World Economy Projected To Shrink For First Time Since 2009 As Coronavirus Plays Havoc With Global Supply Chains

For more than a decade, the global economy has steadily grown quarter after quarter, but it looks like that streak is about to come to a very abrupt ending.  The coronavirus outbreak in China has brought the Chinese economy to a virtual standstill, and as a result critical supply chains are in a state of chaos all over the world.  And since it doesn’t look like the Chinese economy will be able to return to normal for an extended period of time, it appears that a worldwide economic slowdown is imminent.  I warned about this the other day, but now we have even a clearer picture of what is happening.  According to Capital Economics in London, this coronavirus outbreak will cause the global economy to shrink this quarter, and that will be the very first time this has happened since 2009

The economic casualties from China’s coronavirus epidemic are mounting as Asian and European auto plants run short of parts, free-spending Chinese tourists stay home and American companies brace for unpredictable turbulence.

That’s just the start of a financial hangover that is expected to linger for months even if the flulike illness is soon brought under control, economists and supply chain experts say. The Chinese epidemic’s aftereffects will likely cause the global economy to shrink this quarter for the first time since the depths of the 2009 financial crisis, according to Capital Economics in London.

And if the global economy shrinks for two quarters in a row, that will officially meet the definition of a “global recession”.

So here we are on the verge of the worst economic downturn in more than a decade, and even if this outbreak miraculously ended tomorrow it would still take quite an extended period of time for global supply chains to return to normal.

In particular, the auto industry has been hit extremely hard

The ripple effects of China’s shutdown are spreading, with the auto industry especially hard hit. Nissan temporarily closed one of its factories in Japan after running short of Chinese components, one week after Hyundai in South Korea did the same. Fiat Chrysler warned that it may shutter one of its European plants. Some U.S. manufacturers could face parts shortages in one to two weeks.

“I worry that it’s going to be a bigger deal than most economists are treating it as right now,” said Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz, the German financial services company. “It will take time to restart all these economic engines.”

Of course the global economy was already slowing down before this coronavirus outbreak started, but this has definitely helped to accelerate our problems.

One big red flag is the fact that Caterpillar’s sales are suddenly dropping.  After “33 consecutive months of increases”, Caterpillar’s sales have now fallen for two months in a row.  In fact, January’s enormous 7 percent decline caught many analysts completely off guard…

If Caterpillar is still the global industrial bellwether and leading manufacturing sector indicator it has been for the past century (and absent the Fed somehow printing buildings or excavating mines, it is), then the world is about to enter the worst manufacturing downturn since the financial crisis.

According to CAT’s latest retail sales data, in January the company posted a 7% drop in machine sales, the biggest drop since Jan 2017, and only the second consecutive negative print since December’s -5% drop following 33 consecutive months of increases.

Across the Atlantic, major supply chain headaches have contributed to stunning factory output declines throughout the eurozone.

Just check out these numbers

Factory output fell by 4.1 percent in the final month of the year compared with the same month a year earlier, according to figures published by Eurostat on Wednesday. Germany was among the states which suffered the most, as production dropped by 7.2 percent. Italy was close behind on a 4.3 percent decrease while France was down 3.2 percent.

Those numbers absolutely scream “recession”, and they aren’t likely to get any better until this coronavirus outbreak is over.

So all eyes will continue to be on China, and right now activity in major Chinese cities is way, way below normal.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

Specifically, Morgan Stanley suggested that real time measurements of Chinese pollution levels would provide a “quick and dirty” (no pun intended) way of observing if any of China’s major metropolises had returned back to normal. What it found was that among some of the top Chinese cities including Guangzhou, Shanghai and Chengdu, a clear pattern was evident – air pollution was only 20-50% of the historical average. As Morgan Stanley concluded, “This could imply that human activities such as traffic and industrial production within/close to those cities are running 50-80% below their potential capacity.”

If the number of cases continues to rise at an exponential rate, there won’t be a “return to normal” any time in the foreseeable future.

So barring some sort of a miracle, we should all settle in for a very long global economic downturn.

But at least one small segment of the global economy is booming at the moment.  Thanks to fears about the coronavirus, demand for private jets has absolutely skyrocketed

Wealthy travelers and major corporate clients are rejecting commercial airline travel and looking to private jets as a way to isolate themselves from the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

The uptick in interest comes as more airlines cut scheduled flights to and from mainland China and Hong Kong in the wake of the spread of the disease that originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

The elite are going to do all that they can to insulate themselves from this virus, and considering how easily it spreads, it is hard to blame them.

