The U.S. Government Is Preparing For An 18 Month Pandemic And “Critical Shortages”

Are you prepared for the nationwide shutdown that is happening now to last for the next 18 months?  You may not believe that such a thing will happen, but the federal government apparently does.  A 100 page government plan marked “For Official Use Only // Not For Public Distribution or Release” was obtained by the New York Times, and it paints a very bleak picture of what is coming.  If the projections in this document are anywhere close to accurate, large numbers of Americans will die, the U.S. economy will completely implode, and we will see widespread civil unrest.  So let us pray that the assessments in this government plan turn out to be dead wrong.

According to the document, this coronavirus pandemic “will last 18 months or longer”

A federal government plan to combat the coronavirus warned policymakers last week that a pandemic “will last 18 months or longer” and could include “multiple waves,” resulting in widespread shortages that would strain consumers and the nation’s health care system.

The 100-page plan, dated Friday, the same day President Trump declared a national emergency, laid out a grim prognosis for the spread of the virus and outlined a response that would activate agencies across the government and potentially employ special presidential powers to mobilize the private sector.

I can’t even imagine what our country would look like if current conditions stretched into the middle of 2021.

As a nation, I don’t believe that we would be able to handle it.

The document also envisions that there will be “critical shortages”

“Shortages of products may occur, impacting health care, emergency services, and other elements of critical infrastructure,” the plan warned. “This includes potentially critical shortages of diagnostics, medical supplies (including PPE and pharmaceuticals), and staffing in some locations.” P.P.E. refers to personal protective equipment.

Of course there are already shortages of some drugs and of many basic consumer products such as toilet paper.

Sadly, things could soon get much worse.

Meanwhile, the overall economy continues to collapse at a staggering pace.  A former economic adviser to President Trump is now warning us that the U.S. economy could lose up to a million jobs this month alone

Kevin Hassett, who served as a top economic adviser to President Trump until last summer, said Monday that the United States economy could shed as many as one million jobs in March alone because of layoffs and hiring freezes related to the coronavirus.

“If you have normal job disruption, and hiring just stops,” Mr. Hassett said, “you’ll have the worst jobs number ever.”

But if this pandemic continues to escalate, a million jobs lost will just be a drop in the bucket.

In fact, the National Restaurant Association is now projecting that their industry will lose “between five and seven million jobs”

The National Restaurant Association is predicting the unprecedented carnage is only just beginning, on Wednesday writing a letter to the White House and Congress detailing an estimated $225 billion in sales will be wiped out over the next three months, crucially prompting the loss of between five and seven million jobs.

Remember, that is just one industry.

The retail industry is also being completely devastated as well, and we just learned that the largest operator of shopping malls in the United States is shutting them all down

Simon Property Group, the largest owner of shopping malls in the nation, is closing all of its malls and retail properties because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The closings start at 7 p.m. local time Wednesday and the malls are expected to end March 29, the Indianapolis-based company said in a news release.

Of course they won’t actually open back up on March 29th if this pandemic continues to get worse.

So far, COVID-19 has killed less than 200 Americans.

If our society is being this disrupted now, what will things be like if the death toll becomes 1,000 times larger?

For years, I have warned that our economy was extremely vulnerable, and now that is becoming exceedingly obvious to everyone.  It certainly didn’t take too much of a push to burst all the bubbles and send everyone into a severe panic, and now the economy is collapsing at a pace that is absolutely breathtaking.

According to NBC News, state unemployment websites all over the nation are crashing because so many people are suddenly applying for unemployment benefits…

Workers who have suddenly found themselves without a paycheck because of the growing coronavirus pandemic in the United States are now dealing with another frustration — state unemployment websites crashing because of high traffic.

From Oregon to New York and Washington, D.C., officials and Twitter users have highlighted the problem after the mass closing of restaurants, retail stores and other businesses as part of the effort to slow the spread of the virus.

Tomorrow morning most Americans will wake up assuming that their jobs are safe.  But right now an increasing number of people are being let go without any advance warning whatsoever.  Here is one example

Eileen Hanley was wrapping up her weekend and getting ready for the week ahead on Sunday evening when an email popped up in her inbox with the subject line “COVID-19 uncertainty.” It was from her boss at the small Manhattan law firm where she worked part time as a receptionist.

“We hope you are feeling well during this time,” the email began. Then it cut to the chase: The firm was losing revenue because of the outbreak, and it would have to eliminate “a number of positions,” including hers, “effective immediately.”

We have never seen anything like this before.

Things were tough during World War II, but it was actually a time when the country geared up and worked extremely hard to defeat the enemy.

But now economic activity all over America is being brought to a screeching halt.  In fact, we just learned that the three largest automakers have shut down all of their U.S. factories

Detroit’s Big Three automakers plan to temporarily close all U.S. factories as the coronavirus sweeps across the country.

The companies bowed to pressure from union leaders and employees who called for protection from the pandemic that’s spread to more than 212,000 people in nearly every country across the globe.

As a nation, we would survive a 30 day shutdown.

But if life doesn’t get back to normal for “18 months”, we are going to witness a societal meltdown of epic proportions.

