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.

The U.S. Response To This Coronavirus Outbreak Has Been Horrifyingly Bad

What recourse do we have when our public health officials completely and utterly fail us?  I don’t know if we could have prevented COVID-19 from spreading widely in the United States even if everything had been done perfectly, but the truth is that we will never know.  When this outbreak first started, visitors from the affected areas were allowed to fly into the United States without being properly screened, and as you will see below this is still happening in many instances.  And once the virus started spreading on U.S. soil, we needed to immediately test any suspected cases so that we could isolate them as rapidly as possible.  But even though South Korea has managed to test more than 140,000 of their citizensless than 9,000 Americans have been tested so far…

The CDC revealed on Tuesday that 8,554 Americans have been tested for coronavirus, but the agency’s director says state and local health labs are understaffed and ill-equipped to keep up with crisis.

According to figures published on the CDC’s website on Tuesday, 3,698 tests had been done in its lab, and another 4,856 had been done in public health labs.

Can anyone out there explain why we can’t do at least as good as South Korea is doing?

So far, I haven’t found a single person that can explain this to me.

Even after everything that has transpired, victims at the very epicenter of the outbreak in the Seattle area that are “showing symptoms of the respiratory illness” are still not being tested

The Seattle-area nursing home at the epicenter of one of the biggest coronavirus outbreaks in the United States said on Monday it had no kits to test 65 employees showing symptoms of the respiratory illness that has killed at least 13 patients at the long-term care center.

The staff in question, representing more than a third of the Life Care Center’s 180 employees, are out sick with symptoms consistent with coronavirus, and a federal strike team of nurses and doctors is helping to care for 53 patients remaining in the center.

Are you kidding me?

This is the biggest public health crisis that any of us have ever seen, and the virus has already killed a bunch of residents at that particular nursing home, but we still don’t have enough kits to get those employees tested?

I don’t know if there are words that are strong enough to describe how badly our health officials have dropped the ball.

Do we have to wait until this crisis is over to fire every decision maker at the CDC and completely rebuild it from scratch?

To say that their performance has been “horrifyingly bad” is actually a tremendous understatement.

Of course the CDC is blaming their problems on a lack of funding

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield said state and local public health labs are underequipped and understaffed.

“The truth is we’ve not invested, we’ve underinvested in the public health labs,” Redfield said at a House Appropriations hearing for the 2021 CDC budget.

“There’s not enough equipment, there’s not enough people, there’s not enough internal capacity, there’s no surge capacity,” Redfield added.

Actually, the CDC receives more than 6 billion dollars in federal funding every year, and much of that goes into paying their salaries.

There are “168 key employees at CDC who earn more than $200,000” a year, and those very highly paid experts were supposed to make sure that our country was ready for a pandemic like this.

Now we are at a tipping point.  The number of confirmed cases in the U.S. has more than doubled over the past 48 hours, and an expert that used to work in the White House is telling us that we are “10 days from our hospitals getting creamed”.

10 days.

And thanks to the devastating impact that this outbreak has had on the Chinese economy, there are 30 different drugs that are already in short supply, and that list will grow with each passing week.

At this juncture, it is going to be nearly impossible to get this virus under control in the United States.  In an article that he just posted, Mike Adams outlined the steps that would need to be taken if we were really serious about ending this outbreak…

  • Block all international flights into the USA from all countries
  • Close all borders and stop cross-border traffic
  • Shut down all domestic commercial air travel
  • Order all public schools, universities, government offices and churches to close
  • Cancel all public events, including concerts, conferences, etc.
  • Quarantine all US cities, block all highways in and out
  • Shut down all public transportation, including subways, buses, taxis and rail
  • Enact nationwide medical martial law and prevent people from leaving their homes or gathering in groups of any kind

Needless to say, the American people are not about to accept such measures, and Mike Adams acknowledges that it would be “a month of hell”

These efforts might achieve a 90% suppression factor, which would break the cycle of the coronavirus within 3-4 weeks.

In other words, America would have to endure a month of hell to stop the virus in its tracks.

So this virus will just keep spreading, and the number of confirmed cases will just keep on doubling.

Meanwhile, as I mentioned above, many travelers that are coming into the U.S. from countries where this outbreak is completely out of control are still not being properly screened

U.S. travelers arriving into John F. Kennedy International Airport from locked-down Italy revealed that many passengers are not having their temperatures taken, despite a widespread coronavirus outbreak in the European country.