As I discussed earlier this week, a prominent medical expert in Hong Kong is warning that 60 to 80 percent of the total world population could ultimately end up catching this virus.  And if that were to happen, it would greatly escalate all of the other problems that we are currently facing.

I am still hoping that such a scenario is not going to happen.

I am still hoping that global authorities can get this horrible virus under control soon, but with each passing day it is becoming more difficult to be optimistic about this outbreak.

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 Blog, End 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 End, Get 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 Number Of Coronavirus Cases Has Just Exploded, And Many Fear That The Worst Is Yet To Come

Just as the mainstream media was starting to speculate that China could be getting this outbreak under control, a dramatic spike in the numbers has changed everything.  All of a sudden people are freaking out again, global financial markets are gyrating all over the place and medical experts all over the world are making bold pronouncements of doom.  On Wednesday, Hubei province reported 14,840 new infections and 242 more deaths from this virus.  But the biggest reason why there was such a jump in the numbers is because a decision was made to reclassify patients that had been “clinically diagnosed” but up until now had not been counted as “confirmed cases”.  The following comes from CNBC

China’s Hubei province reported an additional 242 deaths and 14,840 new cases as of Feb. 12 — a sharp increase from the previous day. The province said it is starting to include “clinically diagnosed” cases in its figures and that 13,332 of the new cases fall under that classification.

The government said that a total of 1,310 people have died in the province and that 48,206 people have been infected in the region.

So this really wasn’t as big of a change as many are making it out to be.

The following is what Hubei province is saying about the decision to reclassify patients

With the deepening of understanding of new coronavirus pneumonia and the accumulation of experience in diagnosis and treatment, in view of the characteristics of the epidemic in Hubei Province, the General Office of the National Health and Health Commission and the Office of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine issued the “Diagnosis and Treatment Plan for New Coronavirus Infected Pneumonia (Trial (Version) “adds” clinical diagnosis “to the case diagnosis classification in Hubei Province, so that patients can receive standardized treatment according to confirmed cases as early as possible to further improve the success rate of treatment.

According to the plan, Hubei Province has recently conducted investigations on suspected cases and revised the diagnosis results, and newly diagnosed patients were diagnosed according to the new diagnosis classification. In order to be consistent with the classification of case diagnosis issued by other provinces across the country, starting today, Hubei Province will include the number of clinically diagnosed cases into the number of confirmed cases for publication.

Overall, there are now 59,805 confirmed cases inside China, and the death toll has now passed the 1,300 mark.

But those are not the most important numbers.

To me, it is far more important to watch what happens to the number of cases around the rest of the world.  Ultimately, that will determine whether this becomes a true global pandemic or not.

A week ago, there were 227 confirmed cases outside of China, and now there are 524.  Over the course of about a week we have seen that number more than double, and that is definitely very troubling.

And we continue to get more anecdotal evidence that the situation inside China is far more dire than government officials are admitting.

For example, the Chinese government has been encouraging many businesses that shut down for the virus to reopen so that the economy can start humming again, but it looks like that may have been a huge mistake.  In the city of Suzhou, a confirmed case was discovered right after one company reopened their doors, and that resulted in 200 employees immediately being placed under quarantine.

This virus is completely and totally out of control in China right now, and any attempts to “return to normal” too quickly will just make things worse.

Wishful thinking isn’t going to solve anything.  It has become exceedingly apparent that this virus can be transmitted from person to person with extreme ease, and the Chinese need to settle in for a very long battle with this virus.

At this point, this virus is spreading very rapidly even among the police and the military

A staff member at the Central Theater General Hospital (Hankou Hospital) in Wuhan confirmed armed police officers were hospitalized.

Among them, 1,500 Chinese soldiers and 1,000 armed police are being quarantined, and China Human Rights and Democracy Information Center, headquartered in Hong Kong, reported on February 10 that 10 CCP soldiers and 15 armed police have been diagnosed with the new virus in Hubei province.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army General Hospital (Hainan) Hospital in Sanya is preparing to test 3,000 people for new virus pneumonia samples.

300 armed police were isolated to a training site of the Hubei Provincial Corps of the Armed Police.

An epidemic has emerged in the Chinese Navy. After a serviceman of the Navy Submarine Force in Sanya, Hainan, was diagnosed with Covid-19, 300 sailors were isolated, and training programs on nuclear submarines, scheduled to start this month, have been suspended.

As this crisis continues to intensify, experts all over the planet are fearing the worst.  Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London says that the death rate among those that have the virus in Wuhan could ultimately go as high as 18 percent, and Hong Kong epidemiologist Gabriel Leung is warning that most of the population of the globe could end up being infected if dramatic action is not taken.