This week, investor Bill Ackman told CNBC that “hell is coming”, and he warned that unless the entire country is shut down simultaneously for an extended period of time “America will end as we know it”…

“What’s scaring the American people and corporate America now is the gradual rollout,” Ackman told Scott Wapner on “Halftime Report” on Wednesday. “We need to shut it down now. … This is the only answer.”

“America will end as we know it. I’m sorry to say so, unless we take this option,” he said. Ackman added that if Trump saves the country from the coronavirus, he will get reelected in November.

I believe that he makes an excellent point, but I would take it one step further.

If the entire world shut down for 30 days, this pandemic would quickly be brought under control.  If only the U.S. shuts down, it is inevitable that the virus would keep coming back into the country as the pandemic continues raging elsewhere on the globe.

Of course we aren’t going to get the entire globe to agree to shut down simultaneously for 30 days.

So this outbreak will continue to spread and the case numbers will continue to grow.

For a long time I have been warning that something would come along that would burst all the bubbles and trigger a horrifying economic meltdown.

Now it is upon us, but now is not a time for fear.

With God’s help, we will get through this.

But life is not going to go back to the way it was before.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

The Coronavirus Collapse Is Here: Get Ready For The U.S. Unemployment Rate To Hit 20 Percent (Or Higher)

As communities all over America shut down in order to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, job losses are already starting to rise to extremely alarming levels.  As you will see below, almost one out of every five households in the U.S. has already experienced “a layoff or a reduction in work hours” because of this pandemic.  Unfortunately, many experts are now anticipating that we could see one of the most dramatic spikes in the unemployment rate in American history in the months ahead.  In fact, it is being reported that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin just told members of Congress that this crisis could actually push our unemployment rate up to 20 percent…

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned Republican senators Tuesday that the coronavirus pandemic could drive up US unemployment to 20%, a Republican Senate source told CNN.

Mnuchin’s comments came as he urged Republican senators to act on economic stimulus measures totaling $1 trillion designed to avert that kind of worst case scenario.

If this coronavirus pandemic is over by the end of this calendar year, I think that Mnuchin’s projection may be accurate.

But if if this pandemic stretches into 2021 or beyond, the U.S. unemployment rate will likely go quite a bit higher.

If you doubt this, just look at what has already happened

The coronavirus pandemic has already started to hit American pocketbooks, with nearly 1 in 5 households experiencing a layoff or a reduction in work hours, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

As people stay home, avoid crowds and cancel plans to avoid spreading the disease, it’s rapidly causing a contraction in economic activity that is hurting a wide range of businesses.

To be more precise, the survey found that 18 percent of U.S. households have lost income already because of this pandemic.

But we are still only in the very early chapters of this crisis.  If employment is being hit this hard now, what is going to happen if millions of Americans eventually catch this virus?

And it could happen.  As I have discussed previously, the attending physician of the U.S. Congress believes that up to 150 million Americans will ultimately become infected.

Sadly, lower income Americans have been hit the hardest by this crisis so far

Lower-income workers were the most affected: A quarter of households making less than $50,000 had experienced cut hours or a job loss.

Most lower income Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and are just barely scraping by each month.

So if this pandemic doesn’t end relatively soon, it won’t be very long before millions of them are really, really hurting financially.

Needless to say, we are about to see a colossal spike in the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits.  In fact, so many New Yorkers have been trying to apply that it actually crashed the website

A drastic move by Gov. Cuomo to close all of the state’s restaurants, bars, movie theaters, gyms and casinos by 8 p.m. Monday to contain the outbreak had suddenly jobless workers flooding the Department of Labor with applications for unemployment benefits.

So many people tried to apply that the website crashed several times throughout the day — while the DOL’s hotline was so jammed up that callers seeking aid could not get through to someone who could handle their claim.

And according to U.S. Senator Rob Portman, the number of people in Ohio filing for benefits jumped 592 percent in just one week

Senator Rob Portman, and Ohio Republican, said on Tuesday that he received new data on Ohio’s unemployment claims showing 45,000 claims this week compared to 6,500 last week, according to journalist Liz Skalka.

That’s a one-week increase of 592 percent.

Please let that number sink in for a moment.

592 percent.

We are going to see things that we have never seen before in the weeks and months to come, and the economic suffering is going to be off the charts.

At this point, even Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are acknowledging that a recession has probably already begun, and one economist is now projecting that U.S. GDP will decline at a 10 percent annualized rate during the second quarter

We are only just beginning to see what the economic fallout from coronavirus will be.

And Wall Street economists are now throwing out some brutal forecasts for what economic data in the quarters ahead might hold.

“We now guesstimate that second quarter GDP will drop at a 10% annualized rate, after a 2% fall in Q1,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, in a note to clients on Monday night.

In a desperate attempt to prop up the economy, the Trump administration is proposing a stimulus package that will be somewhere in the neighborhood of a trillion dollars.

The following is how CNBC summarized what may be in that package…

  • $500 billion to $550 billion in direct payments or tax cuts
  • $200 billion to $300 billion in small business assistance
  • $50 billion to $100 billion in airline and industry relief

If Congress ultimately approves this package, apparently quite a bit of the money will be used to make direct payments to U.S. households.

