I don't know if this will be useful to anyone. So I write a line or two about every game I play, and decided to find all the incremental in my game journal and post them here. It starts with the latest games I've played and I think goes back to several years back. One thing I've realized is I have such a love-hate-hate relationship with this genre since I think I've hated 90% of the games and 100% of myself after each incremental phase. I usually angrily stop playing them for a while and restart them again, so this is more or less a journal of addiction, I suppose. THE BEST GAMES I'VE PLAYED ARE THESE (no order):
- Kittens Game
- Antimatter Dimensions
- Oil Tycoon
Honorable Mention: Eggs, Inc
The rest: more or less hated it
Additional comment if you decide to scan through it, I complain a lot, so it is perfectly reasonable and normal to think, "why the fuck are you even playing these games, idiot??".
Time Idle RPG
This game was confusing. It tells me the game's resources is time, where you get 1 of it every second, but that's not really something as unique as I assumed. It would have been cool if time as resources meant you used it to deal with something related to time. Maybe time travel? Maybe slowing and speeding time?
Instead time as resource buys you stuff like a library. And then you buy a camp or something. Honestly, I wasn't really feeling it.
Path of Idling
The biggest cardinal sin for me when it comes to incremental is when a game has a lot of features and it just completely throws them all at you instantly. The joy of a great incremental is how things slowly open up and each new achievement feels progress.
The game is a RPG game and these are the things that opened up for me in the first few hours.
Combat which includes normal fighting, dungeon, raid, boss, PVP (locked, but it just needs an ascend, which I haven't done)
Hero upgrades which include Passive (strength, defence, stamina, intelligence), Train, and a huge Tree
Town which you can buy workers who get you various things like gold, orbs, knowledge, etc. You can upgrade stuff here.
Quest that also includes Perks and Skill quests.
Gear which 5 equipment slots, plus craft plus trade plus smelt
Also gear for your Pet, which is also another tab!
Now, here is the thing. Because I have all of this pretty much instantly, I don't really know which ones are helping me go past a well. How is adding 10 points in strength helping me? Should I have added five in strength instead and five in defence? I have already bought 20 or so upgrades in the Tree, but I have no idea if I am made the optimal choice. There is no real excitement with getting new gear. And so on.
The dev has added a lot of features, now it's time to rework the game, and have the features take their time.
The game is like a super simple platformer. Your character is running and any enemy it hits, it automatically slays it. There is no HP, and all enemies die in one shot. Your only active play is jumping occasionally to grab coins or hit the flying enemies. Also, you have a run skill that has a cool down.
With the coins, we get new weapons that give us more coins. Enemies give us souls which is used for the prestige system that provides us with an interesting skill tree which provides a lot of choices on the path you want to do in terms of upgrades.
So far excellent, however, the game has an extremely serious issue of pacing. The game initially progresses so fast that in the first hour or so, you get almost all the weapons aside from the last two, which then grinds down to a snail pace. You can upgrade your past weapons, but they never really get into play again. Reaching high levels of past weapons sometimes gave me upgrades of that weapon of 10,000% but they still did nothing to my overall coin per second. I think the pacing needs to be fully reworked. It would have been nice to get new weapons after certain prestige cycles, so that every new weapon feels like we have passed a significant wall. The best part of an incremental game for me is to face a wall, and when I finally break it, I feel powerful again for a while. This game feels like this though, powerful powerful powerful powerful WALL........break it....WALL. And so on. I'm still playing it as I want to get some of the skills, but I feel like it could have been so much better.
A very back to the foundation kind of incremental. The premise is that you are a student and working on a formula. There is a neat story where as you progress in the game, your character progresses through university. Each upgrade gives you more and more automation until I reached a stage where I would check back once every 2 or 3 days, click a 2nd layer prestige reset, and close it. Meaning the game was something like 5 seconds of game player every 2 days. I just opened it for this review and realized I had reached the end game. The story wraps up and it tells me "You can take a rest. Travel a bit. Go outside!" NO, DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO GAME.
Factoid & Spark should have the same review as they are almost the same game with only small differences. The games are the most basic kind of incremental, where you buy something with resources, until you get the next thing which gives you more of the resources. Both give you upgrades to speed things up, and finally prestige and it's own prestige upgrades. That's it. It's nice little change of pace from all the recent incremental that sometimes do too much, but obviously due to the very simple nature of it, it does eventually feel pointless, specially after you more or less open up everything and the prestige upgrades just keep repeating.
Factoid & Spark should have the same review as they are almost the same game with only small differences. The games are the most basic kind of incremental, where you buy something with resources, until you get the next thing which gives you more of the resources. Both give you upgrades to speed things up, and finally prestige and it's own prestige upgrades. That's it. It's nice little change of pace from all the recent incremental that sometimes do too much, but obviously due to the very simple nature of it, it does eventually feel pointless, specially after you more or less open up everything and the prestige upgrades just keep repeating. 3
Easily top 5 incremental on mobile. Does everything perfectly. You progress nicely, and when new features open it, not only is it rewarding but more importantly, it keeps adding new dimensions (lol) to the game. I'd at the end game as I write this, and I realize that there was no point in the game where it felt stale. Each new prestige layer made the game feel fresh and almost like a new incremental game.
It seems this game was mainly aimed at Runescape players, which is probably why it didn't click for me. It also run extremely slow on my phone which also played a part in me not really getting into.
A Girl Adrift
The animation is really pretty and is a nice change of pace for incrementals, but I didn't really like the too much active play. Really had to keep going back and forth to different areas to do the fishing which got too repetitive for me.
You travel to different areas of the map to catch fish, which you get points and then you upgrade stuff, but I didn't really find any real excitement about the upgrades because I kept having to go back to previous areas to fish similar creatures.
Archer: Danger Phone
I'm really annoyed how terrible of a game this was. Two things I like, the TV show "Archer" and incremental games, and it's done in the most lazy manner. The game is the worst aspect of idle games where it's just a straight path of clicking the next upgrade with absolutely zero decision making. Every once in a while there is a mini game where Archer gets to shoot others but it's done in the most basic form of early 2000s flash games, where the animation budget is probably 3 dollars. Same static background and both enemies and Archer have just two animation frames. The absolute laziness of it is almost insulting to the player, because it feels like we aren't even worth the effort.
There is an Archer story in the game which develops really fast, which is the only positive part, but no voice acting is again another evidence that the creators of the game weren't given any budget for this.
This game is way too slow. You have to collect materials to build your settlement but everything takes time, so you click for a few seconds, and then you have to leave the game. Which I'm fine with, but the problem isn't the idle part of it, it's how the idle part of it combines with constant checking of the game which annoys me. I like an idle game where you forget to start the game for a day, you come up to a lot of resources, but this is a game which needs you to check back in every 30 minutes or an hour to really get anywhere. I felt that the micromanagement was getting worse as I progressed (without any actual thing to do when I am active in the game) that made me give up.
This is probably an interesting game, but I gave up because the one thing I really disliked was the amount of resources and manufacturing that very quickly opens to you. You can buy raw materials, and you can either sell these raw materials or turn them into finished goods and sell them either. And each of these has several upgrade options (increase selling price, increase production, etc). Without even really getting too deep into the game, I have around 20 raw materials and around 30 finished products. A satisfying part of this genre is to have things slow open up for you, which gives me a decent feeling of satisfaction. But the money I got would quickly open up new products, so I would just jump ahead and purchase more expensive ones, and after a while I had a lot of materials and products at zero, and was instead focusing on latter ones.
Masters of Madness
Somewhat neat atmosphere and visuals, but too much active clicking. Click, upgrade to get more per clicks, get minions to get you some points without clicking, typical clicker, but with the added benefit of almost no idling. I like idling incrementals but clickers is a hard no from me.
Soda Dungeon 2
Basically similar to the first one, as far as I could tell. I did "finish" it but maybe I shouldn't have, since it really is the same thing from early on, specially once you get all the heroes and you kind of sort out which characters work best, then it's just the same. But because it was somewhat short and no real wall, it was at least easy to stick to it to the end.
