Guice hopefully finally being able to stay healthy to lead this backfield and this year’s third-round pick Antonio Gibson being a chess piece that you can manufacture touches for. Somebody I forgot to mention in this discussion recently is Steven Sims Jr., who is a jitterbug with the ball in his hands. New offensive coordinator Scott Turner will implement a system that should make life easier on his second-year signal-caller as well, while relying heavily on the run game. Why they could finish last again: Haskins is by far the least proven QB of the bunch, with Daniel Jones even being head and shoulders above him in their respective rookie seasons. No pass-catcher outside of Terry McLaurin had any major production to speak. Counting on a 37-year old Thomas Davis to not only be a leader for them, but also make plays on the field, could create issues, and Washington lost some pieces in the secondary. This offseason is a challenge for any team, that is looking to implement a new system on each side of the ball, but I think especially for a motivator like Rivera, who can give his squad a heartbeat and push them to success, not being there in person with those guys will hurt. Most importantly however, this division to me will be a two-man race between the Eagles and Cowboys – as it has been for a while now. They both will likely have top ten quarterbacks, better receiving corps, better offensive lines and more experienced defenses. The Giants may not blow anybody away coming into 2020, but looking at the two matchups from last year between them and the Redskins, Big Blue beat them 24-3 the first time around, when Daniel Jones threw one touchdown compared to two interceptions and then he diced them up for five TDs and no picks in week 16. The one area Washington would have had the clear upper hand was with their front-four, but New York just invested a lot of draft capital into their O-line to prevent that. Just go through the Redskins’ schedule and show me more than six wins. I dare you. Bottom line: These last two sentences really say it all. Even if Philly and Dallas split the season series and Washington can get a game off either one of them, it will be tough to turn around this squad as quickly as this season – with reduced practice time and team activities – to a point where they can finish above both of them. Both of them could easily win double-digit games in 2020 and while I think the Redskins are on the right track if Haskins looks more like the Ohio State version of himself, other than their defensive line, no unit for them is ready to compete for the division quite yet. Just going through their schedule in an objective manner, it is tough to find any lay-ups and say Washington has some baseline of wins they count on. To not have them any lower than this is more due to the respect for Riverboat Ron and how high I was on a lot of the guys they drafted recently. https://preview.redd.it/szpawv9rkf751.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=62ca5fe882d8155d83eb3328e9bf1f1681a17384
6. Jacksonville Jaguars
Why they can win the division: I was going back and forth between my number six and seven teams, because the Jaguars are projected to pick first overall come next April for a reason – they did lose a lot of pieces. However, to me it came down to the fact that the AFC South might be won at 9-7 or 10-6 and this coaching staff actually has to win to keep their jobs. There is a lot noise about the Colts, but when you go back to last season, Philip Rivers was a turnover machine with serious questions about his arm strength. Bill O’Brien made some very questionable decisions for Houston and Tennessee is counting on a formula that is built on a 250-banger running the ball 25+ times and Ryan Tannehill finally repeating a career year, as they are coming off an AFC title game appearance. As far as Jacksonville goes, Gardner Minshew was the highest-graded rookie quarterback according to PFF and altogether I would have put him second only behind Kyler Murray. D.J. Chark broke out as one of the young star receivers and I had a first-round grade on Colorado’s Laviska Shenault if he can be healthy, because his talent is off the charts. I think the O-line would have benefitted from another tackle to kick Cam Robinson inside to guard, but those guys are some road-graders to make the run game work. Defensively the only real contributor from that Sacksonville group a couple of years ago who actually wants to be there is Myles Jack, but I really like their young duo off the edge in first-rounders Josh Allen last year and now K’Lavon Chaisson (LSU). There are some questions about the back-end, but they were built front-to-back with a lot of zone coverage behind it and depending on the development of ninth overall pick C.J. Henderson, they can roll away from him matching up with the opposing team’s number one receiver. Avoiding some of the better AFC squads altogether is pretty sweet as well, to go with facing no playoff team from last year outside their division until the middle of November. Why they could finish last again: I’m just not sure if all of these players are ready to fight for that coaching staff and organization. Two of their remaining veterans (Leonard Fournette and Yannick Ngakoue) have openly talked about how they want to be traded, they only have a few actually proven commodities on that entire roster and with the way they have unloaded big cap numbers, they have set themselves up for a true rebuild potentially, as they are expected to be in the Trevor Lawrence-Justin Fields sweepstakes come next April. Even if they can get a few breaks and the division is up for grabs, does this organization even want to win this season? If not for the injury to Jacoby Brissett in the middle of the season, all three other teams in that division would have almost certainly finished above .500 and the Colts are actually the team that improved by far the most among them. That Texans, who have actually won the South four of the last five years, including last season, may be the smallest challenge and still sweep Jacksonville. Vegas rarely misses completely and the Jaguars right now are the odds-on favorite to pick first overall come next April, with an NFL-low OveUnder of 4.5 wins on the season. And as favorable as the early portion of their schedule looks like right, check out this eight-game stretch after their week seven bye – at Chargers, vs. Texans, at Packers, vs. Steelers, vs. Browns, at Vikings, vs. Titans, at Ravens. Ouch. They might go winless over that period. Bottom line: The Jaguars to me are a very interesting team, because I believe they have accumulated a bunch of young talent, which gets lost a little when you see all the names that aren’t there anymore. There is a lot to like about this roster, when you look at what these players could develop into, but that doesn’t mean they will have success this year already. The Colts have the best 53 currently in the division (or 55 now), the Texans have the best quarterback and the Titans are coming off an AFC Championship game appearance. Gardner Minshew could make this kind of a tough decision if they end up picking anywhere after first overall and I think some of those other kids will put up pretty good numbers, but they are still pretty clearly fourth in the South as for now. https://preview.redd.it/5myv276vkf751.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=7fb25f47d0759e9b5a07876ea01787898c6cc817
7. Carolina Panthers
Why they can win the division: Nobody knows for sure what Matt Rhule and his new coaching staff will throw at them. Joe Brady gets to work with Teddy Bridgewater once again, who he already coached in New Orleans – so there will be familiarity for him in this system and they already “speak the same language”. That young receiving corp with D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel, free agency addition Robby Anderson and even an up-and-coming tight-end in Ian Thomas is pretty underrated actually, plus of course they have one of the truly elite weapons out of the backfield in Christian McCaffrey, who is probably set to break his own RB reception record once again. The Panthers defense-only draft has brought them a monster in the middle in Derrick Brown (Auburn), a really talented edge rusher in Yetur Gross-Matos (Penn State) on the opposite of last year’s rookie stud Brian Burns, a super-rangy safety with linebacker size in Jeremy Chinn (Southern Illinois), what I think is a starting corner in Troy Pride Jr. (Notre Dame) and some other pieces in the secondary. The talent is clearly there and now you bring in a scheme that is probably going to be unique for the NFL level as well, when you look at that 3-3-5 Baylor ran under Rhule and defensive coordinator Phil Snow. As much as we want to praise our legends of the game, the quarterbacks of the two front-runners in this division will be 41 and 43 years old respectively and let’s not forget that Atlanta started out last season 1-7. Why they could finish last again: Especially this offseason, without certainty if there will be anything like training camp or even a real preseason, that completely new staff with new systems they are trying to teach will certainly have some growing pains. Bridgewater has been a top-20 starting QB maybe one year of his career and even when he was applauded for the way he filled in for Drew Brees last season, he finished dead-last in intended air yards among quarterbacks with at least 100 pass attempts. How will that mesh with a lot of vertical targets around him? When he has those guys running free on slants and dig routes, the ball will get there, but will he be willing to throw that deep post or give his guys a chance on go-balls? Defensively they are counting on a lot of young players and they have nobody to even come close to replacing Luke Kuechly, as well as making