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.

We Are Watching The Stock Market Do Things That It Has Never Done Before

Stock prices are falling faster and harder than they ever have before.  If the financial markets are in this much chaos even though not a single American has died from the coronavirus yet, what are things going to look like if this outbreak starts sweeping across America like wildfire?  The number of confirmed cases continues to explode all over the world, and the discovery of a case of “unknown origin” in northern California has really shaken up global financial markets.  It has become clear that efforts to contain this virus have failed, and investors are now coming to grips with the fact that this crisis is just getting started.  We haven’t seen this much panic on Wall Street in a very long time, and on Thursday we actually witnessed the largest single day point decline in all of U.S. history

Rising anxiety over the global coronavirus outbreak pushed the stock market into a new zone of fear Thursday.

After falling sharply all week, the Dow Jones industrial average tumbled 1,190.95 points to close at 25,766.64 – its worst one-day point drop in history.

Overall, this is turning out to be an absolutely disastrous week for stocks.

The Dow fell more than 1,000 points on Monday, it fell another 879 points on Tuesday, and stock prices continued to drop on Wednesday.

But hardly anyone expected a brand new all-time record to be set on Thursday, and now we will wait to see what happens on Friday.

Incredibly, the S&P 500 has already plunged into correction territory.  It only took six trading sessions for that to happen, and that is also a brand new record

Six days. That’s all the time it took for the S&P 500 to fall more than 10% from a record into a correction.

That’s the quickest turnaround of the sort ever, according to data from Deutsche Bank Global Research.

We have never seen anything like this, and many are now wondering what is going to happen if this outbreak gets much, much worse.

Without a doubt, stocks could potentially fall a long, long way.  Thanks to a tremendous rally earlier this year, stock prices were pushed to the most overvalued levels that we have ever seen.  It was inevitable that prices would fall, and this coronavirus outbreak looks like it could greatly accelerate that process.

Meanwhile, analysts are increasingly coming to the realization that this virus is going to have very serious implications for the entire global economy.

For example, on Thursday David Kostin of Goldman Sachs warned that American companies “will generate no earnings growth in 2020”

“US companies will generate no earnings growth in 2020,” Goldman’s chief U.S. equity strategist, David Kostin, said in a note to clients Thursday. “We have updated our earnings model to incorporate the likelihood that the virus becomes widespread.”

And Guggenheim’s Scott Minerd is even more pessimistic

Guggenheim’s Scott Minerd says the coronavirus crisis is possibly the worst thing he’s ever seen in his career: “This has the potential to reel into something extremely serious”

This virus is spreading great fear all over the planet, and it is going to be exceedingly difficult for the world economy to function normally when people are afraid to even leave their own homes.

At this point, the travel industry is being hit particularly hard

“We don’t even need to wait for economic data to see how badly the economy is being hit. You can tell that the sales of airlines and hotels are already falling by a half or something like that,” said Tomoaki Shishido, senior economist at Nomura Securities.

Up until recently, Wall Street had been acting as if this was a temporary problem that would soon fade.

But now it has become clear that we will be battling this virus for many months to come.

And what happens if this crisis is like the Spanish Flu pandemic which lasted for three years?

By the way, tens of millions of people died during the Spanish Flu pandemic.  Let us pray that the death toll will not be anything like that this time around.

Unfortunately, with each passing hour this virus makes even more headlines.  The Vice-President of Iran has become a confirmed case, and the Iranian Ambassador to the Vatican has actually died after catching the virus.

Speaking of the Vatican, the Pope just cancelled a service “after he was struck down with illness”

Pope Francis cancelled a church service today after he was struck down with illness.

The 83-year-year-old pontiff was not well enough to attend the mass, although there is no suggestion at this stage he has coronavirus as the outbreak in Italy topped 500 cases.

I should be clear that so far there is absolutely no indication that Pope Francis has been infected by the coronavirus.

But hopefully he is getting tested for it.

In Italy this virus is now officially completely out of control.  On Thursday, we learned that it has now spread to ten different regions

Ten of Italy’s twenty regions are infected with coronavirus as of Wednesday, with Lombardy and Veneto the two most heavily affected regions in the nation.

So far, 400 people have been confirmed to be infected with the virus, which has resulted in 12 deaths as of Wednesday, according to a report by La Repubblica.