According to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, the American people “need cash now”

Potentially $250 billion of the package could go toward making direct payments to Americans, a White House official told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. Mnuchin said earlier Tuesday that the administration wants to get emergency funds in Americans’ pockets “immediately.”

“Americans need cash now,” Mnuchin said during a White House press briefing on the administration’s latest efforts to combat the disease. “I mean now in the next two weeks.”

Of course this would set an extremely dangerous precedent, and the federal government can’t afford this because it is already drowning in debt, and “helicopter money” is likely to cause significant inflation, but very few policy makers in Washington seem to be alarmed by such concerns.

If the federal government is going to do this during the very early chapters of this crisis, they better keep on doing it month after month, because the suffering is going to greatly escalate the longer this pandemic lasts.  If we get to the point where the payments are eventually cut off, it is likely that we will see a really big national temper tantrum.

And instead of sending out $1,000 to each adult, why not send out $10,000?  Better yet, why not make it $100,000?

I don’t know anyone that couldn’t use an extra $100,000 right now.

Needless to say, once we start going down this road it is just a matter of time before our money is completely and utterly worthless.

Our national economic nightmare has begun, and it is going to be absolutely horrifying.  I really like how Peter Schiff recently made this point…

This is the beginning of the end. This is how it starts. And believe me, when you see how this finishes, this is going to be unlike anything we have experienced.  I think we have passed that point of no return. It’s like we’ve already jumped off the top of the building, off the top of the Empire State Building. There’s no way to change our minds now. We’re going to hit that pavement. I can’t see any way we can avoid that. All we can do is brace for impact ourselves.”

For so long, so many of us have been warning that “the everything bubble” would burst and that the consequences would be extremely severe.

It turns out that fear of the coronavirus is the “black swan event” that finally burst that bubble, and now everything that we have been warning about is starting to unfold.

The coronavirus collapse is here, and the days ahead are going to be exceedingly challenging.  We are about to experience the consequences of decades of exceedingly foolish decisions, and those consequences are going to shake our society to the core.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

For The 3rd Time This Month, We Just Witnessed The Largest Single Day Point Crash In Stock Market History

We are literally witnessing history in the making.  For the third time in the last six trading sessions, we have witnessed the largest single day point crash in stock market history.  Let that sink in for a moment.  On March 9th, the Dow set a new record by falling 2,013 points.  Then on March 12th, the Dow set a new record again by falling 2,352 points.  Of course what happened on Monday was the biggest whopper of them all.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2,997 points, and words like “carnage” and “devastation” don’t seem to be strong enough to convey that horror that took place.  To put all of this into perspective, the largest single day point crash during the last financial crisis was just 777 points.  That means that the crash that we witnessed on Monday was nearly four times as large as the worst single day point crash in 2008.

Of course all of this volatility is being driven by fear of the coronavirus.  Even though less than 100 Americans have died so far, investors are completely freaking out.

So what will happen if thousands or even millions of us start dying?

On a percentage basis, the nightmare that we watched unfold on Monday was the worst day for stocks since “Black Monday” in 1987

Stocks fell sharply Monday — with the Dow suffering its worst day since the “Black Monday” market crash in 1987 and its third-worst day ever — even after the Federal Reserve embarked on a massive monetary stimulus campaign to curb slower economic growth amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 2,997.10 points lower, or 12.9%, at 20,188.52. The 30-stock Dow was briefly down more than 3,000 points in the final minutes of trading. The S&P 500 dropped 12% to 2,386.13 — hitting its lowest level since December 2018 — while the Nasdaq Composite closed 12.3% lower at 6,904.59 in its worst day ever.

Overall, the Dow is now down more than 31 percent from the all-time high set earlier this year.

If you can believe it, all of the tremendous stock market gains that we have witnessed over the last three years have been completely wiped out in just 18 trading days.

Ouch.

Banking stocks were hit particularly hard once again on Monday.  Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase were each down more than 14 percent, Morgan Stanley was down more than 15 percent, and Citigroup was down more than 19 percent.

Remember, those are not figures for the entire year.

Those are figures for one day.

Of course the utter carnage was not just limited to stocks.  The following is how Zero Hedge summarized some of the other losses that we witnessed…

  • STOXX EUROPE 600 ENDS DOWN 4.9%, LOWEST CLOSE SINCE MID-2013
  • SOUTH AFRICA’S FTSE/JSE INDEX FALLS AS MUCH AS 12.2%, MOST EVER
  • MUNI BONDS EXTEND WORST ROUT SINCE 1987
  • COPPER SLUMPS AS MUCH AS 5.2% AMID WEAKENING RISK APPETITE
  • BRENT CRUDE OIL PLUNGES BELOW $30 FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2016
  • SILVER PLUNGES TO 2011 LOWS
  • U.S. WHOLESALE GASOLINE PRICES PLUNGE 21%
  • HYG WORST DROP SINCE 2008
  • LQD WORST DROP SINCE 2008

The good news is that there is often a hefty rebound after a historic decline of this magnitude.  It appears that stock prices will likely shoot back up a good bit on Tuesday, and that will temporarily soothe a lot of frazzled nerves.