Played for a decent amount and was actually more interesting that I thought, given the buttload of ad incentives. You create and upgrade bacteria, attack planets, and eventually go into a blackhole to prestige. Most of the game was good, but the part that killed it for me was the prestige system. Once you prestige, planets get super easy to attack, which becomes a lot of active play. I realized that each prestige was taking me at least 30 minutes to get to where I was, and it was just meaningless clicking. It got to a point where I was putting off prestige because it seemed like it would be a hassle so I stopped.
Cute graphics. The hero sort of hopping to hit the tiny monsters is cute to look at, but how long can you look at it and do nothing before you realize that it's boring? I suppose this is a game where it's just not for me. I don't like to have my phone open on a game and just watch it like a crazy person and do nothing. My rule is simple for incrementals. While the app is open, be active, if there isn't any choices to make, close the app while resources build up or whatever. I don't like it being open while I do nothing.
A Kittens Game
Incremental games are so strange. I get in and out of the phases. I loved this for so long and so obsessively that I wanted to only play incremental games. And then, just like that, I was wondering why the fuck I was wasting my time with this. Has happened countless times before.
But still probably the best incremental ever.
A Dark Room
An incremental cult classic of sorts but I don't find it really matches the genre. There is a bit of incremental at the beginning with people huts and stuff but then its just a ascii exploring game, which wasn't interesting to me.
Saw it mentioned in the Reddit incremental forum in one of the posts and thought it was a healer themed incremental which sounded neat. But it's like being a healer in a raid in World of Warcraft without any if the extras. Just a couple of bars representing your team mates and you healing them while they fight the boss. I didn't even like playing the healer in WoW so no way would I play this game.
Started playing for a few days until I realized there a beta released with the dev reworking the game completely from scratch and releasing it as "Idle Zoo Tycoon". So, played that instead but this seemed like a game I would enjoy anyway.
Idling to Rule the Gods
The UI and one drawing if your character is really ugly enough to be distracting to me. The game, seemed interesting and I eventually was into it, but seems like a game that has been constantly being updated, which is not always a good thing, because features are obviously updated regularly to it, making the whole thing a bit bloaty.
I guess, this is the problem with this game for me, it's too fat. Also, one main part of the game is that your character creates Shadow Clones up to a maximum limit. Which is fine except the clones can't be made in offline mode. This might not be a big deal in its original web browser game but that doesn't work as well in a mobile format.
This is one of the really popular incremental and it's fanbase seems to love it for it's depth, but to be honest, I don't play these games for the depth, I play it for the simple dopamine rush of doing the same thing over and over again. It relaxes.
Although, I didn't even get to the depth part because I dislike games where it rushes in the beginning. I constantly bought buildings, got spells, and got upgrades without even looking at the description. Apparently, later on, we can get complicated race upgades, which seems not what I'm looking for in such a genre.
A short (!!) incremental with an actual story (!!!). That's two cool points for it but unfortunately, the game mechanics of increment genre isn't so good. It's a space game with nice visuals and a great ending (cool music set to cool graphics) but the game itself wasn't really that fun. This same exact game would have been better in a different genre (maybe something like "Out There"?)
Felt like idle games again and this is the kind of examples that kept me away. Too much clicking and seems like advancement will start to get irritating since it relies on IAPs
While I was playing it, Eggs, Inc was probably my favorite Android game I had ever played. But like most incremental games, there comes a moment when I suddenly stop and think, what am I doing?
Because there is something fascinating about Incrementals. Their addictiveness is in a way the whole point. An incremental is less of a game and more an act of electronic addictiveness. What's the point?
Eggs, Inc is a very well made and fun incremental but even the best in its genre is still pointless.
Supposedly a mix of incremental and city building but didn't really find out since the clickings were way to much. I know this is supposed to be the genre but I like the incremental part more than the tapping part. This seemed to be a good way to hurt your fingers.
This RPG clicker game is like other such games but with horrible GUI and animations. Tap tap tap. It's my fault for downloading such games. Why would I ever think this would be fun???
An incremental game with a unique twist. This time we get to make up quotes! The first negative about the game and this irritates me a lot is most of the quotes are fake. A quick search on Google and this proves it. Quotes are generally attributed to Buddha or Ghandi or shit like that and it's usually fake like most quotes on the internet. This kills the major possible advantage of the game because I thought coming up with arbitrary words would at least give me some quotes to learn. Aside from the this, the game isn't fun either because it slows down very quickly meaning you combine words very slowly at a certain stage of the game and then it becomes a boring grind.
An incremental game with almost no graphics. We just see character portraits of monsters which we buy and then upgrade until we buy the next monster. Eventually we prestige which gives us multipliers. The only game choice is choosing between two monsters with each new monster with unique benefits. Annoyingly there is a max limit which I wish didn't exist because I wanted to prestige so much that I would be over powerful in upgrading like that "Idle Oil Tycoon". Still, pointless but reasonably fun.
An incremental take on politics sounds fun but it's so generic that it could have been about anything. A Capitalist idle game or a cooking idle game, it wouldn't matter. IAP was also the usual shitty kind.
A shooter incremental sounds like a cool twist but it's not a FPS like I imagined it would be. I'm just stuck in a room and I was shooting blocks. Upgrades didn't give me any enjoyment since I was shooting fucking blocks.
Tap Tap Fish - Abyssrium
I thought this was going to be relaxing incremental but the ridiculous and generic IAPs and all the social integeration spoil it. Too much time is spent in them asking you to buy or share or tweet or post or give them a blowjob. And there is nothing relaxing about that.
Incremental game about comic book writers, but not the marvel DC kind, it seemed to be the webcomic one and I think it's a Korean developer so all the characters and injokes made no sense to me. The whole thing was just targeted to a very specific audience.
Incremental games need to be simple but this is beyond simple, it's just upgrade a fighter to level 5, go to next dungeon character, do the same, and just continue without any of the delicious balancing of upgrades like other idle games.
Incremental games are already pointless but when it's super heavy on IAP than its also annoying, but when it always has bugs that doesn't register my offline earnings, then it just needs a uninstall in its face.
The zombie skin was also crappy.
Here is how I know this clicker isn't very good. It doesn't make me hate all clickers and my life and mobile gaming in general for being so addictive and pointless.
So fail, sorry.
The usual incremental RPG that I should probably never play again. Starts simple enough and then gets more or a chore as you play.
Another incremental game which I had promised myself not to play anymore because they are so pointless and repetitive and endless. Well, this wasn't infinite and had a goal at 999 level so I thought it was good but while the humor was cute, the game did become very repetitive. Every 10 levels the slimes changed but after every 100 levels the whole thing restarted and while the monsters got stronger, I seemed to get even stronger. So the game became easier as I progressed and there was no more challenge. By level 800, I gave up.
Tap Dungeon RPG
Okay, I'm running out of ways to complain about those incremental RPG games that all have similar problems. It starts off reasonably fast and fun but soon it seems like I am in a data entry job. Doing the same thing over and over again with little changes.
Dungeon 999 F: Secret of Slime Dungeon
Another incremental game which I had promised myself not to play anymore because they are so pointless and repetitive and endless. Well, this wasn't infinite and had a goal at 999 level so I thought it was good but while the humor was cute, the game did become very repetitive. Every 10 levels the slimes changed but after every 100 levels the whole thing restarted and while the monsters got stronger, I seemed to get even stronger. So the game became easier as I progressed and there was no more challenge. By level 800, I gave up.
Tap Dungeon RPG
Okay, I'm running out of ways to complain about those incremental RPG games that all have similar problems. It starts off reasonably fast and fun but soon it seems like I am in a data entry job. Doing the same thing over and over again with little changes.
Tower of Hero
You start on the first floor of the tower and keep fighting your way up by summoning your heroes (by clicking) and recruiting other fighters, get upgrades, level up, and then, ugh, here is the typical incremental RPG part, restart, get items, and do it ALL over again.