In exclusive interviews with DailyMail.com on Tuesday afternoon, American travelers arriving back in the country from Rome said Italians remain ‘unfazed’ by the deadly outbreak and ‘are still out having fun’.

Considering the fact that the entire nation of Italy is now locked down, why are we still allowing flights from Italy to land here in the first place?

There are now more than 1,000 confirmed cases in the United States even though we have done such minimal testing.

As testing expands, the number of confirmed cases will rise rapidly, and that will cause the level of fear to dramatically escalate.

Already, Costco stores all over the country are being raided by desperate consumers when they open each day.  Just check out what happened at one Costco store in southern California on Monday morning

Shoppers were pictured lining up outside a Costco store in Burbank, California, on Monday morning, with a queue of people and their empty shopping karts snaking through the parking lot, waiting to rush in and emergency stockpile goods the second the doors opened.

One eager customer, Jeffrey Schaefer, 45, said the line of shoppers continued all along the side of the huge wholesale store building, through the parking lot and back up the sidewalk.

If our health officials had been on top of things from the very beginning, the outlook for the months ahead could have been very different.

But now we are being told that we are past the “containment” phase and that officials will simply try to do their best to “mitigate” the damage that this outbreak will do from this point forward.

This is a complete and utter nightmare, and it looks like we are still only in the very early chapters of it.

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.

Here Are 18 Breathtaking Facts About The Stock Market Crash Of 2020, And Experts Are Warning This Is Far From Over

We haven’t seen anything like this since the last financial crisis erupted in 2008.  Wall Street has been gripped by a tremendous amount of fear, and the volatility that we are witnessing would have been unimaginable just a couple of months ago.  On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2,013 points.  To put that in perspective, the largest single day decline that we witnessed in 2008 was just 777 points.  A disagreement between Saudi Arabia and Russia about oil prices coupled with increasing concern about the coronavirus pushed many traders into panic mode, and the result was absolutely stunning.  Hopefully stock prices will bounce back throughout the rest of this week, but many experts are warning that this is just the beginning of the carnage.  The stock market crash of 2020 is here, and the losses are already staggering.  Just consider these facts…

#1 We just watched the largest single day point decline in stock market history.  The old record of 1,190 points was just set on February 27th, and the drop on Monday smashed it by more than 800 points.

#2 The 7.79% decline for the Dow was the largest single day percentage drop since October 15th, 2008.

#3 Stocks plummeted so rapidly Monday morning that a key market circuit breaker was triggered just minutes after the opening bell.

#4 It was the very first time since 1997 that a market circuit breaker has been triggered.

#5 Overall, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is now down 19 percent from the all-time high that we witnessed just three weeks ago.

#6 The S&P 500 is also down 19 percent from the peak of the market.

#7 The Russell 2000 has plummeted 23.5 percent, and it is now firmly in bear market territory.

#8 On Monday, tech’s “big five” lost more than 320 billion dollars in market value.

#9 According to Zero Hedge, total U.S. trading volume “on a 10-day moving average basis, is now higher than during the meltdown in 2008.”  In other words, stocks are being dumped at a pace that is absolutely mind blowing.

#10 The yield on 10 year Treasury notes dipped below 0.5 percent on Monday for the first time ever.

#11 The price of oil fell more than 24 percent during Monday’s trading session.

#12 That represented the second largest single day oil price decline ever recorded.

#13 The S&P 500 Energy Sector dropped 20 percent on Monday, and that was the worst day for that index that we have ever seen.

#14 All major U.S. banking stocks fell by double-digit percentages during Monday’s session.

#15 European stocks are now down a total of 22.5 percent from the peak of the market.

#16 The Bloomberg U.S. Financial Conditions Index is now the “tightest” it has been since the last financial crisis.  That has very serious implications for “the real economy”.

#17 Since the end of World War II, there have been 12 official recessions in the United States.  8 of them were preceded by bear markets, and 3 of them were preceded by a market correction.

#18 All it is going to take is one more fairly bad day, and all of the major U.S. stock indexes will be in bear market territory.

In the short-term, we should hopefully see at least somewhat of a bounce.  President Trump is promising emergency tax relief, and the Fed has responded to all of this carnage by doing what it does best

As part of its continuing efforts to make sure the funding, or repo, markets are working properly, the central bank said it will up the amount it offers in overnight operations from $100 billion to $150 billion through Thursday.