the switch to an unproven scheme possibly, if they actually use some of those 3-3-5 looks coming over from Baylor. When you look at Rhule’s track-record, it always took him until year two to show improvement and then in that third season is when those teams can really make some noise. And that was in the AAC and Big 12 respectively. Now he is in the NFC South with a team that just went 13-3 in the Saints and a Bucs squad that already was 7-9 and lost six of those games by one score, only because despite finishing fifth in takeaways, they ranked in the bottom five in turnover differential due to easily leading the league with 41 giveaways. That should get a lot better with Tom Brady coming in, who has never even quite thrown half of Jameis Winston’s 30 interceptions in any of his 20 years in the league. Even the Falcons – for as poorly as they started last season – went 6-2 after really coming together and making some changes in their bye week last season. Bottom line: The Panthers are clearly the most unproven team in this division. While new systems that haven’t been scouted yet certainly have an advantage in terms of game-planning early on, especially in this offseason with heavily limited live reps most likely, that might equal a net minus. You have to root for a guy like Teddy Bridgewater and the way he has worked his way up to a starting spot again, but I just don’t look at him as a surefire franchise signal-caller. The other three teams in the South all have top ten quarterbacks in the league in my opinion and much more continuity around them. Until the Panthers finally get to their bye week at the start of December, I don’t see them winning more than four of those twelve games. At that point they may have their eyes on a different goal already, if Teddy B isn’t the clear answer under center. https://preview.redd.it/y7agj2n2lf751.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=221af0a1f689d3b19d5e250fac0b58a35877edad
8. Cincinnati Bengals
Why they can win the division: We’re not that far away from 2015, when the Bengals won the AFC North with a 12-4 record as the fifth year in a row making the playoffs. Since then this is the first time I feel like there really is change happening with this team. Marvin Lewis was replaced by a young Zac Taylor, trying to prove himself to the league, they drafted Heisman trophy winner Joe Burrow first overall to replace as average a quarterback as we have had over the last decade in Andy Dalton and the front office finally spent some money in free agency. While you would think a quarterback going first overall usually comes into a situation, where he is devoid of talent around him, Cincinnati suddenly has one of the better group of skill-position players in the entire league, assuming A.J. Green is back healthy. Tyler Boyd is a stud in the slot, who will be Burrow’s version of Justin Jefferson, a 50-50 ball specialist in second-round pick Tee Higgins (Clemson) matches perfectly with Burrow’s expertise of winning with ball-placement and if they get anything from former first-rounder John Ross at least as a decoy with his speed, that’s a plus. I expect Joe Mixon to be among the league leader’s in running back receptions and be more effective in space with those receivers around him as well. The signings the Bengals have made on defense gives them a lot more talent and complements very well what they already had. D.J. Reader is one of the most underrated defensive linemen in the league and frees everybody up along the front, they completely overhauled that linebacker group, which was a major issue these last couple of years, they brought in a starting CB2 and nickel from Minnesota to pair up with William Jackson III, who is ready to announce himself as one of the best corners in football, and Von Bell is a great match with the rangy free safety Jessie Bates. Why they could finish last again: As talented as all those guys throwing, catching and running the ball may be, it all starts with what’s happening up front and the Bengals offensive line is still in transition. They could have two of the worst starters in the league at both guard spots and right tackle once again, with the prior ones close to reaching that bust status and Bobby Hart still somehow having a starting job. As great as Joe Burrow was last year at LSU and how clean his evaluation was, how much better than Andy Dalton will he be right away, especially going up against those scary defensive fronts inside his division? Defensively they could easily have six new starters, which obviously can be looked at as a positive sign, considering they allowed 20+ points in all but two games last season, but there is also a lack of continuity and reduced time to fit all those pieces together. Cincinnati’s coaching staff hasn’t really proven anything yet and they will be facing a massacre of a schedule, with three occasions of back-to-back road games and while three of their final four games of the season are at home, they will face the Cowboys, Steelers and Ravens, to go with a trip to Houston in-between. If they don’t beat the Chargers in the season-opener, they probably don’t get that first W until week four against the Jaguars and then they have to hope they can sneak out another one until their bye week. Baltimore is tied with Kansas City for the highest projected win total with reigning MVP coming into just his third season, Pittsburgh is favored to make the playoffs with Big Ben back under center and Cleveland was the offseason favorite in 2019, while fielding an even better roster this year. Bottom line: I feel bad for putting this team last, because I thought Joe Burrow was the top quarterback and definitely worthy of that number one pick and the Bengals finally spent big money in free agency to retool the defense. To me this is less about them than the Ravens, who just were the number one overall seed in the playoffs at 14-2 and haven’t done anything other than get better themselves, a Steelers team that made a run at the playoffs with the worst quarterback play in the league now getting Ben back and a Browns roster that is among the top ten league-wide in most people’s opinion. Still, there is a lot to like about this team at the skill-positions, which is probably behind only Cleveland in terms all the weapons they have, some young standouts on defense and hope that all of this brings a fresh breath of air. If you enjoyed this content, I would really appreciate if you could visit the original piece (with video clips) - https://halilsrealfootballtalk.com/2020/06/16/nfl-teams-most-likely-to-go-from-worst-to-first-in-2020/ You can also listen to my breakdown on Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9kCcuPobNU
The best preps as an African who spent a lot of time in the village and as a true cow herding nomad with no modern day amenities and now is an American in America.
I’ve been seeing a bunch of posts about physical and mental fitness being the best prep and I think that’s absolutely true. But I’d like to offer 5 more preps that don’t require any “science”.
Improve your palate. In case of shortages, people might be able to get only one or two easily found and grown foods. It’s super important to know how to prepare them, store them, and consume them. There are so many people who raise their children and themselves on highly flavored and processed foods that would probably run out. Even if you have stockpiles of the stuff, what if you have to move? The people who will survive are those who can eat anything and have kids who can do so too. Start eating a wider variety of foods now so you don’t have a kid who won’t eat anything other than hot dogs. Just a few days of starvation can lower the immunity of a child which can mean life or death.
Start experimenting with different low tech storage techniques like fermenting, drying, smoking etc. cans weigh too much and are dependent a supply of metal and glass. Also foods that are smoked, dried, or fermented have added benefits that outweigh salt, sugar, and brine.
Yes it’s important to be fit, but it’s probably much more important to be lean. But there’s an argument that in times of crisis, you will get conditioned in literally no time. But nothing will help you if you are an insulin dependent type 2 diabetic and don’t have insulin. Same for if you’ve worn out your knees or back or heart doing hard core exercises and getting bulked up. As far as heart health is concerned, 40 lbs of extra muscle is almost exactly as burdening on the heart as 40 lbs of extra fat. Source: I’m an Nurse Practitioner and body builders have heart attacks earlier than any other demographic. If you have weight to lose start by cutting calorie intake instead of trying to boost output with hours at the gym. Be mindful of form and start with light exercise. If you are very overweight start with walking instead of running. As you get lighter and stronger you can increase the intensity of your exercise but don't ever go up to levels that abuse your body or risk injury. All you need to cripple yourself is a torn meniscus. Walk instead of running, reduce your calorie intake instead of going to gym for hours. Lean down instead of bulking up. If you do this, you can go down on your cholesterol meds, hypertension meds, type 2 diabetes meds, anxiety meds, testosterone shots, c-pap machine, reflux meds....
Edit #1 Caveat: I am not anti muscle, this is not medical advice. its just my experience, lean muscular people survive a lot longer in calamitous situations than heavy musclebound people or fat people. And extra weight whether muscle or or fat adds to the load on your heart. if your gonna be obese though, and I can't believe I am writing this: it obviously better to have more muscle and less fat. I'm not trying to insult anyone, we live in an obese society and almost everyone is overweight Source: my eyes.