But other medical professionals believe that this outbreak will start to fade once warmer weather arrives.  Hopefully they are correct, but Dr. Nancy Messionnier says that it is still way too early to make that sort of an assumption

Dr. Nancy Messionnier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sounds a similar note when it comes to predicting a slowdown of cases with warmer weather. “I think it’s premature to assume that,” she said during a call with reporters on Wednesday. “We haven’t been through even a single year with this pathogen.”

We shall see what happens.  But even if this outbreak subsides when the weather is warm, it could still flare back up again in a massive way once next winter arrives.

In fact, many experts believe that we will now be dealing with this coronavirus year after year for the foreseeable future.

Hopefully that is not true, but without a doubt our world is getting a little bit crazier with each passing day.

It seems like one crisis after another just keeps popping up, and there will almost certainly be more great challenges that we must face in the months ahead.

For the moment, this coronavirus outbreak is taking center stage, and the numbers are getting significantly worse every 24 hours.

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 Blog, End 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 End, Get 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.

This Coronavirus Outbreak Is Really Starting To Take A Very Serious Toll On The Global Economy

Factories all over China have been shut down, global supply chains have been hit by an unprecedented shock, the Baltic Dry Index is absolutely collapsing, the tourism industry is being absolutely devastated, and companies all over the globe are warning that sales will be lower than anticipated this quarter.  This coronavirus outbreak is already taking a very serious toll on the global economy, and experts are warning that we could still be in the very early chapters of this crisis.  If this outbreak ultimately evolves into a horrifying worldwide pandemic that kills millions of people, what will the global economy look like a few months from now?

For the moment, more than 98 percent of the confirmed cases are still in China, but that could soon change.

And if this virus does start spreading in other countries like it is in China, that could rapidly push us into a deep global recession.

Many are fearing the worst.  In fact, Forbes is already labeling this outbreak as “a black swan event”…

A black swan event is a term used on Wall Street that refers to a rare and unpredictable occurrence that is beyond what is expected and has severe consequences. It’s derived from European explorers who had previously thought that all swans were white and only white, as that was all they knew. They were overcome with shock and confusion when Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh discovered the existence of black swans in Australia.

The coronavirus is a black swan event, which may have serious consequences for your job, the stock market and global economy.

Needless to say, China is feeling the most economic pain from this outbreak so far.  In this sort of an environment, it makes sense that very few Chinese citizens would want to buy homes, and that is precisely what we are currently witnessing

Bloomberg cited a new report via China Merchants Securities (CMSC) that said new apartment sales crashed 90% in the first week of February over the same period last year. Sales of existing homes in 8 cities plunged 91% over the same period.

“The sector is bracing for a worse impact than the 2003 SARS pandemic,” said Bai Yanjun, an analyst at property-consulting firm China Index Holdings Ltd. “In 2003, the home market was on a cyclical rise. Now, it’s already reeling from an adjustment.”

We have never seen an economic catastrophe of this nature since the communists took power in China, and everyone agrees that all of the Chinese economic numbers are going to be absolutely terrible for the foreseeable future.

And since more global trade goes through China than anywhere else in the world, the ripple effects are literally being felt all over the planet.

In fact, the Baltic Dry Index has fallen more than 80 percent since September and is rapidly headed toward an all-time low

The BDI is now in freefall, closing at 466 on Monday, down over 80% since September 2019. Rates for Capesize bulkers (vessels with capacity of around 180,000 deadweight tons) are now at around $3,500-$4,000 per day — less than a third of their mid-teens breakeven rates.

With economic activity all over the world steadily slowing down, there just isn’t a lot of demand right now, and large shipping companies are potentially facing an extended slump.

But things are going to be even worse for the tourism industry.  After what we have witnessed in recent days, very few people are going to want to set foot on a cruise ship any time soon.  In particular, the case of the Diamond Princess continues to make headlines all over the world, and the number of confirmed cases on board has now risen to 174

After a relatively quiet 36 hours for the ‘Diamond Princess’, Japanese authorities reported 39 more cases, bringing the total to 174 out of 492 people on board tested, while Japan’s defense Minister Taro Kono tweeted that a quarantine officer from the health ministry also tested positive for the virus. As Bloomberg notes, Carnival’s Diamond Princess cruise ship has become the biggest center of infection of any place outside of China. The Diamond Princess was placed under quarantine last week and checks were conducted after a passenger from Hong Kong who had been on the ship tested positive for the virus. The ship has become a case of concern because of the possibility of more infections in the vessel’s confined spaces, and the increased risks to elderly passengers.

To a lesser extent, the airline industry is being affected as well.