Many communities are already in a near total state of shutdown, but that has not stopped the virus from spreading.

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed cases in France actually doubled in just 24 hours

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in France has more than doubled in 24 hours, the French Health minister said on Thursday, with the tally now at 38 from 18 on Wednesday.

During a press conference, Olivier Veran said this “sharp increase” was due to the identification of so-called “contact persons” linked to previously known cases, adding France was “ready” for an epidemic.

In my entire lifetime, I have never seen anything like this.

And if the number of cases continues to rise at an exponential rate it is going to be absolutely devastating for the world economy and for global financial markets.

For a long time many have been watching for the “trigger event” that would burst the biggest financial bubble in the history of the planet.

That “trigger event” appears to have arrived, and nothing is ever going to be the same from this point forward.

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.

Ominous Warnings About The Very Rapid Spread Of The Coronavirus

Is a widespread coronavirus outbreak inside the United States inevitable?  After weeks of generally optimistic statements, officials are now warning us to prepare for the worst.  Over the past several days we have seen the number of confirmed cases outside of China escalate dramatically, and this has really rattled global financial markets.  After being down more than 1,000 points on Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell another 879 points on Tuesday.  U.S. stocks have lost more than 1.7 trillion dollars in value in just two days.  Much more importantly, a wave of tremendous panic is starting to sweep across America, and it looks like this crisis is just getting started.

Usually officials at the CDC choose their words very carefully so that they do not needlessly alarm the public.  With that in mind, I would like for you to consider three statements that the CDC’s Dr. Nancy Messonnier made about a potential outbreak inside the United States during a press conference on Tuesday…

#1 “It’s not so much of a question of if this will happen in this country anymore but a question of when this will happen.”

#2 “Disruption to everyday life may be severe.”

#3 “We are asking the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad.”

Can you ever recall a top CDC official ever making statements this ominous?

I certainly can’t.

In addition, Messonnier warned that it may soon become necessary for schools and businesses to greatly restrict person to person contact

The CDC outlined what schools and businesses will likely need to do if the COVID-19 virus becomes an epidemic outbreak in the U.S. Schools should consider dividing students into smaller groups or close and use “internet-based tele-schooling,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters on a conference call. “For adults, businesses can replace in-person meetings with video or telephone conferences and increase teleworking options,” Messonnier said.

On a temporary basis such measures would not be too disruptive, but what if this virus just keeps spreading month after month?

We are potentially facing a scenario that is truly unprecedented, and it is becoming increasingly clear that officials have lost confidence that they will be able to contain this virus.  In fact, one former U.S. official told USA Today that “the horse is out of the barn”…

Dennis Carroll, former director of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Global Health Security and Development Unit, credited China’s “extraordinary control measures” with delaying the spread of the virus. But he said avoiding a pandemic is “very unlikely.”

“The dramatic uptick of cases in South Korea, Iran and Italy are reflective of a self-sustaining spreading of the virus,” Carroll, who now leads the Global Virome Project science cooperative, told USA TODAY. “And a clear message that the horse is out of the barn.”

At this point there are still only a few dozen confirmed cases in the United States, but authorities are bracing for the worst.  If you can believe it, San Francisco Mayor London Breed just declared a state of emergency because of this virus…

Mayor London Breed declared a local emergency in San Francisco Tuesday amid the coronavirus outbreak, despite there being no confirmed cases among the city’s residents.

“Although there are still zero confirmed cases in San Francisco residents, the global picture is changing rapidly, and we need to step-up preparedness,” Breed said in a statement. “We see the virus spreading in new parts of the world every day, and we are taking the necessary steps to protect San Franciscans from harm.”

And after being quite apathetic about this outbreak at first, people all over America are suddenly realizing that they should be preparing for a potential pandemic.

In fact, Silicon Valley investor Geoff Lewis created quite a stir when he asked for advice on stockpiling food.  The following is the question that he posted on Twitter that caused so much of an uproar

If one were hypothetically stockpiling four months of shelf stable food, what would folks recommend (optimizing for keto friendly)?

We haven’t seen anything like this in the United States in a very long time.

But we haven’t even had a single death from this virus in our country yet.  How crazed will people get when victims start dropping dead in the streets like they have been in Wuhan?