If you spend 1 hour every day prepping your mind rather than buying stuff, at the end of year, you’ll have far more money in the bank, and far more knowledge in your head. This is very useful and can actually help many more people. Being knowledgeable of meditation, conflict resolution, animal husbandry, permaculture, electronics, car mechanics, masonry, low tech first aid, human and animal anatomy, etc, is far more useful than boxes of dried food. The truth is, in a truly calamitous event, guns and ammo will only help if you have an army, Food will only help if you have a fortress, and god will only help if you help yourself first. Prep your mind. Read widely. I would be very happy to provide or link some mind blowing books and Videos for your edification.
PS: I added a short list of books at the very bottom that would be a start. You can also use good reads to show you similar books if you find a book you like. This is an list of my favorite books of the past 2 years or so.
Learn decision making skills. This I cannot stress enough. Just because something feels right, doesn’t mean it is. In fact the opposite is often true. Case in point, the covid pandemic. All the info a person needs is out there. There is a virus, it’s spread by droplets, and it kills a lot of people, To mitigate your risk, wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands. That’s it. But people bend over backwards to somehow make a decision to not wear the mask, to not social distance etc even though in the worst case scenario, it’s mildly inconveniencing. The best case, it saves your life. The biggest lie ever told was that there was battle for your soul. The truth is that there is a battle for your mind. Learn to understand the reasoning and science behind things, but when you can’t because of disinformation, always err on the side of saving yourself and your fellow companions. As an aside: when I was a kid, a pastor told me a story. He said “I believe in heaven and god, because if heaven doesn’t exist, then no sweat, but if it does, I believed, and will then go to heaven”, he basically hedged his bets. Hedge yours. Err on the side of survival.
I would love to hear feedback on these preps and you can ask me any questions about village and being an East African nomad, and living through many wars and civil disruptions etc. btw, all these preps cost nothing, will help you physically and financially in both the long term and the short term. Ps: I’m also not saying that stockpiling is wrong or anything like that. Just that in all the calamitous events I have witnessed, stockpiles have never helped the people that created them. In fact I think in some ways, it hurt them because they stayed to protect them when it would have been far more prudent to leave and save themselves. Edit #2: Thank you for at the gold. Obligatory, please donate instead. But it won't change the fact that I am very well chuffed. Thank you. EDIT #3:Book list: This is not exhaustive, I have read many many books, but these are the most recent as well as old ones that have really made a difference to me. I tried to categorise them a bit but forgive me if I get some mixed up. Many books are by American writers so easily available. Please don't be offended,these are books I used to widen my knowledge and understanding. you don't have to like or read them lol. Books about reasoning and/or history: 1. The 7 habits of highly effective people: powerful lessons in personal change. 2. 21 Lessons for the 21st century. Yuval Noah Harari 3. A higher loyalty: truth, lies, and leadership by James Comey 4. Educated by Tara Westover 5. Make your bed: little things that can chage your life and maybe the world by Willima Mcraven (personal hero) 6. Homo deus; I history of tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari 7. The three musketeers by Alexandre Dumas 8. Freakonomics by Steven levitt 9. Democracy: stories from the long road to freedom by Condoleeza Rice 10. White trash: the 400 year untold history of class in America by Nancy Isenberg. 11. Enlightenment now by Steven Pinker. 12. Essentialism, the disciplined pursuit of less by Greg Mckeown 13. Thinking fast and slow by D. Kahnemann 14. Outliers, the story of success by Malcolm Gladwell 15. The world is flat by Thomas Friedman 16. The silk roads, a new history of the world 17. Destiny disrupted, a history of the world through Islamic eyes. Books about the future- books that blew my mind 1. “Surely your joking Mr. Feynman!” Adventures of a curious character by Richard Feynman. 2. Farenheit 415 by Ray Bradbury 3. Sapiens, a brief history of human kind 4. Animal Farm by Goerge Orwell 5. 1984 by George Orwell Books about History 1. Norse mythology by Neil Gaiman 2. Autobiographies on Mandela, Gandhi, PLO Lumumba, Obama, George Bush, Bill Clinton, Andre Jackson, Alexander Hamilton, Ben Franklin, Shaka Zulu, Genghis khan, Kubilai Khan, Memed of Turkey, the kids and emperors of rome. Books about science 1. I contain multitudes: the microbes within us and a grander view of life 2. A brief history in time by Stephen hawking 3. The gene, an intimate history by Siddharta Mukherjee 4. Astrophysics for people in a hurry by Neil de grasse Tyson 5. The hidden life of trees, what they feel and how they communicate by peter wohlleben 6. Better, a surgeons notes on performance Books on people, game theory, and conflict resolution.
Talking to strangers: what we should know about the people we don’t know by Malcolm Gladwell
The reluctant fundamentalist by Hamid Mohsin
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
Smarter, faster better: the secrets of being productive in life and business by Charles Duhigg.
The happiness advantage by Shawn Achor
Paddle your own canoe by Nick Offerman
The subtle art of not giving a fuck by Mark manson
How to be an antiracist by Ibrahim X kendi
Life changing fiction: 1. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo 2. Shogun by James Clavell 3. The alchemist by Paulo Coelho 4. Old yeller by Fred Gipson- this a book I read as a child and it made me want to come to America. 5. The red pony by John Steinbeck- another American book I read as a 9 year old and it made me want to come to America so bad. 6. Lonesome dove by Larry Mc Murtry 7. Don Quixote by Cervantes 8. Tai pan by james Clavell 9. Pride and prejudice by jane austen Books that you read because you have to learn how sociopaths think in order to recognize and avoid them: 1. The prince by machiavelli 2. The art of war by sun tzu 3. The 48 laws of power My favorite thinkers in no order: Atul Gawande Malcolm Gladwell Steven pinker Yuval noah Harari Deepak chopra (take with a grain of salt) Sadhguru Youtubes I follow:
Sadhguru - i'm no religious, I just find his stuff really good for the mind
[Serious] On the oil demand crisis and why you should buy tanker calls this week, but why $NAT is a meme you should dump
Final edit (05-06) - Sorry that this went tits up for everyone. I lost most of my $20k as well. As you saw, $STNG massacred earnings by over 50% on EPS, strong revenue beat, and really strong guidance as predicted...then went down 10%. What I didn't understand, apparently, was that the market doesn't give a fuck about that in the tanker space...no more DD for me, back to meme stocks I guess. Monday morning edit: Offer up your wives if you got in this morning before the pump. Take some profits. Okay idiots, I'm going to drop some actual useful DD for you. tl;dr and positions at the top, because I know that for the majority of you, "Fedex parked in front of White House, buy calls", is as sophisticated DD as you can handle. This is a long post, so for those of you who actually want to understand why you're taking a position and learn about a commodity, read on; for those of you who don't, fuck off. _______________________________
Tankers not only begin earnings this week but said earnings will be the best they have been in at least 5 years, if not the last decade, due to all-time-high tanker rates that began spiking in mid-March. Rates are so high that, say, companies with clean LR2 tankers currently run a spot price of 8x the 5 year historical average and a single 2 month spot voyage is enough to be profitable on the entire year. Make bets on tanker companies that are trading below their NAV, will post strong FCF, were well positioned for the spike in prices, have large fleets, and have the right types of ships. $NAT is a risky stock because it's actually the among the worst across every single one of these dimensions of any tanker company. WHY NAT IS A MEME: Let me draw you an analogy: WSB is a class in school, and you've all decided not to be homosexual for a day. NAT is a girl in the class. Now that you're not homos, you all start sending NAT dick pics and showering her with attention, assuming that she is extremely high value. However, in your autistic haste, you all forgot to look around and fail to realize that there are 15 other girls in the classroom; moreover, they are all way hotter than NAT. NAT is now overvalued and many of you are too attached to admit you had no idea what the fuck you were doing and are - now. POSITIONS: I like EURN and STNG, but there are many other viable tanker plays you could look at. Check out TNK. DSSI, DHT, FRO etc; DYOR. Low Risk Position Examples