Many airlines have already suspended all flights to China, and on Tuesday American Airlines actually extended their flight cancellations until late April

Due to a reduction in demand, American Airlines on Tuesday extended its flight cancellations to and from mainland China and Hong Kong amid the coronavirus outbreak.

According to a company statement, the airline is extending the suspensions between mainland China and Dallas-Fort Worth and Los Angeles through April 24.

Flights from Dallas to Hong Kong are suspended through April 23. Flights between Los Angeles and Hong Kong are suspended through April 23.

So what is going to happen if this virus starts spreading all over the globe like it is currently spreading in China?

At that point, very few people would want to fly anywhere at all.

In fact, most people would want to avoid public places entirely.

If this crisis gets bad enough, we are potentially facing a global economic shutdown unlike anything we have ever seen before.

Let us hope that we never get to that point.

Here in the United States there have only been 13 confirmed cases so far, and most businesses continue to operate normally.

But without a doubt this crisis will have an impact, and the truth is that the U.S. economy was already starting to slow down before this virus appeared on the scene.  For example, the number of job openings in the U.S. plummeted dramatically in both November and December

The number of job openings in December dropped by 364,000 from November (seasonally adjusted), after having already plunged by 574,000 in November, according to the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). This two-month plunge of 938,000 job openings came after a series of ups and downs with downward trend starting after the peak in January 2019.

If this virus gets out of control in this country, it is probably going to be impossible to avoid a very serious economic downturn.

Of course even if this virus were to completely disappear tomorrow, the truth is that we would still be headed for very difficult times.

Life as we have all known it is starting to change, and the chapters ahead are going to be very, very painful.

As for this virus, let us keep hoping that this outbreak will start to subside.  Because we already have enough problems, and a horrifying global pandemic would definitely be more than enough to push us over the edge.

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 Blog, End 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 End, Get 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.

Why Is The Government Turning 11 Military Bases Inside The United States Into Quarantine Camps?

If this coronavirus outbreak is not a serious threat, then why is the U.S. government preparing to quarantine victims all over America?  As you will see below, 11 U.S. military bases located close to major airports are being converted into “quarantine centers” for potential patients.  When I first learned about this, I was greatly alarmed, because we have all seen what is going on in China right now.  People are literally being physically dragged out of their homes and are being forcibly relocated to “mass quarantine camps” with hordes of other very sick people.  Sadly, many of them will never come out of those camps alive.  If this virus starts spreading like wildfire here in the United States, is it possible that something similar could start happening here?

The vast majority of the confirmed cases are still in China, but over the last couple of weeks the number of cases in the rest of the world has escalated dramatically.

Back on January 20th there were only 4 confirmed cases outside of China and now there are 464.  At this point there are victims in at least 28 different countries, and that number is almost certain to keep growing.

The reason why the virus has already spread to so many nations is because it is highly contagious.  Scientists have discovered that it can be transmitted from person to person very easily, it has an incubation period of up to 24 days, and it can survive on smooth surfaces for up to 9 days.

If this coronavirus starts spreading very rapidly in the western world it is going to create a tremendous amount of panic.  Many are still trying to compare this virus to the common flu, but that is a huge mistake.  China would never lock down major cities for weeks on end for the flu.

Obviously something really big is happening, and the U.S. government is preparing for a worst case scenario.  According to the Miami Herald, 11 military bases inside the United States are currently in the process of being transformed into “quarantine centers”…

Eleven military bases near major airports in the United States are setting up quarantine centers for possible coronavirus patients, the Department of Defense said.

The Department of Health and Human Services asked the Pentagon for quarantine space in case beds fill up at other coronavirus centers around the country, according to a DOD statement.

Is this an indication that the threat that this virus poses to our country is far greater than we are being told?

The Department of Defense has released a statement about this new program, and in that statement the 11 military bases were specifically identified

  • JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, HI (HNL)
  • Great Lakes Training Center Navy Base, IL (ORD)
  • Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, TX (DFW)
  • March ARB, CA (LAX)
  • Travis AFB, CA (SFO)
  • Dobbins ARB, GA (ATL)
  • Fort Hamilton, NY (JFK)
  • Naval Base Kitsap, WA (SEA)
  • Joint Base Anacostia, DC (IAD)
  • Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ (EWR)
  • Fort Custer Training Center (DTW)

Hopefully not all of those facilities will be needed, but things are certainly looking more grim with each passing day.

For example, the number of confirmed cases on a cruise ship anchored off the coast of Japan nearly doubled on Monday.  Of the total number of people that have been infected, at least 24 of them are Americans

There are at least 24 Americans among the 135 people infected with the Wuhan coronavirus aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, according to information from Princess Cruises and a CNN tally.