There is something fun about restarting and getting slowly stronger each time but it also feels so pointless after a while. Such a pointless genre now that I have played a billion of such titles, heh.
Yet another incremental RPG which I have no idea why I downloaded because I'm sick of the genre. I played a pageboy to a knight who does the fighting while I collect the lot. I collect the loot, buy stuff for the knight, and eventually I restart to do the same thing again and get better items but this game I didn't even RESTART! Because fuck it! Fuck it!
The story is cute. Human population is regressing while monster population is on the rise. So the humans start enslaving monsters to mine for them! The brave warriors beat the crap out of monsters, kidnap the bosses, and enslave them. The animation of monsters slaving away while speech balloons above them talk about their wife and children is funny.
But the game itself is another RPG incremental which I should start staying away from. These games are like a chore for me nowadays because I'm doing the same crap again and again. The blame is probably on me because it seems like a reasonably solid game. But hey, fuck it, I PERSONALLY didn't enjoy it.
Tap! Tap! Faraway!
Any game that is remotely like Tap Titan scares me. They are addictive at first and very fast moving but after every restart gets more and more annoying. It soon turns into a time eating activity with the player having to redo the initial levels to get relics to get better items to progress further to restart to get relics to and so on until the player realizes how much time he is putting in the game for a repetitive activity.
Now that is a title the game developers didn't spend too much time on. RPG battles are automatic but I can help out by clicking like a mad man. I started with one hero but would get additional members in my party as the story progressed. Party members receive skills as as they level up and while all the skill usage is automatic, it did give me a sense of progression which is extremely important in a RPG and which I think is usually lacking in incremental games. It usually starts feeling useless but in this game at least there are new maps, new members, and an actual end sight!
There is an infinity stage once the last boss is defeated but I am glad the infinity stage happens AFTER the end and it's not the game itself.
Hire a hero and send on to battle. The battles is done automatically and takes time, starts with something short like 10 seconds with each battle taking longer. The loot is raw materials which can be used to craft equipment which also takes real life time with better items taking longer. The crafted items can either be sold or equipped to the hero to make him be able to fight stronger monsters.
I was worried I would hate the longer crafting and fighting times because I hate games which I have to watch for a task to finish but even though the durations for longer, I had more to do. However, I don't know what would have happened in the end game because I gave up on it. New maps were exactly like the first map just with different heroes but the progression was similar in each level which felt that I was doing the exact same thing all over again but with longer task times.
Idle Oil Tycoon
This is the best idle game I played. It's graphics aren't just minor, they are none existent. It's just numbers, so basic that my sister thought I was on a stock market app.
It's such a simple concept. Invest, get oil, upgrade then like other idlers restart to get a bonus and do the full thing all over again. When I finished the game, I played the unlimited mode which I played until the unlimited mode couldn't handle the numbers anymore.
This kind-of Idle Dungeon was great. I started with weak ass fighters who would fight on my behalf while I collected the loot. I then got to use the lot to upgrade the sofa bar to recruit more adventurers. Not sure why it was a sofa bar. Maybe they wanted to make it a family game and not have alcohol? Sounds weird but the sofa element in a RPG game sounds weirder.
The game only hit a brick for me when, like most other incremental games, there is no real closure. Once I thought I bet the big bad guy, it just goes on, harder but similar enough with no end in sight. Eventually, we have to stop playing right, but it always feels a bit like a let down when I don't feel like I have finished the game.
10 Billion Wives Kept Man Life
The two games from this company, 10 Billion Wives and Kept Man Life, have similar strengths and weaknesses.
I liked the silly premises from both. In 10BM, I had to get married as much as I could, using the loves I collect to marry more expensive wives! In KML, I'm a boyfriend who doesn't work and I have to please my career gf so she would take care of me.
Both start reasonably fast and I was willing to grind through difficult parts but the end game is like a brick wall. Passing through it to get all the achievements is pretty much impossible unless one puts in way too many hours. And it's a shame because I really wanted to get all the achievements to see all the tiny little extra stuff.
One of the better incremental games, but now that I am out of the short lived incremental fan phase, I realized how dumb the genre is. Tap, tap, tap, upgrade, do this a million times, reset, and do it all over again like a moron. The game does deserve credits for me acting like a moron and playing it for so long but I also cheated and got free cash and then if occupying became even more pointless.
A combination of an incremental and a civilization building game seemed like an excellent idea and in some ways, it was, specially how we get to upgrade through the ages from cavemen to futuristic. But no offline feature means that the resets aren't enticing.
An incremental game that has a great theme (USSR!) but absolutely horrible to enjoy, even though I did stick to it. After a certain upgrades, the game just turned into me popping in the game, clicking an upgrade and then forgetting about the game for a few days.
They should call these games tappers not clickers. We are not clicking anything on a touchscreen device. Anyway, tap tap tap level up buy weapons tap tap and uninstall.
Logging Quest Logging Quest 2
[Review is for the original and its sequel]
There is not much of a difference between the game. I actually played them both at the same time because the actual game is offline. You choose your hero, send them to a dungeon, and then come back to the game after a while to see how well they did. I thought an offline RPG like this might be interesting but then, if you don't really play a game, how much fun can it be?
Another pointless incremental. I was in an incremental phase and got so many incremental games that I know realize were absolutely pointless.
Hit a tree, buy upgrades, get a new hero, and continue hitting a tree. Not much offline it seems which is what I like about incrementals.
A space incremental that should have been a lot of fun. You get to upgrade your spaceship and buy new ones and explorer new planets. But first of all, the interface is so ugly that it makes playing the game less enjoyable. And a lot of things I didn't really get no matter how much I would play like the full exploring planets. The spaceships were nice, so it could have been fun.
A pretty pointless incremental kind of game. You are a tramp and then you can collect money to buy upgrades to make more money, with no strategy needed, nor any effort needs to be made to hurt your brain cells.
It supposed to be some kind of incremental RPG, I think, which has you resetting and getting more powerful and then fighting monsters to get insane levels. It is very unique but I couldn't get into it.
Are you fucking with me? This is button bashing rpg in the most extreme manner. You get a widget, so you don't even have to open the game and distract yourself from the button bushing. Just click the button and the game plays behind the scenes and gets you experience, loot, and kills.
It's a ridiculous idea that is fun for a few minutes to see what they come up with but there is only so much button bashing you can do.
I downloaded this game because I was in an incremental/idle game phase and really enjoyed AdVenture Capitalist. But this game is nothing like that. On the surface, it seems similar, buy small investments, make money, buy bigger investments, and so on.
But with this game, there is no offline mode, and you keep having to wake up managers, AND the goal is to see how much you make in one year. Bah. I prefer the incremental approach which makes you build and build and build, not try to rush it in just a year.
An incremental clicking game that is themed after Breaking Bad. It is a fun idea it's a very simple game with little to do aside from the obvious of upgrading and upgrading. The only twist might be to balance out making lots of money selling drugs and not attracting the law but even that is only a small challenge at the start. Eventually, you will get enough upgrades to bring the law risk so down that it makes no impact on the game play.
A super basic incremental clicker game with a zombie team. Click click click to eat brains, use brains (?) to buy zombies to do the brain eating for you and then buy upgrades for your zombies, and buy new zombies and it all feels very pointless.
I started to enjoy incremental games, but it needs to have a good offline mode, because I don’t want to just play a game where I keep tapping. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t play. I played it, and I played a lot of it, because I could reset the game (like most incremental games) and it gives you a small benefit where you could finish the full game a bit faster (it gives you bonus income). So, I kept finishing and resetting, and each time the start to finish would shorten, so I thought I would reach a stage where I could finish each start-to-finish in an instant! It didn’t happen. I got bored first.
An addictive tapping game. Just tap on the creatures, level up, get new skills, hire heroes, and then reset and to it all over again to progress further. It’s an incremental game where it depends on resets to progress, but no real offline bonus, so you have to be playing online. Which got boring, so I installed an app that does the tapping for me, which is actually a stupid way to play the game, but this isn’t an attempt to prove to anyone my intelligence. Anyway, thankfully something went wrong and my progress got deleted, WHICH WAS A GOOD THING, because the game was extremely addictive.