EuroNav ($EURN) $12.50C 6/15
Scorpio Tankers ($STNG) $23C 6/15
Moderate Risk Positions
$EURN $12.50C 5/15
$STNG $25C 5/15
Higher Risk Positions
$EURN $15C 5/15
$STNG $30C 5/15
Legendary Autistic Risk Positions
$EURN $17.50C 5/15
$STNG $35C 5/15
$NAT, any calls
SECTION 1: Overview on Oil Demand Crisis
If you understand oil demand destruction and contango, skip ahead to section 2. However, based on the fact that people continue to pile in on USO and UCO calls and leaps under the justification of "hurr durr oil must go up, it's so cheap", and half of you are still bagholding $NAT, I assume 75%+ of you are retarded. Many of you still probably have no idea what's happening with oil and why it's fucked long-term. The tl;dr here is that even with OPEC+'s historical cuts, we're still drastically oversupplied. The problem with oil is it's not your meme SPY calls that are in the cloud; oil is a physical product and when you trade USO, you're trading (theoretically) on receiving delivery of oil. We are almost completely out of oil storage already. You may ask, well u/safuros, if that's true, why don't we turn off the wells? Markets naturally handle supply and demand. Oil production isn't that simple. The reason every country is sandbagging and trying to get other countries to cut oil is that there's a game theory element in play, as well as an oil well intrinsic function issue. Once conventional oil wells reduce their production to roughly 50-60% of output, they cannot go any lower without risking damaging the wells, which are extraordinarily expensive to get the rights to drill on/lease and is like risking a gallon of water when you've only taken a sip. Thus, the only option to reduce further is to entirely stop production and cap the well, and then, assuming your lease on the well hasn't lapsed by the time you can re-open it, uncap it, both of which are extraordinarily expensive options that are also time-consuming. Therefore, many oil companies would rather just sell at a crappy rate, because that's still a long-term better play than turning off; you're paying for the well either way. Game-theory wise, why the fuck should you be the well to turn off, if other's aren't? Add in the fact that everyone cheats on oil production cuts and the Saudis and Russians are trying to fuck each other as well as US shale, and you've got a nice oil crisis. Per comments, note that US oil production is easier to spin up and down than overseas oil, but that doesn't really matter because we can't stop everyone else from producing and we aren't going to bear the entire burden ourselves. This leads to the USO/UCO shit show and negative WTI price. Normally, futures holders offload their contracts to buyers who intend to actually take physical delivery as the option expiration date draws near. However, because there is no storage and no demand, none of the typical buyers actually wanted to buy, so you had a bunch of tendie seeking autists desperately trying to offload their contracts so that they wouldn't have 5 dumptrucks of oil barrels delivered to their homes and be completely fucked, such that they were willing to pay people (i.e. negative price) to take their contracts. As for contango, well, google it. Finally, this problem isn't going away any time soon because unless you're so truly deluded as to believe that we'll not only have a V shaped re-opening in terms of social, commercial, and consumer behavior, but that fuel consumption across airlines and cars will rebound immediately, we're on a long term path to demand recovery. This is like having a clogged bathtub full of water and turning the faucet from 100% on to 50% on - you're still fucked until the faucet turns off (impossible) or the clog goes away more than enough to offset the faucet (not happening for a while). This is why experts broadly agree that the OPEC+ cuts are meaningless and that groups like Morgan Stanley believe demand destruction of oil will persist until well into 2021. _______________________________
"If an MR can get $30,000 per day on a spot voyage, it covers its costs for a year...If an LR2 gets $150,000 or $160,000 a day, it’s the same...you could lay the ship up, earn zero for the next ten months, and still make a profit on the ship."
Guess who owns the most clean-fuel ready LR2's that are exposed to the spot price? $STNG Now, don't be stupid and assume that rates will hold this high all year. That said, even if rates went to $0 by mid summer, the rates for Q2 are so high such that it'd still be a higher revenue year than last year. And rates aren't going to $0...they're going to continue to stay above the historical average, just not as high as now, due to the crazy demand destruction.
Miscellaneous point of clarification: I see a lot of dumbasses posting about what numbers will look like if the entire fleet is booked out for and extrapolating to the entire year (usually in reference to $NAT). That's ridiculous and not how it works, so don't just assume number of tankers * spot rate * 365 = revenue for year = tendies.
SECTION 3: Why $STNG and $EURN?
I really need to go fuck your wife soon, so I'm making the sections shorter and shorter; however, Ii'll still tell you way $STNG and $EURN are good bets. First, let's start with NAV - Net Asset Value. If you don't know what this means, Google it. (edit) Disclaimer - As I mentioned at the top of the post, there are plenty of other viable tanker options. $STNG and $EURN are my plays so that's why this is focused on them. As you (should) know, NAV is something you estimate and can be calculated differently based on different assumptions. Trading below NAV means the stock is underpriced as is, and that's before record earnings and guidance. By most accounts, $EURNs NAV is at least $13 currently, and $STNG is close to $30. They trade at $10 and $21, respectively, right now. $STNG isn't even at its average price for 2019, but 2020 is objectively a better year unless a meteor blows up their fleet Secondly, fleet size and type. $STNG has one of the largest fleets in the world, and in particular, they have the most LR2 tankers. If you go back up to the graph, you'll see that clean LR2 tankers are commanding an absurd rate, spiking to as high as $250,000 for a few days and currently settled around $150-175k/day, compared to a 5-year historical value of below $25k. $EURN has a solid fleet of VLCC's which are commanding a strong rate, and EURN has good financials - most their boats are fairly new, they don't have a ton of debt. Lastly, they're among the first up on the earnings block, with STNG reporting 5/6 this week and EURN reporting on 5/7. Compare that to NAT, who reports the 23rd, so theta will eat away at what remains of your atrophied testicles every day. That said, regardless of theta, STNG and EURN are really strongly positioned. I expect that earnings will be solid and likely beat, but not by a crazy amount because rates only started really jacking up in late March, and rates in early Q1 were actually pretty low. However, as many of you still don't fucking understand, earnings don't matter nearly as much asguidance. That's why you dumbfucks all complain about companies beating earnings but still tanking and then creating stupid conspiracy theories about "MM is fucking rigging this market". The good news here is that earnings should be solid, while guidance for is going to be euphoric. _______________________________
SECTION 4: Why is $NAT a meme, and mistakes I see people making
Fleet size misconception: Cramer meme'd NAT, infamously calling out that they have the largest fleet in the world. In fact, if you actually tried to verify anything you ever fucking did, you could have googled this and realized that NAT has a fleet that, just like your dick, is one of the smallest around. Moreover, they have the wrong type of boats - they primarily have Suezmax boats, which command an okay rate, but aren't close to the best boats to have right now.
No investigation of NAV: NAT's NAV, by all accounts, is close to $3. They are trading at close to $6, and were nearing $8-9 at peak pump. Why the fuck on god's green earth would you buy a company with the wrong type of boats, the wrong fleet size, trading at over 2x NAV, when everyone else is around or below their NAV and has a better fleet?
Massive debt and shitty assets: NAT is saddled in debt, is historically shittily managed (read their earnings report if you know how, but you probably don't know how), and all their boats are at the end of their lifetime, meaning NAT not only has horrible debt but will need to buy a shit ton of new boats very soon
Stupid assumptions on revenue: We covered this earlier, but no, just because demand is high, it doesn't mean every boat is going to get booked at the spot price. Many boats are on existing contracted rates from last quarter, and the ones who are not are not all getting booked out at once.