But this coronavirus pandemic is not going away any time soon.  Over the past couple of days, restaurants and bars have been shut down across the nation, schools have been shuttered for the foreseeable future, and it has been announced that the entire city of San Francisco will be locked down.

As virtually all forms of activity come to a standstill all over America, our economic numbers are going to absolutely collapse.

In fact, on Monday we got a sneak preview of what is coming

The New York Fed’s Empire State business conditions index plunged a record 34.4 points to -21.5 in March, the regional Fed bank said Monday. Economists had expected a reading of 4.8, according to a survey by Econoday. This is the lowest level since the financial crisis in 2009.

As we plunge into a truly horrifying economic downturn, businesses all over the country are already crying out for bailouts.

We are now being told that many airlines could be bankrupt by May, and a 50 billion dollar aid package for the industry has already been requested

US airlines slammed by the coronavirus are requesting an aid package from the federal government that could amount to about $50 billion, according to industry group Airlines for America.

The requested aid would be in the form of loans, grants and tax relief. The airlines are looking for up to $25 billion in grants for passenger air carriers and $4 billion in grants to cargo carriers, and the same amounts in loans or loan guarantees, Airlines for America outlined in a briefing document.

Meanwhile, thousands upon thousands of ordinary U.S. citizens are already losing their jobs.  For example, just check out what is currently transpiring in New York

New York’s unemployment website was overwhelmed Monday as the coronavirus pandemic put tens of thousands of people across the state out of work.

A drastic move by Gov. Cuomo to close all of the state’s restaurants, bars, movie theaters, gyms and casinos by 8 p.m. Monday to contain the outbreak had suddenly jobless workers flooding the Department of Labor with applications for unemployment benefits.

This will soon be happening all over the nation.

So how many jobs could ultimately be lost if this pandemic stretches on for quite a while?

According to Moody’s Analytics, millions of jobs are potentially at risk…

Nearly 80 million jobs in the US economy are at high or moderate risk today, according to analysis in the last week from Moody’s Analytics. That’s more than half of the 153 million jobs in the economy overall.

That doesn’t mean that all those jobs will be lost. But it’s probable that as many as 10 million of those workers could see some impact to their paychecks — either layoffs, furloughs, fewer hours or wage cuts, said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.

Needless to say, there is going to be enormous pressure for the federal government to “do something”, and U.S. Senator Mitt Romney has “joined a growing chorus of liberal and conservative economists” in calling for $1,000 to be given to every adult in America

On Monday, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) joined a growing chorus of liberal and conservative economists are lining up behind a proposal published in the Wall Street Journal by Harvard professor Jason Furman, who chaired the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) under President Obama, that calls for direct government payments of $1,000 to every American adult.

Why not make it $10,000?

We could all use some extra cash.

Of course once this sort of thing starts happening, it won’t be too long before a loaf of bread costs ten dollars and a gallon of milk costs 20 dollars.

Flooding the system with money at a time when economic activity is contracting very sharply will inevitably cause very painful inflation.

Unfortunately, at a moment like this short-term considerations are all that policy makers are really concerned about, and the American people will be demanding “relief”.

So we should fully expect lots of free money to be thrown around.  In fact, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced on Monday that her city will provide “$5 million in grocery vouchers to help families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic”.

But I must once again stress the fact that less than 100 Americans have died during this pandemic so far.

If things are getting this crazy already, what is our society going to look like a few months down the road?

According to the New York Times, nearly 7 million Americans could die in a “worst-case scenario”…

So far, the illness – known as COVID-19 – has sickened more than 4,200 people and killed 74.

But as a graphic from The New York Times shows, things could be much bleaker should overall infection rates and fatality rates rise.

In the worst-case scenario 6.99 million Americans would die from coronavirus – 2.74 million of them being those aged 80 and above.

We are just in the very early chapters of this “perfect storm”, and what we have experienced so far is nothing compared to what is coming.

If we can’t even handle the leading edge of this storm, what are we going to do when it really starts raging?

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

Did The Federal Reserve Just Purposely Try To Crash The Stock Market?

Unless the Federal Reserve is purposely attempting to spread panic on Wall Street, the decisions that the Fed just made don’t make any sense at all.  Back on March 3rd, the Federal Reserve announced an unscheduled emergency interest rate cut for the very first time since 2008.  Wall Street immediately interpreted that as a “panic move” and the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the session down 785 points.  So Fed officials had to know what was going to happen once they announced an even bigger unscheduled emergency interest rate cut on Sunday.  Predictably, stock futures hit “limit down” very rapidly, and now investors are bracing for a week of tremendous carnage.

But this didn’t have to happen.  Yes, we witnessed three of the worst trading days in U.S. stock market history last week, but on Friday the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1,985 points.  It was an absolutely epic rally, and if the Fed had not caused so much panic there may have been a good chance that the rally could have continued into next week.

In other words, U.S. stocks just had one of their best days ever, and there didn’t appear to be a need for any “emergency intervention” by the Fed.

If the Federal Reserve had just waited a couple of days until their normally monthly meeting, and if the Fed had just cut rates a quarter point, that would have likely been greeted by the markets with warm enthusiasm.

