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.

Will This Coronavirus Outbreak Cause A New Financial Crisis And A Horrifying Economic Collapse?

The term “black swan event” is increasingly being used to describe this coronavirus outbreak, and many are concerned that what we are headed for will be much worse than what we experienced in 2008 and 2009.  Already, we have witnessed a staggering drop in global demand, Wall Street has had to deal with the wildest week in eight years, and people all over the globe are hoarding toilet paper, face masks and hand sanitizer.  That may sound like a plot from one of my books, but it is not.  This is actually happening, and it appears that we are still only in the very early chapters of this crisis.

It seems like just yesterday that everyone was freaking out because there were a few dozen confirmed cases here in the United States.  Now there are 70 in the state of Washington alone

A cruise ship remains at arms length from San Francisco and the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Washington state ballooned to 70 on Thursday – pushing the U.S. total above 220 – as the global struggle against the outbreak intensified.

The nation’s death toll rose to 12, 11 of them in Washington. Fifty-one of the confirmed cases are in King County, home to Seattle, where ten of the deaths have occurred, state health officials said.

As I write this article, the total number of confirmed cases in the U.S. has now risen to 233, but of course that number is going to go much higher now that the U.S. has finally decided to ramp up testing for the virus.

If you live in the Seattle area, you are going to want to avoid public places for the foreseeable future.  In fact, officials in King County are already recommending that all businesses “allow their employees to telecommute throughout March”

A Washington state county, where 31 coronavirus cases and 9 deaths have been reported, has recommended to its 2.2 million residents that they should work from home to help slow the spread of the infectious disease, and further urged everyone over 60 to stay indoors.

Public Health officials in King County on Wednesday recommended that businesses allow their employees to telecommute throughout March in an effort to reduce the amount of face-to-face contact between large numbers of people during this “critical period” in the COVID-19 outbreak.

Unfortunately, other hotspots are starting to emerge as well.  The total number of cases in California is up to 53, and the number of cases in New York just doubled

California declared a state of emergency after a coronavirus-related death and 53 confirmed cases in the state. The number of infections in New York also doubled overnight to 22 as the state ramps up its testing.

Predictably, U.S. stocks plunged on Thursday as the bad news came rolling in.  By the end of the trading session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 969 points

Stocks plunged on Thursday, erasing most of the steep gains in the previous session, as markets remained highly volatile in the face of the fast-spreading coronavirus.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day 969.58 points, or 3.5%, lower at 26,121.28 after tanking nearly 1,150 at its session low. The S&P 500 dropped 3.3%, or 106.18, to 3,023.94 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 3.1%, or 279.49, to 8,738.60. All 11 S&P sectors finished the day in the red. Stocks turned sharply lower as the 10-year Treasury yield fell to an all-time low below 0.9%.

This is precisely the sort of wild market behavior that we witnessed during the financial crisis of 2008.  One day stocks would be way down, and the next day they would be way up.  When we see extreme volatility such as this, it is a clear indication that investors are very nervous.

After watching what transpired on Thursday, one trader described the market’s current behavior as “a super-puke”

Watching the markets today  – as The Dow plunged 1000 points, Treasury yields collapsed to record lows, credit markets imploded, and demands for more Fed intervention exploded – has one veteran trader remarking, “this is becoming a super-puke.”

Of course if this coronavirus outbreak starts to fade, it is entirely possible that the markets could settle back down.

But that hasn’t happened so far, and experts are warning that we should expect to see more market volatility ahead.  Here is one example

“We expect markets to remain volatile,” Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, said in a note. “The unfolding nature of the coronavirus threat—both real and perceived—is not yet quantifiable, and, as such, the current global policy response can’t immediately be judged as sufficient or insufficient for restoring investor confidence in the short term.”

Meanwhile, the fear that this coronavirus outbreak has created is hitting the real economy exceedingly hard.

In fact, the CEO of Southwest Airlines says that his company “lost several hundred million dollars in a week’s time” because people are so afraid to travel right now…

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly told CNBC on Thursday that the company has lost several hundred million dollars in a week’s time thanks to a decline in bookings amid increasing fears over COVID-19. Kelly added that the drop-off was “noticeable” and “precipitous” and has continued declining on a daily basis.

We are seeing similar things happen in industry after industry.

So what is going to happen if this outbreak continues to intensify in the months ahead?