There is now talk that the IOC could potentially cancel or postpone the Olympic Games in Tokyo.  At one time such talk would have seemed crazy, but this is how serious this outbreak has become.

In Iran, the number of confirmed cases has now jumped to 95, although many people believe that the true number is far, far higher.

During a press conference on Monday, Iran’s deputy health minister attempted to downplay the seriousness of this outbreak, but on Tuesday we learned that he has been infected too

Iran’s deputy health minister said he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus and is in self-quarantine at his home just a day after he appeared at a news conference in Tehran where he sought to quell fears about the outbreak. Iraj Harirchi, the head of Iran’s counter-coronavirus task force, announced the illness in a video online while vowing that authorities would continue working to control the spread.

Apparently not wanting to be outdone, one of the officials in South Korea that was overseeing the response to this outbreak decided to jump off a bridge

But in Seoul took on a more morbid tone Tuesday following reports in the local press that a civil servant from the Ministry of Justice’s Emergency Safety Planning Office jumped off a bridge in Seoul at around 5 am local time Tuesday.

The official was one of several individuals charged with overseeing the government’s response to the virus. As cases soar and hysteria mounts, we suspect this news won’t exactly help quiet the public’s nerves.

Suicide is never the answer to anything, and we should all be praying for that man’s family.

In Italy, the number of confirmed cases has grown by more than 15 times since Friday…

Over in Italy, the number of confirmed cases has surpassed 300 to 322, while the number of dead climbed to 10, according to Italian emergency chief Angelo Borrelli, who said the newly deceased were over the age of 80. That’s up from just 20 confirmed cases on Friday.

Newly deceased were over 80 years old, says at press conference in Rome Tuesday. The new infections include three cases in southern Sicily region, Italian Civil Protection official Borrelli said.

All of a sudden, people all over Europe are wanting to avoid Italians because of the potential of catching the virus.  In most cases that fear is irrational, but we do know that an Italian just spread the virus to a hotel in Spain’s Canary Islands

Hundreds of staff and tourists staying at a hotel in Spain’s Canary Islands were put under lockdown on Tuesday, El Pais newspaper reported. One person who had stayed at the establishment was later found to have tested positive for the coronavirus.

I lived in Italy for a few years as a child, and I have a great love for the country.

It is so sad to watch what is happening over there, but the same things are going to start happening here.  In fact, Dr. Messonnier has told the public that now is the time “to begin preparing” for a massive outbreak…

“People are concerned about this situation – I would say rightfully so,” Messonnier said. “But we are putting our concerns to work preparing. Now is the time for businesses, hospitals, communities, schools and everyday people to begin preparing as well.”

If you do prepare and all of this turns out to be a false alarm, at least you will be ready for the next crisis that is coming.

But if you don’t do anything to prepare and things get really, really bad, it could end up costing you dearly.

If this virus starts spreading across the United States like wildfire, you and your family will want to minimize contact with the public as much as possible.  So stock up on the things you will need now, because when things start getting really crazy the stores will be cleaned out very quickly.

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 “Unsinkable” Financial Markets Just Slammed Into A Massive “Iceberg” Called The Coronavirus

We just witnessed the third largest single day point drop in U.S. stock market history, and experts are warning that things will only get worse if this coronavirus pandemic continues to escalate.  On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down a whopping 1,031 points, and it looks like there could be more volatility on Tuesday.  In fact, the Nikkei is already down 787 points as I write this article.  Of course this sudden decline is being mostly driven by fear of the coronavirus.  The rapid spread of the virus in South Korea, Italy and Iran over the weekend really rattled investors, and there was a rush to sell stocks when the markets opened on Monday morning.  And the worse this pandemic becomes, the lower stock prices are going to go.

You see, the truth is that stock prices are primarily based on what investors believe the future is going to look like.

For a long time, investors have assumed that the future would be exceedingly bright, and stock prices have steadily trended upwards.

But a coronavirus pandemic changes everything.  If worldwide economic activity comes to a standstill like we are already seeing happen in China, it is inevitable that there will be a very serious global economic downturn.

And this outbreak comes at a time when stock prices have been more overvalued than they have ever been before in American history.  Most stocks have been priced “beyond perfection”, and so it was just a matter of time before those prices started to fall.