But instead, Fed officials decided to load up their bazooka and go for broke on Sunday.  In addition to using up all of their “interest rate ammunition” in one epic volley, the Fed also officially restarted quantitative easing

The Federal Reserve, saying “the coronavirus outbreak has harmed communities and disrupted economic activity in many countries, including the United States,” cut interest rates to essentially zero on Sunday and launched a massive $700 billion quantitative easing program to shelter the economy from the effects of the virus.

The new fed funds rate, used as a benchmark both for short-term lending for financial institutions and as a peg to many consume rates, will now be targeted at 0%-0.25% down from a target range of 1% to 1.25%.

These moves have “panic” written all over them, and investors immediately responded accordingly

Stock market futures hit “limit down” levels of 5% lower, a move made by the CME futures exchange to reduce panic in markets. No prices can trade below that threshold, only at higher prices than that down 5% limit.

Dow Jones Industrial average futures were off by more than 1,000 points, triggering the limit down level. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures were also at their downside limits.

As I mentioned above, Fed officials saw what happened immediately after their March 3rd emergency rate cut, and so this sort of response by the markets should have been foreseeable.

As Wolf Richter has noted, these latest moves by the Fed were “the opposite of being confidence inspiring”…

The whole Sunday afternoon maneuver, on top of the mega shock-and-awe maneuvers Thursday and Friday reek of sheer and outright panic – and they’re the opposite of being confidence inspiring. That stock futures plunged after the Fed had effectively put its biggest tools to work shows how obvious this panic is.

So then why did the Fed pull the trigger if this was going to be the result?

It would seem that there are two obvious conclusions.  Either Fed officials are completely and utterly incompetent, or they were purposely trying to crash the stock market.

And now that the Federal Reserve is completely out of interest rate ammunition to fight any future economic downturn, the only weapon they have left is “helicopter money”.

As economic activity comes to a grinding standstill due to fear of the coronavirus, it appears to be inevitable that we will see tremendous inflation as the Fed floods the system with money.

In other words, there is going to be a whole lot more money chasing a lot fewer goods and services in the months to come.

Meanwhile, we are already starting to see a run on U.S. banks.  On Thursday, so many people were taking money out of a Bank of America branch in midtown Manhattan that it actually ran out of cash

As the stock market was having its worst day in 30 years on Thursday, customers at a Bank of America branch in Midtown Manhattan, the financial heart of New York, were lining up to take cash out of their accounts — sometimes tens of thousands of dollars at a time.

So many people sought huge sums that the bank branch, at 52nd Street and Park Avenue, temporarily ran out of $100 bills to fulfill large withdrawals, according to three people familiar with the branch’s operations. The shortage hit after a rash of requests for as much as $50,000, said two people who witnessed the rush.

And according to Zero Hedge, wealthy individuals in the Hamptons are doing the same thing…

As the ultra rich Snake Plisken out of the soon-to-be quarantined Manhattan – where at least one bank has are already run out of $100 bills – to fortify themselves against the viral zombie peasant hordes in their impregnable castles in the Hamptons, one thing they’re looking to hoard is cash, which has caused some substantial pressure on financial institutions in the area, according to Bloomberg. At least one New Yorker had his $30,000 cash withdrawal request denied at a Chase bank after being told the limit was $10,000. Meanwhile, bank employees said they were waiting on a “shipment of cash” to fulfill other requests that have been made exceeding the $10,000 amount.

Other branches in the area were unable to help in fulfilling the request, with the East Hampton branch reportedly telling the Southampton branch that it had “two massive withdrawal orders” of its own that it was trying to deal with.

Hopefully we won’t see similar scenes all over the country in the weeks ahead.

But without a doubt, panic continues to spread all over the globe.  The following examples come from CNN

A woman at an Australian supermarket allegedly pulls a knife on a man in a confrontation over toilet paper. A Singaporean student of Chinese ethnicity is beaten up on the streets of London and left with a fractured face. Protesters on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion welcome cruise passengers by hurling abuse and rocks at them.

The coronavirus risks bringing out the worst in humanity.

Yes, this virus is definitely bringing out the worst in humanity.

Here in the United States, two “panic shoppers” became so enraged with one another that they began hitting each other with broken wine bottles

A brawl erupted in a Georgia Sam’s Club packed with shoppers during which two feuding men slashed each other with broken wine bottles.

A second incident in a Costco in Brooklyn saw an employee pleading with two women to calm down after a screaming match began when carts collided in the mobbed store.

This is why it was so important to get prepared in advance.

For years I have been mocked for telling my readers to “get prepared”, but now those that did are going to be very thankful for the things that they have stored up.

If you are not prepared, you can go brave the giant crowds storming the stores if you wish, but at this point the big stores are going to be one of the very best places in the entire country to catch the virus.

I don’t know about you, but I am not eager to experience the “blinding pain” that survivors of COVID-19 have told us about.  So I would highly recommend avoiding big stores and other major public gathering places as much as possible.

We need to accept that life has changed for the foreseeable future.  According to Newt Gingrich, it is time for us to adopt a wartime mindset…

We should be planning for a worst-case pandemic and using the kind of intensity of implementation which served us so well in World War II. Getting enough ventilators, masks, intensive care units, treatment medications and aggressive community-wide testing are the minimum steps to saving lives and stopping the pandemic.