Needless to say, we could soon be facing a worst case scenario for the global economy.  According to Egon von Greyerz, the party is indeed “over” and we are headed for the worst economic crisis that any of us have ever experienced…

This is it! The party is over. The world is now facing the gravest economic and social downturn in Modern Times (18th century). We are now entering a period of global crisis that will change the world for a very long time to come. This should come as no surprise to the people who have studied history and also read my articles for the last few years. Many others have also warned about the same thing. But since MSM never talks about the excesses in the world or the risks, 99.9% of people are totally unprepared for what is coming next.

Will he be correct?

We shall see.

It would be wonderful if this virus would just go away and life could get back to normal.  Unfortunately, this crisis just seems to escalate with each passing day.

On Thursday morning, police were actually called out to a Costco in southern California because “toilet paper, paper towels, and bottled water were out of stock”

Deputies responded to the Chino Hills Costco at 10.15am on Thursday morning after receiving a report of a disturbance, a San Bernadino County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman told DailyMaill.com.

On the scene, deputies learned that ‘a large group of customers were upset’ that items such as toilet paper, paper towels, and bottled water were out of stock, said Public Information Officer Cindy Bachman.

All over America, people have been hoarding essential supplies like crazy.  If people are this delirious already, how are they going to act once things start getting really bad?

It was inevitable that stock prices would crash from the ridiculously elevated levels that we witnessed earlier this year.

And the next economic downturn has been building for a really long time.

But now events are starting to move at a pace that is absolutely breathtaking, and it looks like all of our lives are about to change in a major way.

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.

“It’s Like A Ghost Town”: Major Cities All Over The Globe Are Paralyzed By Fear Of COVID-19

We haven’t seen anything cause this much worldwide fear in a really long time.  But even though there is so much fear, we still don’t know if this is going to evolve into the next great global pandemic that kills millions of people or not.  I wish that I had a definitive answer for you.  At this point we do know that the number of confirmed cases outside of China continues to rise at a very alarming rate, and we also know that this virus is about 34 times more deadly than the flu according to the latest numbers.  But in order for it to kill millions of people, a substantial percentage of the global population would have to be infected, and we don’t know if that is actually going to happen.

But in major cities around the globe where there has been an eruption of COVID-19 cases, we are seeing severe disruptions in normal activity.

For example, now that several coronavirus deaths have been reported in the area, the lack of tourists has turned downtown Seattle into “a ghost town”

In Seattle, bracing for the coronavirus also means preparing for what could be a devastating economic impact. Business owners and residents have already seen a drop-off in tourists in areas of the city that heavily depend on foot traffic.

It’s like a ghost town,” Francisco said about the famous Pike Place Market where she has her shop.

If you have ever been to Pike Place Market, then you know that it is normally bustling with activity.

But now virtually everyone wants to stay away, and you can’t exactly blame them.  With this virus on the loose, I wouldn’t want to venture down there either.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has already declared a state of emergency, and this will give her the power to cancel a wide range of public events…

As the death toll climbed Tuesday, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, a Democrat, proclaimed a civil emergency. The declaration allows her to bypass regulations to increase city spending, contracting and borrowing to address the growing public health threat. It will also allow her office to close facilities and cancel events to prevent the virus from spreading further.

On the other side of the globe, the streets of Seoul are virtually empty right now

The streets of Seoul, the South Korean capital, stood nearly empty this week. Those who do venture out wear masks. The normally busy subways have few passengers and riders make sure to sit far away from one another. Many residents are relying on grocery and restaurant delivery apps.

Most Americans don’t realize this, but the population of Seoul actually exceeds the population of New York City.

Normally it is one of the busiest cities on the entire planet, but due to the fear that more than 5,700 confirmed cases in South Korea has caused, it has also become something of “a ghost town”.

Speaking of busy cities, Beijing’s 21 million residents continue to wait for life to return to normal.

Most people are staying home as much as possible, and those that do venture out risk having their temperatures scanned “at regular checkpoints”

Many shops are still closed in Beijing, and residents’ temperatures are scanned at regular checkpoints, as well as inside each store. On streets that are normally so crowded that people are forced to brush shoulders, those who are out keep a good distance from one another.

Could you imagine the uproar that would ensue if similar “checkpoints” were set up here in the United States?

Let us hope that we never get to that point.

In Milan, things are eerily quiet right now.  In fact, nobody has seen the city this quiet in the entire modern history of Italy

In Milan, Italy’s business capital and the center of the country’s outbreak, restaurants, bars and train stations are much less crowded than normal. The usually teeming Piazza del Duomo, home to the city’s cathedral and lined with shops and bars, was almost empty at points Monday.