I’ve realized most incremental games are stupid. Tap on monsters to kill, collect gold, buy Roman Gods, level them up, fight other monsters, and then get bored.
EDIT: There are now 19 items on this list. Last updated on Sep 30, 2020. submitted by
If you’re coming from subs that are heavily anti-Nikola such as wallstreetbets
, I hope folks there
haven’t closed your mind to the point you can’t see facts when they’re presented to you. The following is meant to address baseless claims so that we can move onto legitimate concerns and questions about Nikola Corporation.
Now be prepared for some serious due diligence (DD). This will take awhile... Before you read the items below, I suggest first watching the following videos:
- Real Engineering Video
(Sep 5, 2020—a great summary of Nikola’s business model) - Tesla Joy Video
(Aug 24, 2020) - Tesla Daily Video
(Jun 2, 2020) - TESLA Charts Podcast
(Jul 19, 2020) - Autoline Network Video
(Jun 11, 2020) - This Week In Startups Video
(Jul 31, 2020) 1) They ripped off Tesla's name! FACT CHECK:
What does this even mean? So...don't invest or at least take a look at a company given their name? Are you telling me that the inventor Nikola Tesla licensed his name to Elon Musk? That would be a no. Did Tesla Inc. trademark Nikola? Also a hard no. The only thing this tells me is that two clean energy companies honored a great inventor...a father of modern energy. I made this baseless claim #1 on this list since there are way too many people who just can't get over the name
and refuses to took deeper, or if they do look deeper, they're already blinded by hate/disgust and can't look at the company objectively. Fun Fact:
See who truly honors the great Nikola Tesla (click on the following names). Is it Tesla’s Elon Musk
or Nikola founder Trevor Milton
? 2) They're diluting their shares with the merger! FACT CHECK:
Nikola Motor Co. and VectoIQ are conducting a reverse merger, which will come to a shareholder vote on June 2, 2020. If you don't know what a reverse merger is, click here
. VTIQ's 29.6M shares will be combined with the 320.7M private shares of existing Nikola Motor Co. Another 52.5M shares will come from VectoIQ's PIPE
(see #16 below as well for those who are worried PIPE investors are about to sell their shares). VTIQ will convert to $NKLA 1:1 meaning whatever price per share VTIQ is at pre-merger will be the same price it will be post-merger. Furthermore, existing Nikola private shareholders (not VTIQ shareholders) will be under a lock up period for 6 months where they are barred from selling their shares. I wouldn't be concerned with dilution until the lock up is lifted, but even then, Nikola World 2020 would have revealed major progress with the company that I'm sure most investors will want to hold tight for the long. Trevor Milton on dilution
. Read the SEC filed S-4
to learn more about the merger. Post-Merger Edit: No signs of dilution. NKLA continues to trade above its IPO price despite all the PIPE, warrants, and employee stock options entering the market. The only remaining shares left are the 2M (max) that the Diesel Brother can earn for Badger sales. 3) They sued Tesla...a bunch of amateurs! FACT CHECK:
Here's a video
of an unbiased deep dive onto the patent lawsuit, which btw, Nikola is winning
and winning at the highest patent court in the country. If another company infringed on Tesla’s patents, would that be okay? 4) Trevor Milton is the CEO. FACT CHECK:
Part of the agreement on the merger was for Trevor Milton to lose some shares to own up to 40% of the company. The agreement also elevated him to Executive Chairman from CEO so he wouldn’t have to run the day-to-day operations of the company and instead focus on leading the board of directors and the strategic direction of the company. All in all, institutional investors wanted to limit Trevor’s control over the company.
The CEO of Nikola is Mark Russell who has no social media presence and rarely seen, as it should be for the guy running the show. When Mark does speak, it's clear that he's the more calculated and reserved executive of the company. Comparatively, Trevor is a visionary. Those who follow him closely know he tends to speak in the future. As the Chairman of the company, he is fulfilling his job in pointing the Corporation's strategic direction.
Edit 1: A modification has been made
to Trevor Milton’s lock-up clause.
Edit 2: Trevor Milton dumped 6 Million of his own shares! See...he doesn't even want the stock! Fact Check:
On Aug 26, 2020, Trevor announced that he would GIVE 6 million of his shares to the first 50 employees of Nikola
. He then later announced that he would give the other 350 of his employees a total of 1 million of his own shares
. Nikola haters love to spin the truth. They're so blinded by hate and disgust for Trevor and Nikola that anything he does is processed negatively.
Edit 3: Trevor Milton is no longer CEO or Executive Chairman as he stepped aside following sexual assault allegations. 5) Trevor Milton started two companies that went bankrupt! He’s even a college dropout! FACT CHECK:
Now we're getting into the SPIN ZONE! Get the full dose of truth in this Forbes article
. You’ll find that Trevor actually started two businesses that he sold for millions of dollars.
For whatever reason, some people assume great entrepreneurs have been 100% successful in their endeavors. They couldn’t be more further from the truth
To those who tease Trevor for being a college dropout, see this list of successful business leaders who also dropped out of college
. 6) Hydrogen tech is unproven! Nikola is just vaporware! FACT CHECK:
It seems you are ill-informed of the industry. Here's hydrogen fuel cell tech use in South Korea
, in California
, in Germany
, and in the United Kingdom
, to name a few...oh, and there's Nikola's H2 fueling station at their Phoenix, Arizona HQ
Do these videos of the Nikola Two look like vaporware to you?
- Video 1
- Video 2 The Nikola Two beer delivery with Ab inBev.
- Video 3 Nikola Analyst Day video (start at the 11:28 min mark)
- Video 4
- Video 5 The Nikola Two on the road.
- Video 6 Raw video of the Nikola Two fuel cell tech in action. Check this out to look under the hood.
- Video 7. The Nikola Two performing a break test.