Every time we see a surge of panic in the marketplace, the Fed is either going to cut interest rates or flood the system with more money.

And since there isn’t much room left to cut rates, the Fed will increasingly be forced to use option number two.

But if this coronavirus continues to spread all over the globe, no amount of Fed manipulation is going to fix things.  The following is how one analyst described how many investors are feeling at this moment

“They want out. Big time. The sky is falling. Get out, get out while you can. Wall Street’s woes have to eventually hit Main Street’s economy hard.”

Economic activity all over the globe is grinding to a standstill, and the economic impact of this virus will just continue to get worse until this outbreak has finally peaked.

We don’t know if that will be next week, next month or next year.

But until then, many investors “aren’t going to come back into the stock market”

“We’re seeing borderline panic because of fear,” says R.J. Grant, director of equity trading at investment bank KBW. “Uncertainty is what’s causing all of this. We know there’s going to be an economic impact, but we just don’t know how big. Until we get clarity, people aren’t going to come back into the stock market, that’s for sure.”

In other words, things may not return to normal for the stock market for an extended period of time.

Earlier this year, an epic “melt up” pushed stock prices to the most overvalued levels that we have ever seen in U.S. history.  It was inevitable that they would fall dramatically at some point, and it appears that fear of this coronavirus outbreak is the straw that finally burst the bubble.

But even after the immense carnage that we have already witnessed, stocks are still tremendously overvalued.  In order for price-to-sales and price-to-earnings ratios to return to their long-term averages, we would probably need stock prices to fall another 30 to 40 percent.

Of course our system is not in any condition to handle a decline of that magnitude.  Keep watching for a derivatives crisis if stocks continue to fall, because it is likely that we will see some big problems there.  Our system is designed to operate during very stable times, and the sort of volatility that we are now witnessing can cause catastrophic losses very rapidly just like we saw in 2008.

We still don’t know if this coronavirus outbreak will be a minor pandemic that will only kill thousands of people or if it will be a truly historic pandemic that will kill millions.

We shall hope for the best, but we will also continue to prepare for the worst.

Meanwhile, say a prayer for the poor souls that still have money in the stock market, because the days ahead are likely to be very stressful for them.

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.

Out Of Time: U.S. Cases Explode As The Coronavirus Pandemic Reaches A Tipping Point

If you thought that we had more time before this coronavirus pandemic exploded out of control in the United States, I am sorry to say that you are out of luck.  In all of the major nations in the western world, the number of confirmed cases escalated dramatically over the past few days.  Here in the U.S., COVID-19 has now reached 33 states, and the number of confirmed cases seems to literally be changing every few minutes as more announcements are made.  Over the weekend, we witnessed another wild round of panic buying as people feverishly stocked up for an extended pandemic, but at least Americans are not throwing punches at each other over toilet paper like we are witnessing elsewhere in the world.  Needless to say, all of this insanity is badly rattling Wall Street.  The markets are going absolutely nuts, and it looks like this could be a truly historic week.  Much more importantly, it looks like any hope of containing this virus is now completely dead.  In fact, Dr. Scott Gottlieb of the Food and Drug Administration just told the entire nation that we are “past the point of containment” now.

Once this virus gets into an area, it can spread like wildfire.  If you doubt this, just look at what is happening in New York.  Just a few days ago there was one confirmed case, and now there is 105.  The following comes from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

UPDATE: There are 16 additional confirmed cases of #Coronavirus in NYS, bringing total to 105.

Westchester: 82

NYC: 12

Nassau: 5

Rockland: 2

Saratoga: 2

Suffolk: 1

Ulster: 1

We’re testing aggressively & we are seeing the number of confirmed cases go up as expected.

Cuomo also shocked many members of the media when he absolutely lambasted the CDC.  The guidelines that the CDC imposed upon the states greatly suppressed the amount of testing up to this point, and Cuomo seems to be among those that believe that this was a huge mistake

The governor said that officials are working hard to identify new cases but have been greatly hindered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), saying it is ‘outrageous and ludicrous’ that the agency has not authorized private labs to conduct automated tests.

‘CDC, wake up. Let the states test. Let private labs test. Let’s increase as quickly possible our testing capacity so we identify the positive people, so we can isolate them,’ he said.