Japanese authorities are still testing hundreds of passengers on board the ship, which has been stuck at a harbor south of Japanese capital Tokyo for almost a week now.

Once the quarantine of that cruise ship is over, those Americans will certainly want to return home.

Will they be allowed to do so, or will they be required to go to one of these quarantine centers first?

Elsewhere in the country, people are being put in “self quarantine” until officials believe that it is safe for them to resume their normal lives.  According to local officials, this is being done to “an unspecified number of people in Bexar County” right now…

A number of Texans have been put in ‘self quarantine’ in their homes in case they have the coronavirus after recently returning from China.

Officials in the city of San Antonio confirmed that an unspecified number of people in Bexar County were being confined to their homes for 14 days.

Their quarantine period began at 10am Sunday, News 4 San Antonio reported.

Hopefully they know what they are doing, because if this virus gets out of control it could potentially sweep across America like wildfire.

We have already seen what has happened in China, and we definitely do not want that to happen here.

The Chinese have implemented extreme measures in a desperate attempt to slow the spread of the virus, but so far the most effective thing that they have done to reduce the numbers is to literally change the definition of a “confirmed case”.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

As reported by local media this morning, the Chinese National Health Commission quietly changed its definition of Coronavirus “confirmed case” in the latest guideline dated 7/2. As a result, going forward patients who tested positive for the virus but have no symptoms will no longer be regarded as confirmed. As Alex Lam observes, “this inevitably will lower the numbers.”

Of course there has been a tremendous amount of skepticism about the numbers that China has been giving us from the very beginning, and so this latest move isn’t that surprising.

But no matter how much China tries to spin things, there is no hiding the fact that this is a very serious outbreak, and it will almost certainly continue to intensify in the weeks ahead.

At this point, even the director-general of the World Health Organization is admitting that “we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg”

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, warned that the numbers may not tell the entire story.

“There’ve been some concerning instances of … spread from people with no travel history to China,” Tedros said. “The detection of a small number of cases may indicate more widespread transmission in other countries. In short, we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg.”

As I discussed yesterday, humanity is now facing a “perfect storm”, and what we have witnessed so far is just the beginning.

Personally, I am still hoping that this outbreak will fade.  I don’t know if this is the sort of extremely deadly global pandemic that so many experts have been warning could happen one day, but without a doubt it is definitely clear that a lot of people are dying over in China.

Will the final death toll from this outbreak eventually number in the thousands or the millions?

I don’t know, but all of us should definitely continue to monitor the latest developments on a daily basis.

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 Blog, End 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 End, Get 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.

Even The Mainstream Media Is Now Admitting That Humanity Is Facing “A Perfect Storm”

Over the last several decades, have we ever seen a year start as strangely as 2020 has?  Global weather patterns have gone completely nuts, large earthquakes are popping off like firecrackers, it looks like the plague of locusts in Africa could soon develop into the worst in modern history, and a massive plague of bats is severely terrorizing parts of Australia.  On top of all that, African Swine Fever is wiping out millions upon millions of pigs around the globe, the H1N1 Swine Flu is killing people in Taiwan, there have been H5N1 Bird Flu outbreaks in China and in India, and the H5N8 Bird Flu has made an appearance at a poultry facility in Saudi Arabia.  Of course the coronavirus outbreak which is causing people to literally drop dead in the streets in China is making more headlines than anything that I have mentioned so far, and it could potentially turn into a horrifying global pandemic that kills millions of people.

But other than that, it has been a rather calm beginning to the year, eh?

I have been repeatedly warning that the time of “the perfect storm” is upon us, and many others have also been using this terminology to describe what we are now facing.

Basically, we have entered a period of time when we will be dealing with one terrible crisis after another, and all of these challenges will collectively create a horrific nightmare that will just continue to intensify as time rolls along.

Surprisingly, even the mainstream media is now starting to talk about a coming “perfect storm”, although they have a bit of a different spin on it.  The following comes from a Guardian article entitled “Humanity under threat from perfect storm of crises – study”

The world is facing a series of interlinked emergencies that are threatening the existence of humans, because the sum of the effects of the crises is much greater than their individual impacts, according to a new global study.

Climate breakdown and extreme weather, species loss, water scarcity and a food production crisis are all serious in themselves, but the combination of all five together is amplifying the risks of each, creating a perfect storm that threatens to engulf humanity unless swift action is taken.

Of course the mainstream media would like to blame just about every crisis that humanity is facing on “man-made climate change”.

In essence, they would have us believe that humanity’s “carbon footprint” is way too large and that if we would just do everything that the socialists are telling us to do that everything will go back to normal.