- Video 8 Trevor Milton showing the Nikola Two Powertrain
To learn more about hydrogen, read this peer-reviewed study on the 20 Hydrogen Myths
Furthermore, if you go through the Hydrogen FCEV Technology
and Hydrogen Technology
post flairs in this sub, you’ll find other companies vouching for FCEV tech as well to include Shell, Hyundai, BMW, Bosch, Ballard, Jaguar Land Rover, Daimler, Toyota, and Hyzon...I’m sure I’m missing others. What are all these companies missing that you see? Is it because Elon Musk said hydrogen is "fool cell"? They all must be trying to fool us
I guess. 7) My shares will be $10 post-merger! FACT CHECK:
VTIQ will convert to NKLA 1:1 meaning whatever price per share VTIQ is at merger, will be the same price it will be post-merger. Post-Merger Edit: We did not see NKLA start at $10. In fact, on Jun 4, 2020 listing day, NKLA opened at $37.55. 8) They took PPP money meant for small businesses. How dare they do that?! FACT CHECK:
Before Nikola received close to $1B from the VectoIQ merger, the company was strapped in cash and had over 300 employees and their families to care for during COVID-19. They eventually paid tax payers back as you'll hear in this clip
where Trevor sets the record straight with CNBC. 9) I don't understand warrants, so this company is a fraud! FACT CHECK:
If you don't understand warrants (NKLAW), either get smart
or just buy NKLA common shares. See this reference
and my thoughts on NKLAW
. 10) They're asking me if I want to redeem my VTIQ shares for $10.36 when I bought it at $25. This is 100% a scam! FACT CHECK:
VTIQ shareholders received messages on whether to opt into redeeming their shares by May 29, 2020. If they did, they would only receive $10.38. No one in their right mind would want to do that if the price of VTIQ is currently way over that price. Not only does this hurt you, it also hurts Nikola Corp as you would be taking cash from the merger. Read this Article
. Bottom line, if you receive a message asking if you want to redeem your VTIQ shares, don’t do it
. This is an option that they made available, but VectoIQ and Nikola Corp. highly suggests against redeeming your VTIQ shares. 11) Their revenue projections are fake! Anyone can preorder with $0 money down! FACT CHECK:
explains why preorders are $0.00. Also, read this Tweet from Trevor Milton
. Moreover, go to pg. 14 on this SEC filing
. Notice how the vast majority of the preorders are from legitimate institutional fleets. See this Tweet
Note that Nikola has stopped taking orders for their FCEV semis since Fall 2019. They’re only taking orders for BEV semis, Badgers, NZTs, and WAVs. The $10B 14,602 preorder semis where for those FCEVs. Trolls
can’t add to that number and are just wasting their time especially since Nikola runs scripts to filter out their submissions. 12) No one wanted to invest in Nikola! That's why they went public...to take your money instead! Nikola is SCAM! FACT CHECK:
Go to Pg. 10 on the prospectus
. You'll find over $500M in funding from several companies prior to the merger with VectoIQ. Post-merger, Nikola’s institutional investors include Bosch (German), Hanwha (S. Korean; 6.13% ownership
), CNH Industrial/Iveco (Italian; 7.11% ownership
), Nel Hydrogen (Norwegian), Fidelity Management and Research Company, Inclusive Capital Spring Fund (~5.6% ownership
), Black Rock, and P. Schoenfeld Asset Management LP. To doubters, what do you see that these companies fail to see? These companies fully vetted Nikola before investing in them. Nikola even received a $1.7M grant
from the U.S. Department of Energy. Prior to the merger, VectoIQ’s CEO Steve Girsky, who is known for getting General Motors out of bankruptcy as their former Vice Chairman, did a top-down vetting of Nikola, Trevor Milton, the leadership team, their strategy and vision, etc. Steve is now a member of Nikola’s board of directors along with leaders from Bosch, Hanwha, Iveco, Ace Disposal, and Caterpillar's Thompson Machinery (Source
Along with partnering with Nikola on producing the Badger, General Motors also invested ~$2B in Nikola
on top of saving Nikola $4B in capex. GM undoubtedly did their homework
on Nikola and on Trevor prior to this investment, which grants them ~11% stake in the company.
Furthermore, Nikola went public via a SPAC reverse merger to save time and capital going through the traditional IPO route. They wanted to go public to be completely transparent and demonstrate to investors that they aren't another WeWork
company doomed for failure. The reserve merger brings about $1B in capital to kickstart their major projects (hydrogen infrastructure and factory construction). Although their stock went through a tough road during their first couple of months since listing on the NASDAQ, Nikola continues to survive and trade above their IPO price. Three months after listing, Nikola even secured a binding contract for 2,500 Nikola Refuse trucks from Republic Services worth at least a $1B and may be increased to 5K trucks ($2B max order) (Source
For those who think Nikola is riding on the backs of retail investors, see pg. 34 of this prospectus
. Retail investors own about 10% of NKLA.
Now the real questions: Should retail investors invest in a pre-revenue company?
I invested in NKLA/VTIQ for the same reason why venture capitalists (VCs) invest in pre-revenue/pre-IPO companies. The big difference is that Nikola decided to go public via a reverse mergeSPAC, which allowed retail investors to participate, thus democratizing investment in a pre-revenue company, which until recently only the very rich VCs can. Does Nikola deserve their pre-revenue valuation?
Valuation is based on investor sentiment and Nikola cannot control their stock price. Literally the last share buyer does. I came in when NKLA was still VTIQ and my valuation was based on the 14.6K FCEV pre-orders worth ~$10B to include binding contracts with Ab inBev and U.S. Xpress. We then witnessed what happened when the Nikola Refuse order with Republic Services became a binding contract. Investors decided that they were willing to come in now before the order gets fulfilled as they believe the stock price will be much higher later when the order materializes.
Lastly, senior leadership at Nikola will take no more than $1 per year
in salary and will be compensated instead with stock bonuses if they meet benchmarks. This shows good stewardship of investors’ money, not add to the company's CapEx, and letting their performance dictate their compensation. 13) They’re outsourcing everything! Definitely not vertically integrated like Tesla! FACT CHECK: Outsourcing
is a misleading term. Technically, you can't outsource to a company that invests in you and/or has partnered with you. The more appropriate term is joint venture
. For example, Nikola and Iveco has a 50/50 JV factory in Germany (Nikola Iveco Europe GmbH). Iveco's parent company CNH Industrial also invested $250M to Nikola in cash, goods and services. Bosch is providing the fuel cell and powertrain for the semis. They too invested heavily in Nikola. Outsourcing would imply that Nikola is the customer of a contract company and Nikola is paying them...not at all the case. Together, these companies that have invested heavily in Nikola enable vertical integration. Fun Fact:
Just as how Nikola is using another OEM to manufacture the Badger, Tesla also used another OEM to build one of their vehicles. It was their very first vehicle...the Roadster. The OEM was Lotus, but notice I said “used another OEM to build” the Roadster. I didn’t say “manufacture”. The point here is that Testa didn’t do everything themselves as Nikola haters dog the company for. 14) The cost to create hydrogen is $13/kg. That's way more than what diesel costs. No company will switch! FACT CHECK:
Nikola has dropped the cost of producing hydrogen to below $4/kg
. Their hydrogen will also be made onsite, thus removing distribution requirements. Furthermore, Nikola will take advantage of both renewable energy (wind and solar) as well as cheap excess power from the grid...hours where energy companies are actually releasing energy (wasted electricity) due to grid overload during low-usage hours. They also won't be getting power within municipalities, but rather through PPA (Power Purchase Agreements) on main federal transmission lines saving them a ton of money (Source
). 15) Trevor Milton sold millions of NKLA shares to buy his $32.5M ranch when Nikola has made ZERO revenue!! FACT CHECK:
First, see #4 above. Beyond these shares Trevor had to sell as part of the merger, he cannot sell the rest of his shares as they’re locked up for 6 months post-merger with VectoIQ. Furthermore, Trevor bought the ranch a year before the merger
and before VectoIQ and Steve Girsky approached Nikola. Lastly, Trevor made bank from selling dHybrid to Worthington Industries. The seed money from Worthington to start Nikola was separate from Worthington's purchase of dHybrid. 16) PIPE investors are going to sell their shares! The disparity between NKLA and NKLAW will tank the stock! SELL NOW!! FACT CHECK:
Please see this piece
that I wrote, which addressed this fear mongering by naysayers. Post-Warrants Edit: NKLA continues to trade above its IPO price. The downward pressures from the warrants are now gone and none of the PIPE investors have signaled dumping their stocks. 17) The Badger is just a GM EV rebadging of the Silverado. 100% GM technology with a Nikola badge! I can't believe Nikola gave GM 11% stake of their company for this! FACT CHECK:
The Badger will utilize GM's powertrain (Ultium battery tech and Hydrotec fuel cell stack technology), but the rest of the truck is Nikola's IP/design. Furthermore, the two existing prototype Badgers were completely made by Nikola without GM's help and will be revealed during Nikola World 2020. GM will then engineer their tech with Nikola's tech/design, test, validate, and manufacture the pickup truck. See this Tweet from Trevor
>Nikola to share hardware like ASILD Inverters, batteries and other validated parts. Nikola will always own; the brand, cab, chassis modifications, infotainment, controls, OTA, sales, service and warranty & customer interaction. GM to help us build it to last and cut cost. This interview explains a lot more
about the partnership between Nikola and GM. I also encourage you to read the 8-K filing
. It’s not that long of a read and shows what’s part of this deal beyond just the Badger, which justifies the 11% stake.