Italian authorities are absolutely desperate to get this outbreak under control, and so they are implementing pretty extreme measures.

Incredibly, that even includes banning fans from all sporting events until April 3rd

The Italian government have taken drastic measures to help prevent the outbreak of coronavirus by closing all sport events to fans throughout the entire country until April 3. Italy has been the worst-hit European country from the coronavirus, with 107 deaths so far.

It is nice that they have set a deadline, but what are they going to do if we get to April 3rd and this outbreak has gotten even worse?

Could it be possible that Italian fans will not be able to attend sporting events for the foreseeable future?

And will other western countries soon follow suit?

Our lives could be about to change in ways that we couldn’t even imagine just a few weeks ago.

In the UK, residents are being warned that they may soon have to “put their lives on hold for three months”

Britons could be forced to put their lives on hold for three months under a ‘battle plan’ to combat Coronavirus amid warnings today that the deadly disease could incapacitate a fifth of the UK’s workforce.

Boris Johnson today set out the Government’s blueprint to deal with a mass outbreak of the bug that includes a raft of socially and economically costly contingency moves as a last resort.

Could you put your life on hold for three months?

Of course most major pandemics last longer than just three months.  In fact, the Spanish Flu pandemic lasted for three years and it killed tens of millions of people.

Hopefully this outbreak will not be anything like that.

But without a doubt, this is a truly horrible virus.  The following is an excerpt from the account of a 25-year-old British man that actually caught COVID-19

Day 12: I’ve had a relapse. Just as I thought the flu was getting better, it has come back with a vengeance. My breathing is laboured. Just getting up and going to the bathroom leaves me panting and exhausted. I’m sweating, burning up, dizzy and shivering. The television is on but I can’t make sense of it. This is a nightmare.

By the afternoon, I feel like I am suffocating. I have never been this ill in my life. I can’t take more than sips of air and, when I breathe out, my lungs sound like a paper bag being crumpled up. This isn’t right. I need to see a doctor. But if I call the emergency services, I’ll have to pay for the ambulance call-out myself. That’s going to cost a fortune. I’m ill, but I don’t think I’m dying — am I?

I certainly do not want to experience that, and I am sure that you do not want to either.

Coming into this year, I warned about what was ahead, but I definitely did not anticipate that we could potentially be facing a full-blown global pandemic by early March.

COVID-19 could change everything.  I know that many are attempting to downplay the severity of this virus, and that is a huge mistake.

For the foreseeable future, the entire globe is going to be gripped by fear of this virus, and that has very serious implications for all of us.

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 Unstoppable Coronavirus vs. The “All-Powerful” Federal Reserve

Has the Federal Reserve finally met an opponent that it won’t be able to defeat?  Ever since the last financial crisis, unprecedented intervention by the Fed at key moments has kept the economy and the financial system relatively stable.  No matter what has come along, it has seemed like the Federal Reserve has always had an answer, and this has created an environment that has enabled the most ridiculous stock market bubble in U.S. history to grow to epic proportions.  But now COVID-19 is perhaps the greatest challenge that the Fed has faced in modern times.  No matter how low interest rates are pushed, and no matter how much helicopter money the Fed drops from the sky, it isn’t going to cause fearful Americans to go shopping, take trips or start businesses.  And nothing that the Fed can do will be able to mitigate the severe disruptions to global supply chains that we are currently witnessing.

But that doesn’t mean that the Fed isn’t going to go back to the same old playbook that has worked so well in the past.

On Tuesday the Fed announced an emergency rate cut, and instead of soaring, stock prices absolutely tanked.  In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day down 785 points

The decision to cut rates by half a percentage point came two weeks before the Fed’s scheduled meeting as the central bank felt it was necessary to act quickly to combat the effect of the virus spreading worldwide. It’s the first such emergency action coming in between scheduled meetings since the financial crisis.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 785.91 points lower, or nearly 3%, to 25,917.41; it rose more than 300 points earlier in the day. The 30-stock average gyrated between sharp gains and solid losses after the decision was announced. The S&P 500 fell 2.8% to 3,003.37 while the Nasdaq Composite pulled back 3% to 8,684.09.

At this point, the Federal Reserve doesn’t have much room to reduce interest rates.  But of course President Trump was disappointed in the Fed’s decision because he wanted an even bigger rate cut

Trump tweeted following the Fed’s move – keeping up his longstanding practice of demanding lower rates.