Looking at ATH as an indicator: If i see another one of you dumb fucks pointing out that NAT used to trade at $16 a share 5 years ago, I will personally find you, tape you to a chair, and shit down your mouth. NAT has issued a shit ton more shares. You are probably the same group who thinks that USO rose from $2 to $18 last week.
The ONLY justification for NAT is now that it's been memed and retail knows all about it, it will probably rise again if the other tankers do well. You can make that play, and you might even make money. Just make sure to dump that shit before earnings because they're not going to be good enough to justify the rise and there's going to be a stupid dump. _______________________________
As proof that I put money where my mouth is, I have ~$20k riding in on these positions: - 40 $STNG 5/15 $23C - 200 $EURN 5/15 $12.5C _______________________________
Will the Green Bay Packers win OVER/UNDER 9 games? By University Stats Prof!
Matt LaFleur’s first season as Green Bay’s head coach has to be considered a success. He led the team to a 13-3 record, which secured the NFC North title. The Packers held off the Seahawks to a 28-23 home win in the first round of the playoffs, but were ousted by the Niners in a brutal 37-20 thumping (a game in which the Packers dugged themselves into an early 27-0 hole).
2. Offensive Position-by-Position Breakdown
2.1 Quarterbacks (QBs) Aaron Rodgers will be entering his 16th NFL season. He had another excellent year with a 26-to-4 TD-to-INT ratio and over 4,000 passing yards. He finished as the 7th-best QB in the league according to PFF ratings. At 36 years old, he is likely to have a few good years left. After all, Drew Brees and Tom Brady posted nice statistics in their late thirties. Rodgers has been very durable throughout his career, but he’s not invincible either. Tim Boyle was the backup plan last year, and the team needed to upgrade the position while starting to think about the post-Rodgers era. Still, drafting Jordan Love was the most questionable and talked-about pick in this year’s draft. People expected the Packers to go with a veteran backup QB. Rodgers has mentioned several times he wants to play in his forties; he can still offer a good five years of solid play in the frozen tundra. Love has possesses great size, throws with velocity and he’s very mobile. The main knock on him is the decision-making and inconsistency. As a sophomore, he threw 32 TD passes versus 6 interceptions. He regressed a lot last year by posting a mediocre 20:17 TD:INT mark. Granted, his surrounding cast was very weak and he had to go through a coaching change. Love can throw from many different arm angles; he reminds people of Patrick Mahomes in this regard. He can throw a fastball or a soft touch pass. Quick note: he almost quit football when he was 14 years old after his dad committed suicide. However, he knew his dad would want him to keep playing, so he did just that. 2.2 Running Backs (RBs) Aaron Jones is a top running back in this league. Along with Jamaal Williams, they form a lethal duo. Including the playoffs, Jones ended up scoring 23 touchdowns in 18 games. His 19 regular season scores were the second most in Packers history. His numbers have increased in each of his first three years as a pro. He is also excellent as a pass catcher. Despite playing in the shadow of Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams still finished as the 17th-best RB based on PFF rankings. He does not seem like a lead back, but he’s a perfect change-of-pace guy. Much like Jones, he can do some damage as a receiver as well. Williams has been a steady performer thus far in his career. He has rushed for 450-550 yards in each of his three seasons, while catching a minimum of 25 balls. He has 15 total TDs over this three-year span. If you thought GM Brian Gutekunst made a strange move by drafting QB Jordan Love in the first round, he doubled down with another head scratcher in the 2nd round when he took A.J. Dillon. Message to Mr. Gutekunst: Aaron Rodgers needed pass catchers, not a third running back! I really don’t get this pick either. I’m not saying Dillon won’t be good in the NFL; only time will tell. However, it clearly wasn’t a position of need for the Packers. Dillon is a power back who rarely breaks off huge runs. He racked up big numbers in three seasons in Boston College. He’s unlikely to become a three-down starter, especially since he’s not a good pass catcher. He will likely be used sporadically as a rookie. 2.3 Wide Receivers (WRs) Davante Adams is one of the best at his position. He had a streak of three straight seasons with at least 10 TD receptions snapped last year, but he still caught 83 passes for 997 yards in 12 games (he missed four games because of a toe injury). Outside of Adams, all pass catchers appeared lost on the field. None of them developed a good chemistry with Rodgers. Marquez Valdes-Scantling was a huge disappointment last year. He showed promise as a rookie with over 500 receiving yards. Here’s a jaw-dropping statistic: after Week #7, MVS did not get more than 19 receiving yards in any meeting. That’s awful. One of the guys benefiting from Valdes-Scantling’s poor play was Jake Kumerow. He got more playing time than expected, but still only caught 12 passes. He is closing in on 30 years of age and is limited as an athlete, so he’s not a long-term answer for sure. Allen Lazard was also thrown into action far more than expected. He finished second in terms of receiving yards for Green Bay, but let’s face the reality: the undrafted guy remains more of a #3 or #4 WR for any team. Geronimo Allison was another bust last year. His top performance over the last 12 games (including the playoffs) was a meager 33 receiving yards. He left for another NFC North team, the Detroit Lions. In other words, the #2 role is wide open. The team hopes newly acquired Devin Funchess can step into that role. The former second rounder had his best season in 2017 with the Panthers with a 63-840-8 stat line. He signed with the Colts last year, but played just one game before breaking a collarbone. He will be 26 years old this season and provides an interesting prospect for the Packers. 2.4 Tight Ends (TEs) We’re not done talking about 2019 busts. Jimmy Graham was one of them. He clearly looks washed. He received the lowest grades of his 10-year career, and deservedly so. The Packers released him and he signed a few days later with the Bears (a horrible mind-boggling two-year, $16 million contract). Marcedes Lewis received surprisingly good marks from PFF. If you look into the numbers, the good grade occurred mainly because of efficient run and pass blocking. He’s not much of a pass catcher and he will be 36 years old when the season begins. Robert Tonyan will also be in the mix, but the guy that has the best chance to break out as a receiver in 2020 only caught three passes last year (all in the playoffs): Jace Sternberger. Taken in the third round of the 2019 draft, Sternberger was a threat at Texas A&M in college. He missed most of the regular season because of injuries, but the door is wide open with Graham’s departure. We might also see third-round rookie Josiah Deguara. He has a great motor and plays extremely hard. He’s undersized as a tight end, though. 2.5 Offensive Line (OL) The Packers had a pretty solid offensive line in 2019. All five starters managed to play at least 84% of the offensive snaps. And they all finished above-average according to PFF ratings! The bad news, however, is the Bryan Bulaga left for the Chargers. Despite turning over 30 years old, he still played at a high level. The Packers decided to replace him by signing Rick Wagner, formerly of the Lions. Wagner’s PFF grades from 2016 to 2018 were as follows: 74.0, 75.2 and 71.4. Last year, his play deteriorated a lot and he was tagged with a 59.0 grade. He finished as the #61 tackle among 81 guys. I like the fact that the team is returning four out of five guys, but replacing Bulaga with Wagner has to be viewed as a downgrade. 2020 VS 2019 OFFENSE The Packers offense finished in the middle of the pack in points scored per game. Barring major injuries, I expect about the same production in 2020. The QB and RB situations remain the same. Adding Funchess is not a huge move, but it won’t hurt. The team clearly needs someone to step up opposite of Davante Adams. At tight end, losing Jimmy Graham means close to nothing since he was so ineffective. Sternberger might bring a nice contribution, but we can hardly expect him to be a game-breaker. Finally, the OL will take a dip with the loss of Bulaga. I don’t believe Rick Wagner can do better than him. All in all, I view the additions/departures as a slight negative for Green Bay, but having so many starters returning to the lineup for a second straight season is always a good thing in the NFL. For these reasons, I expect a similar output as 2019 from this unit. Final call (2020 vs 2019): Stable