The Pence-led Coronavirus Task Force has begun to pull things together, but it should have a planning group that creates a worst-case projection and then devises the steps necessary to smother the pandemic and minimize its impact.

And this is also a time for prayer.  In fact, President Trump designated Sunday as a “National Day of Prayer”

President Donald Trump on Saturday declared Sunday, March 15, a “National Day of Prayer for All Americans Affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic and for our National Response Efforts.”

“I urge Americans of all faiths and religious traditions and backgrounds to offer prayers for all those affected, including people who have suffered harm or lost loved ones,” Trump said in his statement announcing the day of prayer.

Let us all hope that this pandemic passes as quickly as possible.

But the CDC just issued new guidelines that recommend that gatherings of 50 people or more not be held for the next eight weeks.

Of course most decision makers in this country will follow those guidelines, and so that means that our lives will not be getting back to normal for at least the next two months.

And it could be a whole lot longer than that.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

Get Ready For Your Lifestyle To Change Indefinitely Because Of This Coronavirus Pandemic

Fear of the coronavirus is causing shutdowns on a global scale like we have never seen before.  Just about every major sporting event that you can think of has been either canceled or postponed, schools and universities are keeping students away, global tourism is absolutely collapsing, churches are being shuttered, conferences and festivals are being taken off the calendar, businesses are asking workers to work from home, and even Disneyland is being closed down.  Over the past several days the wave of closings and cancellations has become an avalanche, and all of our lifestyles are going to be dramatically altered for the foreseeable future.

For the first few days, a lot of people are actually going to enjoy this “free vacation”.  After all, what kid doesn’t enjoy time off from school, and there are lots of Americans that relish the opportunity to work from home.

But as the weeks drag on and the economy grinds to a standstill, this “free vacation” will start evolving into a horror show.

The more this coronavirus spreads, the more restrictions we will see on human interaction throughout the western world, and that has very serious implications.

Yes, there is much that we can do through the Internet today, but most economic activity still requires at least some actual human interaction.  So when authorities restrict human interaction they are actually choking off trade.

I can’t think of too many other things that could trigger an economic collapse faster than a global pandemic could.  We had better pray that life will get back to normal in a few weeks, because a complete and utter economic nightmare is ahead if that does not happen.

Unfortunately, life is not likely to get back to normal any time soon.  The number of confirmed cases continues to grow at an exponential rate, and those that are getting infected now will be able to infect others for weeks to come

Researchers looking at cases in China say patients could spread the virus for up to 37 days after they start showing symptoms, according to the study published in the British medical journal The Lancet.

On average, survivors still had the virus in their respiratory system for about 20 days and could presumably continue to spread the disease, researchers found.

So how long will it be before this pandemic is finally over?

Will it be months?

Could it be years?

Don’t forget, the Spanish Flu pandemic lasted from January 1918 to December 1920.

I think that Wall Street is starting to grasp the reality of what we are potentially facing.  On Thursday, we witnessed the largest single day stock market point crash in American history.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2,352 points, and that shattered the “old record” of 2,013 points that was just set on Monday.  Overall, the Dow was down 9.99 percent, and that was the biggest percentage decline since the nightmarish stock market crash of 1987.

Incredibly, European stocks did even worse on Thursday.  In fact, it was the worst day ever for stock markets in Europe.

We have never seen a time when the entire western world has been in the process of literally shutting down simultaneously.  The following is how a Slate article described what we are currently witnessing…

Virtually every activity that entails or facilitates in-person human interaction seems to be in the midst of a total meltdown as the coronavirus outbreak erases Americans’ desire to travel. The NBA, NHL, and MLB have suspended their seasons. Austin’s South by Southwest canceled this year’s festival and laid off a third of its staff. Amtrak says bookings are down 50 percent and cancelations are up 300 percent; its CEO is asking workers to take unpaid time off. Hotels in San Francisco are experiencing vacancy rates between 70 and 80 percent. Broadway goes dark on Thursday night. The CEOs of Southwest and JetBlue have both compared the impact of COVID-19 on air travel to 9/11. (That was before President Trump banned air travel from Europe on Wednesday night.) Universities, now emptying their campuses, have never tried online learning on this scale. White-collar companies like Amazon, Apple, and the New York Times (and Slate!) are asking employees to work from home for the foreseeable future.

On top of everything else, March Madness has been canceled for the first time ever

The NCAA will not crown a men’s or women’s basketball champion in 2020.

Conceding defeat to the COVID-19 virus and a cascade of uncertainty about how bad its ongoing spread might impact public health across the United States, the NCAA announced Thursday all its winter and spring championships have been canceled after a series of moves across multiple sports leagues that foreshadowed the eventual arrival at this decision.

I can’t even imagine the heartbreak that many of those athletes are feeling right now.

They have been training all of their lives to fight for a championship, and now that opportunity has been taken away.

Sadly, just about every major sporting event has either been canceled or will be canceled shortly.

Of course the business world has been thrown into chaos as well.  Companies all across America are going to great lengths to minimize human interaction, and all sorts of non-essential activities are being eliminated.

Even a New York seminar entitled “Doing Business Under Coronavirus” has been canceled because of the coronavirus.