‘The Federal Reserve is cutting but must further ease and, most importantly, come into line with other countries/competitors,’ Trump wrote. ‘We are not playing on a level field. Not fair to USA. It is finally time for the Federal Reserve to LEAD. More easing and cutting!’

Meanwhile, just about everyone else is using the word “panic” to describe this move by the Fed.  The following example comes from Zero Hedge

Instead, as it stands “it smells like panic” as more than one Wall Street veteran put it.

Worse, as BMO’s Ian Lyngen puts it, what happened after the Fed’s emergency 50bps rate cut, the biggest since Jerome Kerviel blew up SocGen, “the situation didn’t play out exactly as Powell might have envisioned.

So just how bad is it? Well, as plunging stocks demonstrate, the Fed is this close from losing all credibility…. and since the market has been held up for the past 11 years on nothing but Fed faith – and trillions in Fed liquidity – this could be a very, very big problem.

If you can believe it, even CNBC’s Jim Cramer is saying that this move by the Fed has made him “nervous”

Cramer went on to say that he’d previously been optimistic, despite the recent Dow freefall. But the Fed’s move has caused him to adopt a more cautious posture.

“It makes me feel, wow, the weakness must be much more than I thought,” Cramer said. “And I’ve been trying to be bullish, but I can’t.”

He added, “I’m now nervous. I’m more nervous than I was before.”

The Federal Reserve has almost entirely run out of interest rate ammunition already, and we aren’t even officially in a recession yet.

So what are they going to do once things get really bad?

A reduction in interest rates usually spurs the U.S. economy, but these are not normal times.

Even if interest rates were pushed all the way to the floor, it isn’t going to change the fact that global supply chains are collapsing and a large portion of the population is scared to death of this virus

Lower borrowing costs typically spur more consumers to buy houses, cars and other products, and encourage businesses to purchase more equipment such as factory machines, computers.

But historically low rates can’t address delayed deliveries from China that leave store shelves half-filled and auto manufacturers short of imported parts. They can’t prod shoppers fearful of contracting the virus to visit malls and restaurants. And they can’t bring back throngs of foreign tourists to U.S. hotels and shopping centers, including many from China and other countries now subject to travel bans.

And the problems that we are seeing with global supply chains are expected to continue to get worse in the weeks ahead.  In fact, Harvard Business Review is anticipating that the impact of this virus could peak “in mid-March”…

Reports on how the Covid-19 outbreak is affecting supply chains and disrupting manufacturing operations around the world are increasing daily. But the worst is yet to come. We predict that the peak of the impact of Covid-19 on global supply chains will occur in mid-March, forcing thousands of companies to throttle down or temporarily shut assembly and manufacturing plants in the U.S. and Europe. The most vulnerable companies are those which rely heavily or solely on factories in China for parts and materials. The activity of Chinese manufacturing plants has fallen in the past month and is expected to remain depressed for months.

But what if this virus just continues to explode all over the planet?

When I posted my last article yesterday, the number of confirmed cases outside of China had just surpassed the 10,000 mark.

As I write this, that number is just shy of the 13,000 mark, and by the time most of you read this article it will be even higher.

After interest rates are pushed all the way to the floor, “helicopter money” will be about the only weapon the Fed has left.

Normally, “helicopter money” pushes up stock prices, but in the middle of a horrifying global pandemic people are not going to want stocks.

Instead, there is going to be tremendous demand for food and other essential supplies, and “helicopter money” will just escalate prices to absolutely absurd levels.

Sadly, fear of this virus is already starting to cause this to happen

Would you pay $149 for a two-pack of 12-ounce bottles of Purell? How about a single container of Clorox wipes for $44.25, plus $14.59 shipping?

As the coronavirus spreads and people rush to protect themselves and their families from getting sick, the U.S. is seeing heavy demand for everything from masks to hand sanitizer.

If you use Purell, I hope that you stocked up ahead of time.

There has never been a time like this before in all of American history, and what we have seen so far is just the beginning.

Now that the U.S. is planning to start testing more people, we are being warned that we could see an explosion in the number of confirmed cases in the weeks ahead.

If that happens, there is going to be a tremendous amount of fear.

But now is not a time for fear.  Now is a time to be calm, to think rationally, and to act resolutely.

It is during moments of crisis that we find out who we really are, and hopefully this challenge will bring out the best in all of us.

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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