3. Defensive Position-by-Position Breakdown
3.1 Defensive Linemen (DLs) Kenny Clark had a fantastic season! He is one of the best interior rushers in the NFL. He recorded six sacks for the second straight year, and PFF ranked him as the 13th-best interior linemen out of 114 qualifiers. The same nice comments cannot be made about Dean Lowry. He had the worst season of his four-year career as a pro. He did not post a single sack and wasn’t great against the run either. Reserve Tyler Lancaster is only there to provide some depth. He isn’t particularly good in any aspect of the game. The team did not make any move regarding this position during the offseason. 3.2 Defensive Ends (DEs) / Edge Rushers (ED) During the last offseason, the Packers acquired two Smiths: Za’Darius and Preston. They burst onto the scene and got 13.5 and 12 sacks, respectively. Obviously, both received high marks for their pass rushing abilities, but Preston finished as an average linebacker overall because of mediocre run defense and poor coverage. Kyler Fackrell was a huge disappointment in 2019. After racking up 10.5 sacks in 2018, he only got one in 2019! He signed a one-year deal with the Giants. First-round pick Rashan Gary wasn’t necessarily impressive during his rookie season. He played 23% of the snaps, while obtaining two sacks but very pedestrian marks from PFF (an overall 55.8 grade, which is near the bottom among edge defenders). 3.3 Linebackers (LBs) Green Bay lost its leader in tackles from the past three years, Blake Martinez. After starting 61 of the last 64 Packers games, Martinez decided to join the New York Giants. He had the second-most tackles in the league last year, but don’t be misled by that number. Martinez still finished slight below-average (52nd out of 89 LBs) because of poor play against the run. The Packers also lost some depth at the position when B.J. Goodson left for Cleveland. Green Bay picked up a linebacker from the Browns roster: Christian Kirksey. He was picked in the 3rd round of the 2014 before being involved in all 16 games from his first four seasons in the NFL. However, he has been plagued with injuries over the most recent two years; he played 7 games in 2018 and only 2 games in 2019. He is also capable of racking up tackles, as shown by his 2016 and 2017 seasons where he obtained 146 and 138. His PFF grades during his first four seasons varied between 61.9 and 69.3. Just to give you a rough idea, a 65.0 rating would have been good for 29th place out of 89 LBs. 3.4 Cornerbacks (CBs) Jaire Alexander has done the job as the #1 corner. He has obtained 72.4 and 71.2 marks from PFF during his first two seasons, which is well-above average. He’s so-so defending the run, but his coverage skills are very good. The number two corner, Kevin King had five interceptions last year after getting just one over his first two years as a pro. He did show some improvement after two rocky years. He finished 2019 as a middle-of-the-pack corner. Tramon Williams played 74% of the snaps and had a surprisingly good season despite his age. He will be 37 when the 2020 season begins. He is currently a free agent and it remains to be seen if the Packers bring him back or not. In summary, Alexander and King are both pretty young and could still be improving, but Tramon Williams provided quality play and it’s uncertain if someone else can pick up the slack. 3.5 Safeties (S) Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage were the top two guys here. Along with Za’Darius and Preston Smith, the Adrian Amos was another excellent signing by the Packers during the 2019 offseason. Amos had been a reliable guy in Chicago for four seasons, and he continued to excel in the frozen tundra. After being selected as the #21 overall pick in the 2019 draft, Darnell Savage did show some flashes as a rookie last year. He finished as the #47 safety among 87 qualifiers, which is very satisfying for a rookie. He earned nice marks in coverage (77.4), but horrible ones against the run (37.7). Will Redmond will be back as the number three safety. He’s not starter material for sure. 2020 VS 2019 DEFENSE Most of the starters are returning in 2020. That’s the good news. The team lost their leader in tackles, Blake Martinez, as well as pass rusher Kyler Fackrell and CB Tramon Williams. The only acquisition worth of note is Christian Kirksey. Him not having played very much during the last two seasons brings some question marks. The Packers defense struggled against the run last year, and there’s no reason to believe that will change in 2020. Green Bay still finished 9th in points allowed, which was a very acceptable result. Unfortunately, a decrease in effectiveness is expected and I predict this unit will end 2020 as a middle-of-pack defense (12th – 19th in points allowed). Final call (2020 vs 2019): Small downgrade
4. Regular Season Wins
According to sportsbooks, the Green Bay Packers are expected to win 9 games this season. Should we bet the “over” or the “under”? Here is the methodology I used in order to answer this vital question:
Use BetOnline.ag’s point spreads on all 256 regular season games.
Convert those point spreads into win probabilities.
Simulate each of the 256 games, according to those win probabilities, via the R statistical software.
Repeat the previous step one million times (you get 1M simulated seasons).
Count the proportion of seasons where the Packers won more or less than 9 games.
Here are the results (excluding the simulated years where the Pack won exactly 9 games, since in those cases your bet would have tied):
OVER 9 WINS
UNDER 9 WINS
Tip: Bet OVER 9 wins Return On Investment (ROI): +10.5% Rank: 25th-highest ROI out of 32 teams Minimum odds required to bet (i.e. ROI = 0%): -106 Here are BetOnline’s point spreads for the Packers’ 16 regular season games: HOME: -6 vs ATL, -10 vs CAR, -4.5 vs CHI, -6.5 vs DET, -11.5 vs JAX, -3 vs MIN, -2.5 vs PHI, -3.5 vs TEN. ROAD: 0 @ CHI, -2 @ DET, 0 @ HOU, +2.5 @ IND, +3 @ MIN, +5.5 @ NO, +6.5 @ SF, +2.5 @ TB. Note: The “Best odds” from the table above were obtained after looking at 13 well-known online sportsbooks on May 18th, 2020. TOMORROW: I'll talk about the team whose ROI is the 24th-highest in the league, the Pittsburgh Steelers! Did you like this write-up? If so, comment below! I'd like to know YOUR opinion on what to expect from the Packers' 2020 season! Professor MJ
New deaths by county: 92 Jefferson, 83 Jefferson, 90 Knox, 91 Fayette, 59 Knox
Any Masks enforcement done yet? -- Let me get you the details, I believe there have been steps taken by local health departments in various areas of the state. I think the first time they’re trying to do warnings and education. And that’s ok but we don’t have time in the battle for multiple strikes...It’s good for the business! Having people safe, having people NOT get infected in your business, and having the ability to have even more people out. The more people wearing masks, the fewer people that are infected and the more people that can shop or do business at your facility. It is good business right now to make sure this (Beshear holds up a mask) is working.
What we are seeing across the country is alarming. Not just escalating cases, but devastation. FL hospitals have run out of ICU beds. They are scrambling to change people over. This is when people die because the system is overwhelmed.
How close are we having a travel ban? -- I’m having to deal with a couple court cases right now which would make that quite difficult, but I’m watching especially those big states very carefully. Let me say, we shouldn’t have to say, “you can’t go to a state that has 15,000 cases a day- including hot spots and the places you go.” We all oughta care and love each other enough to say “I’m not putting myself or my family in that situation and I’m not bringing it back, taking it to work, sending my kids to daycare, and going to church, after we have exposed ourself in that way”. Let’s be better than that.
Alright everybody, it’s 4 o'clock, and we’re gonna be pretty serious tonight. Let’s remember even as we talk about some very serious threats we face, we need to have faith. Faith that we will get through this and we will get through this together. Today I think I need to say it more than anyone else. We will get through this, we will get through this together. (Andy signs in ASL) Say it with me: We will get through this, we will get through this together.
