The Coronavirus, Fear and Market Insanity
Fear is contagious: Fear is more contagious than any virus could ever be, and the media has really fed the fear factor for the coronavirus.
I am by no means playing down the deadly Covid-19 coronavirus. It is a killer. Depending on the reporting nation, it appears that on average 3.4 percent of every 100 who catch the coronavirus die. Those are not good odds.
Adding to the problem, the Center for Disease Control allowed the virus to spread in the United States. The CDC refused to allow testing of those with coronavirus symptoms unless they had visited certain areas of China. And what about those who were exposed at airports, restaurants and stores? People actually died of the coronavirus in the United States before the CDC diagnosed a single case.
The headlines of seven dead in Seattle the first week of March emptied out stores and brought commerce to a standstill in that city. Shops and restaurants emptied out.
When the CDC actually began to test those with symptoms who had not been to China, the numbers exploded. As President Trump pointed out in his announcement most of those coronavirus cases came from Europe. But the CDC did not test anyone coming from Europe with the symptoms of the coronavirus. Why?
Elitism: The problem at every level of the federal, state and local governments is elitism. All the bureaucrats think they are smarter than those they serve, and as a result they come to incorrect conclusions. Romans 1:22 describes the government , business and academic elites well: “ Professing to be wise, they became fools.” (KJV)
Stock market reactions were bizarre even for that fantasy world. The DOW was down over 1,000 one day, back up over a 1,000 the next and then back down again. The White House and the Federal Reserve announced the coronavirus would be fought with interest rate cuts.
What? An interest rate cut to fight a killer virus … NO … an interest rate hike to save the stock market from the coronavirus fear factor. The Federal Reserve also doubled down on overnight loans to help banks cover cash shortfall. The markets crashed anyway.
The bank liquidity problem predated the coronavirus. The bank bailout has been going on since last September. The Federal Reserve printed half a trillion dollars to save banks with over the last six months. Does that make sense? Most of that money went to cover hedge fund losses. The market plunge now require more Federal Reserve’s money printing to cover losses.
Where does the money go? Remember Boeing Aircraft and the 737 Max problem of two crashes that grounded the planes worldwide? Over a period of six years (2013-2019) Boeing paid out $17 billion in dividends and bought back $43 billion of its own stock to drive up the stock price. That $60 billion came to 140% of profit for those years.
Most of the stock buybacks were paid for with borrowed money. The CEO received tens of millions of dollars for raising Boeing stock value! When he was finally forced out because of the 737 Max crashes he was given $18 million to leave.
Other companies that have never made a profit had shares trading at hundreds of dollars. The elites who run the businesses and the bureaucracies are worried now and will do anything to keep the markets flying high. Their wealth is based on a fantasy bubble that something like the coronavirus could pop. The elites were so fearful they pretended there was no problem until the problem was too big to hide.
What happens next? That is a wild card. Funding for all non-profits is dropping because of the fear factor.
Our ministry and coronavirus specific issues: The coronavirus has hit Iraq in the area that our Diapers for Refugees program is active. The outbreak has also hit Bethlehem. Schools and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem were closed.
Will the virus die down before the Christmas for Refugees programs begin? That is unknown. So far our workers in Iraq and Bethlehem have not fallen ill, but they need our prayer.
Our main contact in Bethlehem told us of the outbreak weeks before it was in the news.
William J.Murray, President
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