The partnership with GM on the Badger is also only good for 6 years. After that, Nikola would be free to manufacture the Badger themselves once they have a factory and the capital to do so by then. Their next-gen battery would surely be ready by then as well. 18) Nikola's Director of Hydrogen Production/Infrastructure is Trevor Milton's brother who was just your average joe construction worker, You've got to be kidding me! FACT CHECK:
Trevor's brother Travis Milton
is Nikola’s Director of Hydrogen Production/Infrastructure; however he doesn’t have to know much about hydrogen technology to do what he does as Nikola hydrogen supplier is Nel Hydrogen
. I assume his role is to find industry experts, such as Nel, and oversee Nikola’s contracts with them. Furthermore, there’s actually other hydrogen-related executives in the company (see pg. 16 of this prospectus presentation
filed with the SEC). You have Dale Prows as Head of Hydrogen Supply Chain and Livio Gambone as Head of Hydrogen Storage. Also, check out these recent hires
. They added Pablo Koziner, who came from and was an executive at Caterpillar, to be the Nikola Energy President overseeing stations and energy. 19) Nikola faked the Nikola One video...LMAO! They even admitted to it! FACT CHECK:
Yes, the Nikola One in this 2018 video did not drive in its own propulsion, hence the title "Nikola One Electric Semi Truck in Motion
". The allegation is that Nikola fooled its investors. The truth of the matter is that Nikola's investors at the time were private investors as Nikola was still a pre-IPO company (Nikola Motor Company), to include Bosch and Nel. In Nikola's own words, "Nikola investors who invested during this period, in which the Company was privately held, knew the technical capability of the Nikola One at the time of their investment."
Furthermore, Nikola's strategic partners have come out in support of the company
after shorter Hindenburg Research's desperate hit-job article to support their short position after the GM partnership announcement that sent NKLA up ~50%. Moreover, NKLA investors find this hit-piece irrelevant as what matters now is what Nikola already has (working prototypes as seen on #6 above, strategic partners as listed on #12 above, 800 binding orders for FCEV Nikola semis from Ab inBEv and 2,500-5,000 binding orders for the Nikola Refuse by Republic Services) and what's to come (strategic partnership announcement on building out fueling stations, Badger reservation numbers, Nikola World 2020, and potentially more major binding contracts).
— Now that we’ve gotten the baseless arguments out of the way (and I’ll continue to add to them when necessary), I encourage you to go through NikolaCorporation and read through the DD that have already been and continue to be shared. Filter topics by post flairs to find info you’re interested in.
Good morning from the UK. It’s Thursday 23rd April.
Virus news in depth
was swift to close its borders at the end of January when coronavirus cases in neighboring China began to skyrocket but by the beginning of April North Korea was issuing a firm denial
that it had no cases of Covid-19 with Pak Myong-su, a director at North Korea's Central Emergency Anti-epidemic headquarters, telling news agency AFP on Friday 3rd April: "Not one single person has been infected with the novel coronavirus in our country so far. We have carried out pre-emptive and scientific measures such as inspections and quarantine for all personnel entering our country and thoroughly disinfecting all goods, as well as closing borders and blocking sea and air lanes." The claims were flatly rejected by the four star US army general Robert Adams
who commented "I can tell you that is an impossible claim based on all of the intel that we have seen," in a joint interview he held with news sites CNN and VOA. Fast forward three weeks and panic buying is reported to have broken out in North Korea according to a report
picked up on the well regarded NK News (and consequently repeated on Bloomberg
). One source in the report describes empty shelves and a sudden absence of staples like vegetables, flour, and sugar. Locals have been buying “whatever is there,” an expat said, saying that “you can hardly get in” to some stores. Both the expat and another person in Pyongyang said the surge was particularly notable on Wednesday whilst another source said large groups of locals were seen buying big amounts of mostly-imported products in some grocery stores, resulting in abrupt shortages. Demand sharply increased this week, yet another person confirmed, saying they had been told on Tuesday to purchase supplies of some key products. The range of items offered in shops aimed at diplomats has also diminished, they added, noting that in particular, “imported goods (are) running out.”
The situation in North Korea is complicated at the best of times but even more so now with persistent rumours swirling about Kim Jong Un’s health following a heart procedure
(he is known to be obese, a heavy smoker and reports suggest ill health has been brought on by overwork). Should he die Kim's demise would risk unwelcome instability in North Korea and with no clear succession plan, his death or incapacitation could cause chaos in a heavily armed and secretive country. Their neighbours to the North are China who already have their hands full with Covid-19 as well as soothing diplomatic relationships with several Western countries over initially denying the outbreak and then failing to maintain quality control on the badly needed PPE exports pouring out of China. A destabilising North Korea is going to be the last thing Chinese President Xi Jinping needs. North Korea may be one to watch over the coming weeks and months.
Over in the USA Forbes is reporting
that three states with Republic governors are set to loosen Covid-19 restrictions. South Carolina will allow some retail stores, as well as flea markets, to reopen Monday, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said the “vast majority” of his state’s businesses can reopen May 1, 2020, and Georgia will permit businesses such as gyms, barber shops and tattoo parlors to resume business on Friday. Forbes points out that common among the states, though, is a lack of strict protocols for businesses to follow, or a way to enforce a given mandate, even as health officials warn the virus could spread rapidly again if stringent restrictions on economic activity and a widespread testing system aren’t in place. On the same topic, Fox News is reporting
that Oklahaoma will follow suit too and also partially reopen, in their case hair salons, spas, nail salons and pet groomers will be allowed to open their doors.
Exploring Georgia’s decision a bit further, Forbes says that Governor Brian Kemp has endorsed a free market philosophy that sees the businesses and residents—not the government—as having the ultimate power to decide how to proceed during the pandemic, though the state did order businesses to follow social distancing practices and screen employees for signs of illness; “It is not going to be government that is going to solve the problem; it is the community at large,” Kemp said earlier this month. Not everyone agrees with him; “We need to, as government leaders, step up and give people an incentive to stay home. But there’s nothing essential about going to a bowling alley in the middle of a pandemic,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Tuesday on MSNBC (Atlanta is in Georgia)
. Kemp responded to the criticism on Fox News saying, “If people don’t want to open the gym, they don’t have to. But when you close somebody’s business down and take their livelihoods . . . I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.”
It remains to be seen how convinced local residents will be as to how safe it would be to recommence their normal lifestyles. I flagged a Wuhan restauranteer’s story earlier this week - now their lockdown is lifted and people can come and go, he’s finding that whilst his restaurants might be open very few people are venturing out. Forbes for their part highlights a Gallup survey released last Tuesday that showed that just 20 percent of U.S. adults would resume normal activity right away once shelter-in-place orders are lifted. Lifting lockdowns is one thing, recreating the pre-outbreak circular economy quite another it seems.
But what about America’s doctor-in-chief Anthony Fauci’s opinion? Forbes helpfully has that answer: “That could be setting us back,” Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the New York Times NYT on Tuesday, referring to Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina. “It certainly isn’t going to be helpful”, he added. Patrice Harris, the president of the American Medical Association, said she too was worried about a possible second wave of infections in the fall on the lines of Redfield's warning to The Washington Post. "I'm worried about a second wave to come sooner. I'm really worried about those states who are relaxing some of the stay-at-home regulations earlier. We could get a second wave even earlier than the fall. That's very concerning," she told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
As for President Trump’s stance on the matter, the president reiterated that his administration has established benchmarks that states should clear before they begin the reopening process. The rules recommend 14 days of declining new infections, as well as 14 days of decling covid-like syndromic cases and influenza-like illnesses, before moving to the reopening phase Kemp has called for. "I told the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, that I disagree strongly with his decision to open certain facilities which are in violation of the Phase I guidelines for the incredible people of Georgia," Trump said. "At the same time, he must do what he thinks is right," Trump continued. "But I disagree with him on what he's doing."
Were a significant spike to come about through the fall (autumn) it could have serious implications for the upcoming elections in November 2020. As well as the election for the office of the President of the United States, all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate are being contested. Notably, the governorships for the four states mentioned above are not being contested this time around but there may be a question whether it’s safe enough to even physically hold the elections if there were a severe outbreak at the time. If interested in the situation around that scenario, try this article here
Back to the economy to finish this bit off; the best-case scenario following aggressive reopening in Southern states, in contrast with more hard-hit epicenters in the North like New York and Michigan, is that it could create test cases of how to reignite the economy while keeping the disease at bay. That would require most warnings by medical and public health experts to be wrong. Opening up now is a huge risk. Just because the curve of infections is flattened does not mean it cannot rise again since the disease has no proven therapies and there is so far no vaccine.