What we are seeing across the country is alarming. Not just escalating cases, but devastation. FL hospitals have run out of ICU beds. They are scrambling to change people over. This is when people die because the system is overwhelmed. This isn’t March, this isn’t April. This spreads fast enough, when you open too early and don’t have the right rules in place. People are going to die that would not have otherwise died. Look at it, it happens. It’s happening now, even at a time where we have the ability to test more and prepare. They aren’t the only ones. AZ and TX, are bringing in refrigerator trucks cause they’re running out of room in the morgue. They had 90+ deaths yesterday, and they’re 1.5x the state of KY. That ought to convince everyone of the seriousness we face and what a critical moment right now is. There is nothing that means we can’t end up like any of those states if we don’t do the right thing. Like KY many other states are following suit with mask mandates. This time in Alabama. Governor Ivey And I are on different ideologies, we probably don't see eye-to-eye on a lot of things, but you know what? We’ve made the same exact decision because this isn’t political. She’s issuing the order similarly to how we did, but they’re seeing an escalation worse than ours at the moment, she said “but we can’t let [her state is Alabama], end up like other states” But today in KY we face, possibly, the gravest threat I’ve seen since we’ve started this. So since we started this, we saw a virus that was, at one point doubling far too fast, we saw a curve that could have overwhelmed our healthcare system but at all times we knew what it would take to stop this virus. Social distancing and now face coverings and we were able to put the types of rules in place to flatten our curve. Imagine if we didn’t do Healthy at Home, where we could be right now! We had to shut down everywhere so it didn’t shut us down like it did Florida before. And it can happen to us again. But today the Attorney General asked a court in Boone County, which is having an all-day hearing and even taking testimony on things like unemployment which wasn’t an issue in the case, but he is asking for every single order to be overturned and to not allow my office or me to put any orders in in the future that would help protect you and everyone else. If we have to later, no ban on travel and the places that are so scary, no rolling back areas that might be spreading it. It’s truly frightening. I know this AG is trying to claim this is not what he is trying to do but these are the words he has asked the court to put into an order: Temporarily enjoined (which means we can’t) from issuing or enforcing any portions of any Executive Order. No Rules. Companies wouldn’t need to sanitize, no hand sanitizer. No masks, just the Wild West. That’s terrifying. In the middle of a worldwide pandemic. And it would mean we would fail. It means people will die. I never thought as a day-to-day as Governor that I would have to deal with life and death issues and I have felt every death that we have had in this virus. And one of the things that keeps me going is I know we would have so many more. I’m sure that I have made some mistakes, I keep thinking of Washington’s farewell address where in his second to last point he admitted he had made some mistakes. But I've done everything I can to protect the people of KY. I lie awake at night almost every night wondering how many people we’re going to lose or if we are going the same direction as other states. This would remove the authority that virtually every other governor is using to battle this virus. There is no question. There would be no rules. You don’t have to sanitize your hands, the virus spreads. That's a basic scientific fact. So if we see more cases, Goldman-Sachs wil say we will lose $10B dollars. And that’s just without masks. Multiply everything else on top of that. I don’t see how we get our kids back to schools if there are zero rules to keep the virus from spreading. And we lose more people. No school, harmed economy, and more death. I don’t want to go back and forth with my own Attorney General but I will fight every day for the lives of Kentuckians. Even if it creates drama I don’t want, even if it takes away time, and it does, I have half my office out today because of it. I’m gonna do what it takes to protect the people of Kentucky. But folks, this is wrong. This is REAL REALLY wrong. Don’t play politics with the lives of people. The request made wants to eliminate the ability to enforce any of the Healthy at Work requirements, any of them. No capacity limits anywhere. Fill up a stadium, full bars. We know how deadly that can be and that’s just plain irresponsible. I want you to know what this would do, would do more than just destroy the economy, cost lives, and keep kids from getting back in school. You know the orders that are included here? Also include expanding workers compensation for workers that have to quarantine as a result of exposure. That means our first responders, active military, and grocery store workers. They wouldn’t get workers comp when they came down with the virus they got for protecting us. Gonna leave them out in the cold. It would also eliminate my waiver of copay, deductible, and cost-sharing and diagnostic testing fees for private insurance. It would charge people for taking these tests. These are the facts, and that’s the truth. And we face this at a time when our cases continue to rise. We have another day with over 400 cases. Today we are reporting 413 cases, bringing our total to 21,083. Know how quickly this can get out of hand? FL had over 77,000 cases in 7 days.
Positive cases today: 413
Probable cases (from full numbers PDF): 965
Total confirmed cases: 21,083
New cases by county (Only reported counties >10 in update): 69x Jefferson, 25x Ohio, 22x Boone, 20x Warren, 17x Kenton, 15x Graves, 12x Fayette, 12x Muhlenberg, 11x Bell, 11x Casey, 11x Madison
Total tests conducted: 507,197. We worked a lot to get there, we’re going to work on expanding our testing even more
Total hospitalized (from full numbers PDF): 2,842
Currently hospitalized: 418 Those healthcare workers that are trying to take care of them? We don’t want to leave them in a hospital where no one has to follow the rules needed to keep them safe. It puts every single one of those workers in jeopardy. To our healthcare workers: I appreciate you and I am going to fight for you. I am going to try to make sure that it is as safe as it can be for you because we appreciate you
Total in ICU (from full numbers PDF): 1,030
Currently in ICU: 92 fighting for their lives.
Positivity rate: 4.38% up about 2% from 2 weeks ago. When it gets over 5% it’s going to be a real concern. Moreover we are seeing more kids test positive every single day. I got a call from the CEO of Norton, they have more pediatric patients right now than they ever had during this virus. I believe 2 are in the ICU. Today we have 13 new kids under 5. 2 of them are 2-months-old. So, these kids are counting on us everyday to do the right thing.
Total recovered (from full numbers PDF): 5,500
New deaths today: 5
Total Deaths: 650, but remember deaths follow cases. All our numbers will tell you that you see, more death. If we have fewer restrictions based on science, in place, and it spreads even more, you know what to expect from that. We’re in the rotunda, and we put up a wreath when the first 200 people died, and I’m looking at it right now. How many more of them must we hang?
New deaths by county: 92 Jefferson, 83 Jefferson, 90 Knox, 91 Fayette, 59 Knox
All losses are a loss for Kentucky. Let’s light those houses up green and let’s ring those bells at 10am. This is a reminder that we are thinking of the Kentuckians we’ve lost, their families, and their communities. It’s the color of compassion and renewal as their souls move from their bodies to a better place.
Racial breakdown of all cases: 77.25% Caucasian, 12.93% Black or African-American, 3.21% Asian, 5.86% Multiracial
Ethnicity breakdown of all cases: 84.27% non-Hispanic and 15.73% Hispanic
Racial breakdown of all deaths: 81.12% Caucasian, 14.94% Black or African-American, 1.48% Asian, 2.46% Multiracial
Ethnicity breakdown of all deaths: 95.87% non-Hispanic and 4.13% Hispanic
Long Term Care Facilities: 51 new residents and 47 new staff positive from yesterday, and 3 more deaths, 7 new facilities. 2,180 residents, 1,150 staff, 414 deaths, 224 facilities.
That’s the tough news. Can I give the hopeful news? I got to do a video yesterday for Dorothy Krause. Here’s Dorothy, I got to wish her a happy 100th birthday! Turning 100 in a non-pandemic situation is a feat. I’m sharing Dorothy’s story today because she also beat COVID-19. She resides at the Forum at Brookside in Louisville Friends and family say she’s a pillar of patience- i can use a little of that; and positive thinking, I could use a little bit of that too, it’s something I think we can all admire. Happy Birthday Dorothy, it’s special, thank you for your fight, for giving us hope, and I hope you have enjoyed these special days.