In the days ahead, the list of public gatherings that are still happening will probably be much shorter than the list of public gatherings that have been canceled.

All of this is being done to save lives.

But in the process, it is going to absolutely kill the economy.

At this point, President Trump is even thinking about imposing “travel restrictions within the United States”

REPORTER: Are you considering travel restrictions within the United States, such as to Washington State or California? [Emphasis added]

TRUMP: We haven’t discussed that yet. Is it a possibility? Yes. If somebody gets a little bit out of control, if an area gets too hot. You see what they’re doing in New Rochelle, which is — which is good, frankly. It’s the right thing. But then it’s not enforced, it’s not very strong but people know that they’re being watched … New Rochelle, that’s a hotspot.

Can you imagine the giant temper tantrum that we would see if that actually happened?

Earlier today, the top headline on CNN was “America’s way of life changes indefinitely”, and for once they got it exactly right.

As long as this virus is spreading out of control, decision makers all over the western world are going to be afraid to resume normal activities.

Just think about it.  If you are a decision maker and you resume normal operations too quickly, someone could get sick and die.  Not only could that cost you your job, but it could also get you sued into oblivion.

In our overly litigious society, the threat of lawsuits is going to play a major factor in this crisis.  In fact, I am sure that some people are already in contact with their lawyers.

Hopefully the measures that are being taken will help to reduce the spread of this virus.  But as one of my good friends has pointed out, even if the U.S. was totally locked down for 30 days, this virus would just keep coming back into the U.S. from other countries that are not locked down.

So the truth is that we would need the entire globe to be completely locked down for an extended period of time to really defeat this pandemic, and that simply is not going to happen.

Many among the elite can see what is happening, and they are taking off in their private jets to their “holiday homes or specially prepared disaster bunkers”

Like hundreds of thousands of people across the world, the super-rich are preparing to self-isolate in the face of an escalation in the coronavirus crisis. But their plans extend far beyond stocking up on hand sanitiser and TV boxsets.

The world’s richest people are chartering private jets to set off for holiday homes or specially prepared disaster bunkers in countries that, so far, appear to have avoided the worst of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Of course most of us do not have that option.

Most of us are going to have to ride this thing out right where we are, and that reality is causing a lot of people to completely panic.  Just check out what is happening in New York

Panicked New Yorkers rushed to stock up on essentials forming long lines and clearing shelves of produce as Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency in the city due the coronavirus outbreak.

He made the decision on Thursday afternoon saying the last 24 hours had been ‘very, very sobering’ and that the world had been turned ‘upside down’ in just a day.

The announcement immediately sparked furious panic shopping from New Yorkers as grocery stores across the city saw chaos and frantic stockpiling with residents fearing the worst.

Sadly, this is just the beginning.

As things go from bad to worse, we are likely to see fear and panic on a scale that is absolutely unprecedented.

But as I discussed yesterday, now is not a time for fear.

During any major crisis, cool heads and calm hearts are needed.  The days ahead are going to be full of challenges, and by God’s grace we shall do our very best to meet those challenges.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

We Just Witnessed The Largest Single Day Stock Market Point Crash In History (Again)

It has happened again.  On Thursday the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2,352 points, which was the largest single day stock market point crash in history.  Of course the old record only lasted for three days, because on Monday the Dow dropped 2,013 points.  And on Wednesday, we actually witnessed the third largest single day stock market point crash in history.  So the three worst days in the history of the U.S. stock market (on a point basis) have all happened this week.  On a percentage basis, the stunning decline that we witnessed on Thursday was the worst day for the Dow since the horrifying market crash of 1987.  Wall Street is in a tremendous state of panic right now, and nobody is quite sure when this will end.

Needless to say, this frenzy of selling is being driven by fear of the coronavirus

“The coronavirus is scary and people don’t know what to expect,” said Kathy Entwistle, senior vice president of wealth management at UBS. “It’s like the tsunami is coming. We know it’s going to hit any day and nobody knows what the outcome is going to be.”

In the last 48 hours, the NBA, the NHL, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer have all suspended their seasons because of COVID-19.  Public gatherings of all sorts are being canceled or postponed all across America, and we are seeing “panic buying” at major retailers like Costco that is absolutely unprecedented.

But we still don’t know if this is going to evolve into a major pandemic that is going to kill millions of people.  Right now there are less than 1,400 confirmed cases in the U.S. and less than 100 deaths.

If we are witnessing this much panic now, what will happen if millions of people do actually start dying?

Stocks should not be falling this rapidly yet, but of course they should have never gotten so high in the first place.

And even after all the carnage that we have already witnessed, stocks are still extremely overvalued.

In order for stock valuation ratios to return to their long-term averages, we would need to see the market fall another 20 to 30 percent.

But if this coronavirus pandemic does eventually become what many are fearing, stock prices will eventually go way below their long-term averages.