To much of the population, their arguments can seem rather compelling at times, because without a doubt the weather is going nuts.

For example, a 1,000 mile-wide storm is currently slamming into the United Kingdom

THE PUBLIC has been advised to stay indoors today as Storm Ciara is expected to batter Britain with 90mph winds and heavy rain.

The 1,000 mile-wide storm, the strongest to sweep across the country for seven years, will bring travel chaos and the advice is: only travel if absolutely necessary.

And “climate change” is also being blamed for the absolutely crazy locust plague that is devastating parts of the Middle East and eastern Africa right now.  Approximately 360 billion locusts are eating everything that they can find, and UN officials continue to claim that the number of locusts could actually get “500 times” larger by the time June arrives…

With more rains expected in the region in the coming weeks, the number of locusts if unchecked could grow by up to 500 times by June, when drier weather is expected.

Meanwhile, the crust of our planet is literally shaking like a leaf.

Are we supposed to blame “climate change” for this too?

Over the past week, the Ring of Fire has been hit by big earthquakes day after day

EARTHQUAKES today hammered the Ring of Fire in the Pacific, as officials detected more than 50 tremors throughout the region. One of the biggest was a magnitude 6.2 earthquake in Indonesia.

Earthquakes have consistently rocked the Ring of Fire this week, with an average of 50 in the region every day, most in a middling magnitude of two or more. Some have grazed higher levels, however, with the largest pushing magnitude 6.

But right now people are more concerned about the coronavirus outbreak in China than anything else.

According to the latest official numbers coming out of China, there are now more than 40,000 confirmed cases and more than 900 confirmed deaths.

Of course there is an enormous amount of skepticism about the validity of those numbers.  In fact, one exiled Chinese billionaire believes that the true death toll could be more than 50 times higher

Exiled Chinese businessman Guo Wengui recently revealed leaks from Wuhan crematoriums. He claims based on the number of bodies their furnaces are burning, the death toll could be as high as 50,000. Wengui made the bombshell allegations in an interview with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.

I wish that Chinese officials would just be straight with us, but one thing that is becoming exceedingly clear is that this virus passes from person to person very, very easily.  In fact, nine members of one family in Hong Kong all got infected “after sharing a hotpot and barbecue meal”

Concerns about the way the virus spreads are likely to surge following a report that nine members of the same Hong Kong family have been infected with the deadly new coronavirus after sharing a hotpot and barbecue meal.  A hotpot – also known as a steamboat – is a bubbling cauldron of stock shared communally, to which diners add ingredients.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the food was contaminated with the virus, or if one of those present for dinner was a carrier.

Let us hope that the containment measures being taken in China and elsewhere will help, but at this point the number of cases just continues to escalate.

Unfortunately, what we have witnessed so far is just the beginning.

We are only in the leading edge of “the perfect storm”, and the great challenges that are still ahead of us will shake everyone 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 Blog, End 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 End, Get 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.

Cruise Ship Horror: Confirmed And Potential Coronavirus Cases On 4 Different Ships Cause A Frenzy Of Panic All Over The Globe

If the coronavirus is not a serious threat, why are countries all over the world acting so crazy all of a sudden?  Perhaps someday we will look back and laugh about how this coronavirus outbreak caused so much hysteria, but right now government officials around the globe are certainly acting as if we were right in the middle of a really bad science fiction movie.  Are they just being overly cautious, or is this virus actually more dangerous than we are being told?  As I discussed yesterday, one AI-powered simulation is projecting that this virus could kill 52 million people.  Even if that projection is off by 95 percent, it would still make sense for countries to do all that they can to keep infected people from crossing their borders.

So that may help to explain why there is such a frenzy of panic about confirmed and potential cases aboard cruise ships right now.  For example, a cruise ship named The Diamond Princess is anchored off the coast of Yokohama, Japan at this moment.  There are 2,666 passengers and 1,045 crew members on board, and the ship has been placed under strict quarantine since Tuesday.

And they are being quarantined for good reason.  At this point, the number of confirmed cases on board the ship has now risen to 61

At least 61 passengers — including 11 Americans — aboard a cruise ship in Japan have been infected with the coronavirus. The number of cases on the ship tripled overnight from 20 to 61, CNN’s Will Ripley reports.

Ripley reports that passengers aboard the ship have to stay inside 23 hours a day. They are allowed outside for less than an hour under close supervision, and they have to stand 3 feet away from each other and wear masks.

The quarantine of the ship is scheduled to last for 11 more days.

There are 428 Americans on board, and when the quarantine is over they will want to come home.

But will it be safe from them to do so?