More good news? We are highlighting some local governments that we communicate with regularly, because they are on the ground doing what it takes to beat this virus. But we know they are hurting. Like our government budgets and their budgets have been devastated, so we set aside $300M CARES ACT funding for local governments. Since last week we have announced $21.4M and today we’re approving $5.5M in CARES ACT Reimbursements for 22 counties in Eastern KY. Every dollar is needed. Boyd County in Ashland where we lost one of our early, younger Kentuckians. Elliott, Fleming, Lee, McCreary, Montgomery, Pike, Rowan, Whitley, and the municipalities of Booneville, Coal run, Hazard , Fleming-neon, Flemingsburg, Lynch, Middlesboro, Mount Sterling, Owensville, Pikesville, Presonsburg, and Stanton. Funding can be used to reimburse payroll expenses for public safety, PPE, cleaning supplies, all those things we asked the government to do in our rules and restrictions. So there are more applications there are in, and we expect more announcements soon. Let me just say this isn’t money given this is money earned- our localities are doing a great job. We need you now more than ever. This is crunch time. This is the time we determine how many people we lose. This is the time we make sure everybody is wearing a mask so we can try to have our old normal, Save our people, Save our economy, Save our possibility of school
Testing sites in Jefferson County and how they are operating relative to their capacities -- We are at capacity at just about every testing site in Jefferson county. (at least the ones that we have a role in). It’s hard to think about that as a good thing because if you can't get a test right now, you really want one. That means people have woken up and realized the situation that we are in because there was a time we weren’t filling all of them. So we are working to expand capacity right now. Providing more kits to the major localities, to make sure we can get more people in and tested. So we are working on it and we expect to see results.
Has there been a reduction in testing sites? -- Statewide, the answer is no. We have 1 fewer Kroger site but that was because it was way under capacity. What we are seeing is specific locations with SIGNIFICANT capacity. Average wait time is picking up. Part of that is it being summer, and the hours are different. But Kroger has added extra hours on. And let me tell ya, they are doing their part for free. This is an incredible service but a great corporate citizen we have workers who have passed out (because it’s so hot) at these sites and they are still coming back to help and protect us. That’s pretty special and you know, they deserve better than a state with no rules or regulations. So make sure we thank you. Thank you to everyone doing the testing. We have Walmart and Walgreens, and a whole bunch of others, thank you, and keep going. I know you saw some capacity that suggested that people wouldn’t come, but they’re coming now, and it benefits all of us
On the mask mandate, is it still in effect? -- Yes. It is in effect. Both through an executive order and an emergency regulation. We have had no ruling to negate it, it is fully in effect and we need you to wear it. Every major health expert. Expert. Has said that if you will wear a mask, fewer people will die, we can keep the economy open, we might be able to get back to school sooner than later, and heck we might even have sports. If we don’t have any rules or regulations, we can kiss all of that goodbye.
What I’m seeing on compliance with the mask mandate? -- I’m actually seeing really good compliance. I'm seeing some situations where folks in retail end up taking grief they should have to. Surely we’re better human beings than to walk into a store and yell at someone that did not put the order in place. To take out our, probably, fear and anxiety of COVID on somebody. And listen, It’s not up to the person in the retail store to decide your constitutional rights, if you want to yell at me go ahead. It comes with the territory. I’m still gonna do what’s right. I’m seeing good compliance overall. What’s going to jump out is where we don’t have compliance and we have the number, the KYSAFER number (1-833-KYSAFER). How we are going to defeat this is really simple: no shoes, no shirt, no mask, no service. Some major retailers (Kroger, Walmart, Starbucks) are following our lead and everybody else should too, but you gotta do it in KY. We are doing it because we care about each other’s lives.
There’s an expectation or commentary about JCPS not starting with in-person classes initially? -- First we gotta see overall, what the next couple weeks look like. Very important to see if we can get back to school. The number of us who wear masks and social distance will determine that. Jefferson County given its size poses even more challenges than just about any other district. Very hard to spread out in the bus, because of the deferred maintenance, in the age of the buildings, it’s very hard to spread out kids in the classroom. They face some real significant challenges, and I want to make sure that anywhere that we come back to in-person classes, our teachers, our staff, everybody in that building, including the kids- A lot of people want to talk just about the kids that we are seeing so many more cases in kids now and they want to say rarely do kids suffer grave harm. Everyone of those kids comes into contact with an adult, and we want to make sure that any of those adults do not come to harm. So it appears to me that JCPS is being thoughtful. We allllllll want to get our kids back in school. Lord, do I really want to get our kids back in school. But we got to make sure it’s safe. And I look forward to hearing the conversations at JCPS and when a district makes a decision based on safety, you can bet we’re gonna support them.
Question about UI -- We’re having live calls every day. We've had thousands of calls in today. They are getting a robo answer? Ok folk may still be getting a robo answer because we have everybody processing claims. We want to move back to regional offices, but right now if I moved to do that right now, and everything that would take, it would take a week for that to happen. We’re in the middle of the crisis and we can’t just stop. We have all the people actively making the calls right now. So, if you call in, I’d love it if it means someone picks up everytime. But it would be just as nice if people would pick up when you see this number. Ok, they should be getting live calls here soon. I’m looking for the number for you, but I know it was thousands just today. I’m not satisfied with the performance to date. That’s not the fault of the employees, they’re working REALLY hard on their end. We handled 6,104 calls on the 15th (yesterday).
Any Masks enforcement done yet? -- Let me get you the details, I believe there have been steps taken by local health departments in various areas of the state. I think the first time they’re trying to do warnings and education. And that’s ok but we don’t have time in the battle for multiple strikes. It’s good if someone is not doing it to say, “You have to.” But then we gotta make sure everyone is doing their part. And...It’s good for the business! Having people safe, having people NOT get infected in your business, and having the ability to have even more people out. The more people wearing masks, the fewer people that are infected and the more people that can shop or do business at your facility. It is good business right now to make sure this (Beshear holds up a mask) is working.
How close are we having a travel ban? -- I’m having to deal with a couple court cases right now which would make that quite difficult, but I’m watching especially those big states very carefully. Let me say, we shouldn’t have to say, “you can’t go to a state that has 15,000 cases a day- including hot spots and the places you go.” We all oughta care and love each other enough to say “I’m not putting myself or my family in that situation and I’m not bringing it back, taking it to work, sending my kids to daycare, and going to church, after we have exposed ourself in that way”. Let’s be better than that.
Alright folks, today I’m sorry that we face the threat we do. I cannot imagine how we defeat this virus if we’re not able to have reasonable rules and restrictions in place that help everybody, our people, our businesses, our economy, our schools. And I’m gonna keep fighting. No matter what rulings come out, I’m gonna keep fighting because at the end of the day I feel the weight of life and death. I don’t care what any score is on any decisions. What I care is about how many people we’ve saved and about doing the right thing. I came into this job with so many other things we were thinking about doing. Now I'm the guy that has to help us get through this. This is our war. This is our great conflict. And you can’t take all of our ammunition away and say, “Good luck with the enemy.” It doesn’t work that way. We know what it takes to win. We need the tools to do it. Let’s get it done. Let’s make sure we care more about the people than the letter behind our name. Thank y’all very much. And Happy birthday again, Dorothy.
If you have been laid off/lost your job use the following resources to get help! KY Medicaid: https://healthbenefitexchange.ky.gov (855-459-6328) Benefind: https://benefind.ky.gov (855-306-8959) If you see price gouging report by calling 888-432-9257 If you see a business or person not following the guidelines and putting others at risk call 833-KY-SAFER (833-597-2337) or report it on thewebsite As always our one true source of information should be thehttp://kycovid19.ky.gov/website or the hotline: 800-722-5725 You can find more information on our Wiki! We are also up and running on Discord!
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