These are very strange times, and I have a feeling that they are about to get a whole lot stranger.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

Fear Of The Coronavirus Is Causing A Stock Market Apocalypse

In all of U.S. history, we have never seen the Dow Jones Industrial Average go from an all-time high to a bear market as quickly as we just did.  As I keep reminding my readers, the stock market is all about how investors view the future.  Early this year, extremely irrational optimism about the future pushed stock prices to the most overvalued levels that we have ever seen, but now things have completely changed.  Fear of the coronavirus has many investors fearing an imminent economic crisis, and we have seen volatility on Wall Street that is absolutely insane.  On Monday we witnessed the largest single day point decline in the history of the Dow, on Tuesday stocks came roaring back, and then on Wednesday we witnessed the second largest single day point decline in the history of the Dow.  As I have previously explained numerous times, we see huge waves of momentum during any stock market crash, and I am sure we will see many more as this current implosion continues to play out.

On Wednesday, the Dow closed at 23553.22, which represented a 20.3 percent decline from the peak on February 12th.

The bull market that began on March 9th, 2009 has finally ended, and U.S. stocks are off to their worst start for a year since the last financial crisis.

But less than 5,000 people around the globe have died from this virus so far.

If we are seeing this much fear now, what is going to happen if millions of people start dying?

Thankfully, the World Health Organization finally decided to officially label this outbreak a “pandemic” on Wednesday

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic as the global death toll rose above 4,500 and the number of confirmed cases neared 125,000.

“We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear,” Tedros said at a news conference. “We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough: All countries can still change the course of this pandemic.”

Of course that announcement really rattled investors and the Dow ended up falling 1,464 points.  Banking stocks were hit particularly hard.

But then later in the day we learned that President Trump would be addressing the nation at 9 PM eastern time, and investors were temporarily encouraged.

Unfortunately, investors didn’t seem to like what Trump had to say, and Dow futures immediately plummeted about 1,000 points afterwards.

On top of everything else, two major stories broke late Wednesday that shocked the entire nation.  We learned that Tom Hanks and his wife have tested positive for the coronavirus, and the entire NBA season was suspended because a Utah Jazz player now has the virus.

Needless to say, every horrifying headline is just going to cause even more chaos for the markets.

At this point, one Goldman Sachs analyst is projecting that the S&P 500 will likely fall quite a bit more in the days ahead

Goldman Sachs chief equity analyst David Kostin said Wednesday he expects the S&P 500 to hit a low of 2,450, more than 10% below its current closing level of 2,741. Kostin based his new view on a reduced expectation for S&P 500 earnings.

And another analyst believes that we are “only about halfway” to the bottom of the market…

“We can see the panic in the equity market,” said Jerry Braakman, chief investment officer of First American Trust. “The big question for most people is, are we at the bottom yet? I think we’re only about halfway there.”

Of course both of them are assuming that this coronavirus pandemic will not last for too much longer.

But what if they are wrong?

What if this pandemic lasts into next year or even longer?

As stocks fall, people are gobbling up gold and silver coins like crazy.  In fact, millions of Silver Eagles have been sold in recent days…

With the spread of the Global Contagion, the demand for physical precious metals has increased significantly.  According to the U.S. Mint’s newest update, another million Silver Eagles were sold over the past two days.  This brings to total Silver Eagle sales in March at 2.3 million, more than three times the previous month.

So if you have been waiting all this time for your silver coins to start appreciating in value, it may finally start paying off.

Meanwhile, we are already starting to see workers being laid off as much of the U.S. literally begins to shut down because of this virus.  The following comes from the Washington Post

At the Port of Los Angeles, 145 drivers have been laid off and others have been sent home without pay as massive ships from China stopped arriving and work dried up. At travel agencies in Atlanta and Los Angeles, several workers lost their jobs as bookings evaporated. Christie Lites, a stage-lighting company in Orlando, laid off more than 100 of its 500 workers nationwide this past week and likely will lay off 150 more, according to chief executive Huntly Christie. Meanwhile a hotel in Seattle is closing an entire department, a former employee said, and as many as 50 people lost their jobs after the South by Southwest festival in Austin got canceled.

Sadly, this is just the beginning.  If this crisis lasts long enough, eventually we will see layoffs that are absolutely unprecedented.

And the civil unrest that I keep warning about appears to be already starting as well.  Just check out what just happened at the University of Dayton

University of Dayton students took to the streets after the school canceled classes, on-campus events, and gatherings, and closed UD student housing. Over 1,000 students gathered on Lowes Street by late Tuesday, jumping on cars and throwing bottles at police the University of Dayton said in a written statement.

You can see a news report about this incident right here.  Of course if this pandemic continues to escalate the civil unrest will become much, much, much worse in the months ahead.

On Wednesday night, President Trump announced that travel from Europe would be suspended for 30 days.

That is certainly a step in the right direction, but at this point it isn’t going to make too much of a difference.

The virus is now in over 100 countries, and it is now spreading in almost every U.S. state.

And what most people don’t realize is that this pandemic is far from the only crisis we will be facing.  We have entered a time when we will be hit by one thing after another, and most Americans will not be able to handle it.

We are seeing so much fear out there right now, but this is not a time for fear.

This is a time for faith, and it is absolutely critical for you and your family to believe that you can get through this.

Anyone can shine during the best of times, but it is during the worst of times that we discover who we really are.

The days ahead are going to be extremely challenging, but they will also be a great opportunity to make a tremendous difference in a society that has been gripped by fear and that is starting to spin completely out of control.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

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