If you’re American and want to know more about your own state’s position on reopening, CNN has a breakdown here
Virus news in brief
Today’s sources: The Guardian, CNN, BBC
(unless stated otherwise).
- The Disney heiress Abigail Disney (who does not hold a role in the company) has attacked executives at the Walt Disney Corporation after they stopped paying 100,000 operational employees this week and furloughed them. Employees will still receive health insurance from Disney but have been added to the millions more filing for unemployment across the United States. The decision comes after the company paid dividends to shareholders and gave executives big bonuses last July totalling $1.5bn USD. Whilst former chief executive Bob Iger has given up the remainder of his $3million salary for this year and his replacement Bob Chapek said he'd only take half of his $2.5million base salary, as a show of solidarity, Ms. Disney however has flagged up that the bonuses these executives could still receive greatly exceed their salaries. Iger got $65.6million in incentives in 2018 and $46million in 2019. Chapek's bonus is expected to be about 300 percent of his salary. In addition, he could bring home 'not less than $15 million' in long-term incentives; last year he was paid $47.5m in bonuses. 'This is why I was quiet in March when executives at the company made a big pr push to call attention to the fact that they were giving up a portion of their salaries for the year,' Disney wrote. 'I told people to wait until we heard about the rest of the compensation package, since salary is a drop in the bucket to these guys. 'Iger's comp will still be 900 times median wage,' she added, claiming that Disney front line workers fought for years for a $15 an hour minimum pay which would leave them with $31,200 a year if they worked full time. Source (Daily Mail)
- Photos have been published by CNN which show seven bodies in the open back of a pick-up truck in Philadelphia being transported from a local hospital to the medical examiner’s office last Sunday. The Philadelphia Department of Health has confirmed the incident and the number of bodies in the truck. “The transportation of the bodies in that manner is a breach of protocol,” said James Garrow, spokesman for the Department of Public Health. "The Medical Examiner’s Office regularly works with hospitals throughout Philadelphia to ensure that bodies are treated with the utmost dignity and respect," Garrow told CNN on behalf of the Medical Examiner's Office. "The Health Department is appalled that this happened, and strongly reminded the referring hospital of the existing protocols. This is not normal or acceptable."
- A senior US government doctor who worked on the search for a coronavirus vaccine has claimed he was fired after resisting Donald Trump’s push to use the unproven drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment, the New York Times reported on Wednesday. Rick Bright was this week ousted as director of the US health department’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or Barda, and as the deputy assistant secretary for preparedness and response. Bright highlighted his refusal to embrace hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug relentlessly promoted by the president and Fox News despite a lack of scientific studies. He said “Specifically, and contrary to misguided directives, I limited the broad use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, promoted by the administration as a panacea, but which clearly lack scientific merit. While I am prepared to look at all options and to think ‘outside the box’ for effective treatments, I rightly resisted efforts to provide an unproven drug on demand to the American public.”
- Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin is self-isolating after a person working at her official residence came into close contact with a confirmed coronavirus case.
- New Zealand nurse Jenny McGee, who was crediting with helping to save the life of Boris Johnson, has been speaking about her experience of treating the UK prime minister for coronavirus. In an interview with TVNZ, she said she wasn't expecting to be singled out for praise by Mr Johnson. "He was just another patient we were trying to do our best for," she said.
- Some Conservative MPs have been raising concerns about the impact of the UK lockdown on businesses.
- One of them, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, treasurer of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the UK needed to start a discussion "about how we get back to normality" or some businesses would have to cease trading. In response, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said while some businesses were able to reopen with social distancing measures in place, the best way to protect the public and the NHS was to stay at home as much as possible. “One of the most damaging things for our economy would be if we came out of lockdown too early," he said, adding that this would risk a second peak.
- The earliest "realistic" point by which schools in England could re-open is 1 June, head teachers' leader Geoff Barton has said. "We cannot see any realistic way that schools could be reopened to more pupils before the second half of the summer term," he said. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said no date has been set.
- Germany's Bundesliga could take a step closer to becoming the first major football league to resume. The German Football League is meeting at 10:00 BST (09:00 GMT) to discuss Germany's top two divisions returning on either 9 or 16 May. Final approval would be needed by Chancellor Angela Merkel and state leaders on 30 April.
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged the nation to remain "clever and cautious" in handling the next phase of the coronavirus epidemic. Speaking in parliament, she said "it's not the end phase but still just the beginning. We will be with it for a long time". She said "I know how difficult the restrictions are, it’s a challenge to democracy, it limits our democratic rights". But she said democratic transparency, such as a free press, helped to make the situation tolerable. "It's amazing how much understanding people have shown for each other," she said. MPs frequently applauded her.
- The Spanish parliament has voted to approve the extension of the state of emergency for the third time until May 9, prolonging the country’s stay-at-home order to eight weeks in total.
- Leading doctors in Pakistan have urged officials and clerics to reverse their decision to allow prayers at mosques during Ramadan, as it could instigate a spread that would be hard to control. “Unfortunately, our rulers have made a wrong decision; our clerics have shown a non-serious attitude,” Dr Qaiser Sajjad of the Pakistan Medical Association said. Coronavirus has infected more than 10,000 and killed 212 people in the country.
- Western attitudes towards China’s handling of the outbreak are hardening says the BBC. Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called for all members of the WHO to co-operate with an independent inquiry into the spread of the virus whilst his agriculture minister is pushing for members of the G20 group of advanced economies - which includes China - to ban wildlife markets (one of which in Wuhan is where the virus is thought to have emerged). This looks like a concerted push back against Beijing says the BBC, noting that the criticism has been coming thick and fast this week from London, Paris and Washington. The UK’s Foreign Secretary has said there could be no "business as usual" with China now and with Donald Trump turning his fire on the WHO, stopping US funding of the world’s health policeman claiming it was soft on China, the pressure is undeniably mounting.
- China said on Thursday it would donate a further $30 million to the World Health Organization (WHO), which is seeking more than $1 billion to fund its battle against the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 180,000 people worldwide, Reuters reports. The pledge comes about a week after U.S. President Donald Trump suspended funding to the WHO and accused the Geneva-based organisation of promoting Chinese “disinformation” about the virus, which emerged in the central city of Wuhan last year.
- The Deutsche Welle reporter William Yang is reporting that Harbin (population 10.6m, it’s in NW China) is becoming the latest epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak with an 87 year old super spreader infecting 78 more people, 23 of whom have been hospitalised (Twitter).
- A New Zealand man who tried to sue Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arguing he had been unlawfully detained by the lockdown has had his court case dismissed. Everyone in New Zealand currently has to remain at home with the exception of essential movement, though some restrictions will be eased next week. The man, who cannot be identified, asked for a writ of habeas corpus, which declares that someone's detention is unlawful. Justice Mary Peters dismissed this, saying he did not consider the man and his family to be detained. "In my view, the freedom to exercise whenever they wish, to go to the supermarket whenever they wish, to talk to whomever they wish, and to access the internet whenever they wish is quite different from being held in custody," she said, according to local media.
Supply chain news in depth
Failure to extend Brexit talks ‘very risky’, say UK forwarders - Aircargonews reports
that UK freight forwarder association BIFA has said that the government’s refusal to extend trade deal talks with the European Union is “very risky” given the coronavirus outbreak. BIFA said that even before the pandemic, there were concerns among BIFA members that the 11-month transition wouldn’t leave enough time to prepare for a potential no deal, with talks between the UK and the EU only getting back underway this week. Robert Keen, BIFA director general, said: “In light of the huge issues involved with a sharp change in trading conditions at the start of 2021, particularly if that were to coincide with another Covid-19 outbreak, we think an extension looks increasingly likely. “There has been little meaningful consultation with UK trade regarding the policies and procedures required in order to ensure that trade with the EU can continue relatively uninterrupted post December 31st 2020. “Trade deals are typically multi-year exercises, but in this case, the UK and EU realistically have until October to agree on terms, allowing time for ratification. And while formal talks are continuing, many of the civil service resources previously assigned to support negotiations have been reallocated to deal with the coronavirus emergency response.”