In an interview with Fox News over Skype, two of the American passengers were pleading for help from President Trump

‘We are kind of worried because we’ve still got two weeks on here assuming that works out in our favor and we still have to get onto American soil,’ passenger Gaetano Cerullo explained to Fox News over Skype from their cabin on board. ‘And, if Donald Trump could help us in any way…’

‘We need help. We are in a desperate, desperate state,’ his wife Milena Basso pleaded. ‘We’re American citizens and we just want to get home.’

Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas is currently docked in Bayonne, New Jersey.  Of the 27 passengers that had “recently traveled from mainland China”, four were taken off the ship to a nearby hospital

More than two dozen passengers on a cruise ship docked near New York City have been tested for the new coronavirus, state officials said Friday, and four have been hospitalized.

Personnel from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention boarded the ship to test 27 passengers “who recently traveled from mainland China,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday.

We haven’t been told if any of those passengers are infected or not, but what we do know is that the emergency workers that took them to the hospital were not wearing masks, and considering how easily this virus spreads that is quite alarming.

A third cruise ship that is making headlines doesn’t have anywhere to dock because it has been turned away from four different countries.

The MS Westerdam is operated by Holland America, and it left Hong Kong on February 1st carrying 802 crew members and 1,455 passengers.

The crew insists that there are no coronavirus cases on board at all, but they are being turned away at port after port

More than 2,000 people are marooned at sea after four countries denied entry to a cruise ship over coronavirus fears – despite the crew’s insistence that there are no virus cases on board.

Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and the US territory of Guam have all denied permission for the MS Westerdam to dock.

Japanese leader Shinzo Abe yesterday said his country would not allow foreign passengers to disembark, saying there were suspected virus patients on board.

Is this a case of needless hysteria, or is the crew not being entirely honest with authorities?

According to CNBC, a fourth cruise ship that is currently docked in Hong Kong is being quarantined after “several crew members reported symptoms” that are associated with the coronavirus…

And almost 2,000 tourists are being held on a cruise ship operated by Genting’s Dream Cruises in Hong Kong and being tested for the coronavirus after several crew members reported symptoms associated with the illness.

Things are getting crazy out there, and I have a feeling that they are only going to get crazier as this year rolls along.

Stock prices had been doing relatively well this week, but concern about the coronavirus pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average down more than 270 points on Friday…

Stocks fell on Friday as worries over the coronavirus’ impact on the Chinese economy outweighed the release of stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 277.26 points lower, or nearly 1%, to 29,102.51. The S&P 500 dipped 0.5% to 3,327.71. The Nasdaq Composite also slid 0.5% to close at 9,520.51.

If this coronavirus outbreak fizzles out, and that is what I am still hoping, then the impact of this crisis is not going to weigh too heavily on Wall Street.

But if the number of cases worldwide soars into the millions, it is going to be absolutely devastating for stock prices.

We will wait and see what happens.  Here in the U.S. authorities continue to insist that we don’t have very much to be concerned about, but at the same time the WHO is warning of “a chronic shortage of gowns, masks, gloves and other protective equipment” around the world…

The world is facing a chronic shortage of gowns, masks, gloves and other protective equipment in the fight against a spreading coronavirus epidemic, World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday.

The U.N. agency has been sending testing kits, masks, gloves, respirators and gowns to every region, Tedros told the WHO Executive Board in Geneva.

Will lots of “testing kits, masks, gloves, respirators and gowns” soon be needed in every part of the globe?

Is there something they aren’t telling us?

Unfortunately, there is probably quite a bit that they aren’t telling us.

In any crisis, one of the top goals for authorities is to keep the public “calm”, but that comes at a great cost.

Right now most people are not doing anything to get prepared for a potential pandemic, and that could have very serious consequences down the road.

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 Blog, End 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 End, Get 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.

This Coronavirus Outbreak Is Causing A Lot Of People To Go Completely Nuts

In my entire lifetime, I have never seen so much panic over a potential global pandemic.  Emergency supplies are flying off the shelves, people are going to great lengths to avoid public gatherings, and flu masks are selling out all over the world.  I was recently talking to a friend of mine who lives in Florida, and he told me that he has seen a number of people already wearing masks out in public.  But we haven’t even had 20 confirmed cases of the virus in the United States yet.  If people are freaking out this much now, how bad will things get when the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. reaches 20,000?

As the level of fear about a pandemic rises, it is inevitable that some people will start doing really stupid things.

For example, just a few days ago a man in Illinois decided to walk into a Wal-Mart wearing a yellow face mask, and he really startled other shoppers when he began spraying down all the merchandise with Lysol

A man wearing a yellow face mask and a sign on his back reading, ‘Caution, I have the Coronavirus,’ walked into a Walmart store in Illinois on Sunday and sprayed Lysol on merchandise, police said.