It would be difficult to overstate the anger that many Americans are feeling toward the CDC right now.  So far, South Korea has been able to test more than 140,000 of their citizens for COVID-19, but as of Saturday the CDC had tested fewer than 1,600

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has tested 1,583 people for the coronavirus since the first cases were identified in the U.S. in January, health officials said Saturday.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn told reporters at the White House that figure would increase as more tests are shipped nationwide to address demand. But officials made clear that an individual could be tested only if it was approved by a doctor or public health official, contradicting President Trump’s pervious claims about test availability.

If the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. is rising so rapidly with such limited testing, what will happen to the numbers now that testing will really be ramping up?

I think that we all know that answer.

Originally, U.S. officials had hoped to keep any outbreaks inside the United States strictly contained, but now that plan is out the window.

On Sunday, Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams openly admitted that we have now shifted to the mitigation phase

The US response to coronavirus has now shifted from containment to mitigation, Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.

“Initially, we had a posture of containment so that we could give people time to prepare for where we are right now. We’re shifting into a mitigation phase, which means that we’re helping communities understand you’re going to see more cases,” Adams said.

So how many more cases will we ultimately see?

Chillingly, some experts believe that it will be in the millions.

If that turns out to be accurate, can you imagine what that will do to our economy?

Things are really starting to get crazy out there.  On Sunday, we learned that even U.S. Senator Ted Cruz has gone into “self-quarantine” because he came into contact with someone that was infected by the virus.

For the moment, our healthcare system will be able to handle the number of cases, but that could soon change.

In fact, it is being estimated that all available hospital beds could be completely filled by May 8th

A sobering analysis of how coronavirus is likely to impact the US healthcare system suggests that hospitals will be quickly overwhelmed with patients, and that all available beds will be filled by around May 8th if the virus tracks with Italy’s figures and 10% of patients require an ICU.

Of note, the Straits Times reported last week that thousands of people were waiting for hospital beds in South Korea as the disease surges.

Liz Specht, a PhD in biology and the associate director of Science and Technology for the Good Food Institute laid out her concerns in a lengthy Twitter thread on Friday, which you can see here on Twitter, or continue reading below.

So if you get sick after that, you may be out of luck.

Over in Italy, this pandemic has already progressed to an extremely dangerous stage.  The Italians now have the highest death toll of anywhere outside of China, and the number of confirmed cases has been escalating at a pace that is difficult to believe.

In a desperate attempt to stop the bleeding, the Italian government has locked down “more than a quarter of its population”

The Italian government is locking down 17 million people—more than a quarter of its population—including in Milan, the surrounding Lombardy region and 14 neighboring provinces, in the most sweeping steps any European country has prepared to take against the coronavirus epidemic.

A decree from the Italian Prime Minister’s office says people living in Lombardy, where Milan is the capital, and the named provinces in Lombardy’s nearby regions must “absolutely avoid any movement into and out of the areas.”

Will that work?

We better hope so, because the progression of this outbreak in Italy has been truly frightening

#Coronavirus in Italy:

1st Feburary: 2 cases

20th February: 3 cases

22nd Feburary: 62 cases, 2 deaths

28th February: 528 cases, 12 deaths

1st March: 1694 cases, 34 deaths

4th March: 3089 cases, 107 deaths

8th March: 7375 cases, 366 deaths & counting

Terrible.

Of course we will see similar numbers in country after country pretty soon.

In the UK, they appear to be on a very similar track

Confirmed coronavirus cases, UK:

March 8: 273 people

March 5: 115 people

March 2: 39 people

February 28: 20 people

February 25: 12 people

February 22: 8 people

Fighting this virus has been compared to trying to fight the air, because COVID-19 spreads from person to person really easily.

In fact, one team of scientists is now telling us that it looks like it may “spread through air-conditioning units”

Traces of the coronavirus found in a hospital air duct has led scientists to believe the disease could be spread through air-conditioning units, making it more contagious than initially thought.

Swab analysis of rooms used by three coronavirus patients by experts at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases in Singapore suggest that the respiratory illness spreads easier than previously thought.

Where will this end?

Is it inevitable that there will be a raging pandemic in every nation on Earth?

If millions die from this virus, global financial markets will utterly collapse, economic conditions will be unimaginable, great civil unrest will erupt all over the planet and our society will be unrecognizable.

So far, this virus has a higher death rate than the Spanish Flu, and the Spanish Flu pandemic killed between 50 million and 100 million people.

This is not a drill.  This pandemic is out of control and the dead bodies are really starting to pile up.  The months ahead are going to be really challenging, but with God’s help we will find a way to get through this.

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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