(Cont’d) Keen explained: “Having had their businesses knocked sideways by the virus, many of our members have furloughed staff whilst they work out how they can keep their businesses afloat. “It is unlikely that their companies and the clients they serve will have the capacity to increase readiness for a sharp change in trading conditions in 2021. “In light of those things and with very little information from government on when restrictions on key sectors of the economy are likely to be lifted, and the as yet unknown economic damage done to the sector and wider economy, BIFA members are in no position to respond to a second massive shock if there is significant change in the terms of trade with the EU at the end of the year, because the government has stuck to its guns over the transition period.” “We believe that refusing to even consider extending the transition period is very risky and together with a growing chorus of Brexit commentators, think an extension to the transition period remains likely, and it is really only a question of ‘when’.” The Loadstar has picked up the same story here
Supply chain news in brief
- Danish ferry group DFDS has laid up around 20% of its capacity – 12 of its 50-strong fleet – in response to the coronavirus pandemic says The Loadstar. And it has revealed that it expects first-quarter profits to have fallen 10%, year on year. In addition to closing two routes last month – Oslo-Copenhagen and Newcastle-Amsterdam, which were more reliant on passenger revenues – chief executive Torben Carlsen said some 25% of its cross-Channel departures had been suspended. He believed this was a similar amount to Dover-Calais rival P&O Ferries.
- Splash247 reports that the South Korean President has presided over the naming of the world’s largest containership in the world, the first of 12 recordbreaking ships to be delivered to HMM. HMM Algeciras has a capacity of 23,964 TEU. (Personal note: How long it’ll take before it has enough cargo to carry full capacity remains to be seen).
- Splash247: Six Chinese government units including Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Health Commission, General Administration of Customs, National Immigration Administration and Civil Aviation Administration of China, have jointly released a notice to further guide and facilitate Chinese crew changes at domestic ports as part of efforts to normalise the transport sector. Under the new guidance, Chinese crews can sign on to ships at domestic ports after testing negative for coronavirus. Ports are asked to provide the necessary facilities for Chinese crews onboard foreign ships to sign off if they can provide a 14-day normal health record when arriving at Chinese ports. Chinese embassies around the world have also been told to assist Chinese crew overseas to return home once their contracts are up. Additionally, authorities have agreed to remove the 14-day quarantine procedure for ships operating on international-domestic combination routes so long as all crew test negative for coronavirus and promise not to disembark at domestic ports.
- Japanese carrier ONE’s vessels from Asia to Europe sailed full last month, as bookings delayed by the extended Chinese New Year holiday were finally shipped out says The Loadstar but the magazine warns that due to a collapse in demand via Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, ONE will be challenged to reach anywhere near maximum load factors in April and May, despite the high number of blanked sailings already announced. At 128,000 teu, ONE’s March Asia-Europe headhaul liftings were some 6% below last year, when vessel utilisation hit 82%, suggesting there was tighter capacity management by THE Alliance members. According to eeSea data, THE Alliance members appear to have taken a more judicious strategy with Asia-Europe blankings in March, cancelling 18% or six of its 46 advertised sailings, compared to voiding 10% of its 66 transpacific voyages. Commenting on ONE’s operational numbers container shipping analyst Lars Jensen noted that the figures were measured at the time of loading, thus cargo booked at the end of March would not be included. “The pandemic impact only gathered pace in late March,” said Mr Jensen. “The early part of March was the short period where China was getting back up, and the pandemic impact had not yet manifested itself strongly in the rest of the world.” He added that notwithstanding the “positive” utilisation levels for ONE in March they should not be taken as an indicator as they only reflected the “short window” between the easing of the virus lockdowns in China and the global pandemic. “We should expect April and May to be much worse for all carriers, which is why we are seeing all the blank sailings,” said Mr Jensen.
- Kraft Heinz will extend for two weeks a $100 per week stipend for factory workers producing its packaged foods during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has said. "Kraft Heinz has made the decision to extend the $100 per week stipend for another two weeks and we will continue to evaluate this special compensation program as the situation evolves," a spokesman for the US-based maker of Heinz ketchup and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese said in an emailed statement. The stipend covers factories in the United States, Canada and Europe. (Source: ESM Magazine)
- Also ESM Magazine: Tyson Foods Inc will indefinitely suspend operations at its largest US pork plant to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the company said, further tightening meat supplies after other major slaughterhouse shutdowns. The closures are limiting the amount of meat the United States can produce during the outbreak and adding stress on farmers who are losing markets for their pigs. Lockdowns that aim to stop the spread of the coronavirus have also prevented farmers around the globe from delivering food products to consumers. Millions of labourers cannot get to the fields for harvesting and planting, and there are too few truckers to keep goods moving. Tyson Foods, the largest US meat supplier, said its largest pork plant in Waterloo, Iowa, was closing after operating at reduced capacity. The plant supplies approximately 5% of the US pork supply.
- Air Canada has announced it’s suspending all flights to the US until at least May 22nd (provided governments allow it to recommence flights by that date). Airlive.net
- Qatar Airways Cargo has partnered with the Australian Government to restore critical global supply chains through the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM). The IFAM is an initiative by the Australian Government that has been launched to help restorecritical global supply chains for high-value Australian agricultural and fisheries producers, which have been heavily impacted by Covid-19 containment measures around the world. Through this initiative, the Australian Government is partially offsetting the cost of airfreight – reducing airfreight and freight forwarding costs for exporters and ensuring businesses and exporters in the country can swiftly transport their produce on flights and to international customers. (Source: Aircargonews).
- Digital supply chain - Netflix says it’s got enough backlog to not run out of new TV shows during the Pandemic reports Bloomberg with fan favourite The Crown already in post production for season 4.
- US land freight - The Loadstar reports significant drops are now occurring in intermodal freight in the US. “Since 1988, when our data began, total US railcar loads were lower than last week only during a few Christmas and new year’s weeks, when rail operations are seasonally low,” said AAR (Association of American Railroads) senior vice-president John Gray. “Part of the problem now is sustained weakness in coal loads, but even excluding coal, carloads last week were down 13.1%. We haven’t seen sustained declines of that magnitude since the great recession.” In the week ending 11 April, AAR figures showed a 23.8% drop in overall carloads, with intermodal units down 20%. One of the worst-hit sectors was motor vehicles and parts, with a drop of 15,521 units to 2,185. Truckers have fared better. The American Trucking Association (ATA) reported a 4.3% rise in volumes for March. However, the numbers conceal significant differences between various types of freight. ATA chief economist Bob Costello called last month “the storm before the calm”, particularly for carriers of consumer staples. He said: “There was a huge divergence among freight types. While freight to grocery stores and big box retailers was strong due to surge-buying by households, freight was anaemic in other supply chains, like gasoline, restaurants and auto factories. Because of this, and the continued shuttering of many parts of the economy, I would expect April tonnage to be very soft.”
Good news section
I didn’t find any, sorry...
Several asked if they can send me $/£/€ via Patreon (in some cases because I've saved them time or money, others for no reason at all). I don't need the cash (that's lovely though) but as you may have read above, food bank charities are getting really hit hard with all this panic buying. Please consider giving whatever you'd have given me to a foodbank charity instead:
Thanks in advance for any donations you give. If there's foodbank charities in your country and it's not listed above, please suggest it and I will include it going forward.
I hope to publish them today, but being very honest it’s pretty unlikely and if I do get time it won’t be until late evening UK time (so around 10 hrs from now). I'd like to throw up the graphs for both infections and death rates for the four states that want to open because gut instinct tells me they haven't peaked yet so why they'd want to reopen is beyond my understanding.
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