The man entered the store in Joliet with another man at around 4pm and began spraying what turned out to be disinfectant on produce, clothing, and health and beauty items, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Over in China, the level of craziness is far worse.

At this point, flu masks are worth their weight in gold in China, and one city actually decided to hijack a shipment of masks that was intended for another city

The government of Dali City, situated in the southwest province of Yunnan, ordered the “emergency requisition”, according to state media reports. Hospitals, towns and cities across China have been scrambling to get their hands on whatever medical supplies they can as the outbreak drains resources, sparking a country-wide shortage as the number of confirmed cases nears 30,000 (with the real number still suspected of being much higher).

The masks stolen by Dali were on their way to the city of Chongqing. When Chongqing told Dali to give the masks back, the government replied that it was too late, and that the 598 masks had already been distributed to its citizens.

Right now, cities in China with a combined population of more than 50 million people are under quarantine.  We have never seen the Chinese government do anything like this before, and at this moment major streets in those quarantined cities are virtually empty.  Millions upon millions of people are deathly afraid to leave their own homes because they might catch the virus.

And those that do have the virus are in danger of being locked up in their own homes for an indefinite period of time

Shocking videos have emerged of Chinese policemen locking up suspected patients in their home, vigilantes beating up sufferer’s family members and a cleaver-wielding potential carrier fighting off police as the country tries to tackle the new coronavirus.

The official death toll continues to rise as China’s National Health Commission reported 73 new deaths overnight – another daily record.

But being locked up in your own home would definitely be preferable to being shipped off to a mass quarantine camp, and it is being reported that officials in China are converting several large facilities for such purposes.

Meanwhile, the medical system in China continues to be absolutely overwhelmed.  According to a Bloomberg report, some people are standing in line for up to eight hours just to get tested for the virus…

People are queuing for eight hours just to get tested for the coronavirus, said the college graduate, John Chen, who’s 23. His feverish mother is yet to be tested.

“At first I was upset that the hospitals and officials I called for help weren’t willing to do their job, but later I realized that it’s not that they are unwilling to help, but that everywhere is way too short of resources,” he said.

Chinese citizen journalist Chen Qiushi is also confirming that this outbreak is way too much for the system to handle, and he has personally seen dead bodies waiting to be shipped off

There was a video that showed three dead bodies lying in a Wuhan hospital’s corridors circulating widely online before. I was told by some nurses in a local hospital that the video was true. The nurses also said this situation was because the local funeral homes did not have the capacity to transfer all those bodies. I have seen bodies many times during the past days, which makes me feel emotional. I saw two dead bodies at a hospital, one was lying in the corridor, and one was in an emergency room being wrapped up by nurses… I could not take a close shot of them because that would be disrespectful to the deceased. It is not unusual for bodies to be seen in hospitals, but the fact they were left there for a long time means it is an abnormal situation. The fact the bodies were lying there means even funeral homes are struggling to deal with the number of bodies waiting to be picked up.

The reason why there is a backlog of dead bodies is because there aren’t enough cremation centers to handle them all.

As I wrote about yesterday, the crematoriums in Wuhan have been burning bodies 24 hours a day for several weeks.

Here in the U.S. we haven’t had a single death from the virus yet, but the federal government is already converting military housing locations into potential quarantine camps

The Defense Department expects to announce today that 11 additional military housing locations have been approved to accept people for quarantine if public health authorities believe there are coronavirus concerns, according to two US officials.

The request for the additional military housing has come from the Department of Health and Human Services and has been preliminarily approved by the Pentagon.

If the number of cases continues to rise at an exponential rate around the world, we are going to have a nightmare on our hands very rapidly.

We are living in unprecedented times, and you should use the time that you have left to get prepared for what is ahead.

According to Ready.gov, here are some of the ways you can prepare before a pandemic arrives in your area…

  • Store a two week supply of water and food.
  • Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.
  • Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
  • Get copies and maintain electronic versions of health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other sources and store them, for personal reference. Get help accessing electronic health records.
  • Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.

And once a pandemic begins, here is a list of things that they suggest you should do

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
  • Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

It is very interesting to note that the Department of Homeland Security recently updated their preparedness information to include a link to the CDC’s “About Human Coronavirus” page.

Even as they work very hard to try to keep the public calm, there are all sorts of indications that government officials believe that this is a very serious threat.

Let us hope that this outbreak fizzles out very soon, because if people start dropping dead on the streets of the U.S. like they have been in China, the level of panic that would cause in our country would be off the charts.

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 Blog, End 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 End, Get 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.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!