As I have explained many times before, stock prices tend to fall much faster than they rise, and the rapid decline on Monday was quite breathtaking

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1,031.61 points lower, or 3.56%, at 27,960.80. The S&P 500 slid 3.35% to 3,225.89 while the Nasdaq Composite closed 3.71% lower at 9,221.28. It was the Dow’s biggest point and percentage-point drop since February 2018. The Dow also gave up its gain for 2020 and is now down 2% for the year. The S&P 500 also had its worst day in two years and wiped out its year-to-date gain as well.

Tech stocks got hit particularly hard.

If you can believe it, the stocks of the big tech companies “lost more than $250 billion in value” on Monday…

Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and Google-parent Alphabet collectively lost more than $250 billion in value as part of a broader market plunge. The tech companies make up nearly one-fifth of the value of the S&P 500, which itself is down more than 3.6%. Apple has the largest exposure to China, as it relies heavily on Chinese manufacturing plants for its top products and on Chinese consumers to buy iPhones.

And overall, global stocks lost more than a trillion dollars in value to start the week.

Of course stock prices were so ridiculously inflated that the markets can easily absorb what happened on Monday.

What really matters is what happens next.

If U.S. authorities can keep this virus from spreading widely here in the United States, the impact on our economy won’t be that dramatic.

But if there is a widespread outbreak, all bets are off.  More than a decade ago, the CBO conducted a study which examined this sort of a scenario, and what they discovered is definitely alarming

CBO did a study in 2005 and 2006, modeling the impact of a 1918-sized flu pandemic on the economy. They found that a pandemic “could produce a short-run impact on the worldwide economy similar in depth and duration to that of an average postwar recession in the United States.” Specifically, a severe pandemic could reduce U.S. gross domestic product by about 4.5%, followed by a sharp rebound.

The CBO assumed that 90 million people in the U.S. would get sick, and 2 million would die. There would also be demand-side effects, with an 80% decline in the arts and entertainment industries and a 67% decline in transportation. Retail and manufacturing would drop 10%.

Personally, I think that those numbers are probably too optimistic.

In China, people are deathly afraid to leave their homes right now, and that has caused economic activity to come to a crashing halt.

In fact, during the first portion of this month vehicle sales in China were down 92 percent

As The Epoch Times reported late last week, for example, sales of Chinese passenger vehicles has tanked a whopping 92 percent “on an annual basis the first 16 days of February,” according to the China Passenger Car Association.

Sales of passenger vehicles only amounted to 4,909 units during the first 16 days of the month, the organization reported, which fell from 59,930 vehicles sold over the same period a year ago. These are the first figures to demonstrate just how hard the Wuhan coronavirus is hitting the world’s largest auto market.

And at this point even Chinese President Xi Jinping is admitting that this outbreak will “have a relatively big impact on the economy and society”.

Up until now, the financial markets have been mostly overlooking the fact that the second biggest economy on the entire planet has been imploding because of this virus.

I think that many investors were assuming that this outbreak was just a temporary phenomenon, but now reality is starting to set in

“The second-largest economy in the world is completely shut down. People aren’t totally pricing that in,” said Larry Benedict, CEO of The Opportunistic Trader, adding a 10% to 15% correction in stocks may be starting. He also said some parts of the market, particularly large-cap tech stocks, appear to be over-owned. “It seems like there’s much more to come.”

Hopefully U.S. stocks will bounce back on Tuesday.  Following a decline of the magnitude that we just witnessed, that is often what happens.

And President Trump is certainly doing his best to keep everyone feeling optimistic.  The following is what he tweeted on Monday

The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!

Hopefully President Trump is correct.

And hopefully he is also correct when he claims that this pandemic will start to subside once warmer weather arrives.

But so far this mysterious new coronavirus is winning the battle, and investors all over the globe are really starting to freak out.

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 Just Took Some Bizarre New Turns

Many were hoping that this coronavirus outbreak would begin to subside, but instead we witnessed an explosion of newly confirmed cases over the weekend.  In fact, the number of confirmed cases outside of China has doubled over the past five days.  If that number continues to double very rapidly, authorities will be talking about a full-blown “global pandemic” in no time.  When I watched a victim suddenly collapse and start to twitch on a subway in Hong Kong, I thought about the sort of panic that would set off if that happened in New York.  When I saw a video of Chinese authorities using butterfly nets to capture sick people, it made me wonder what U.S. authorities might do to round up those that are ill.  The level of fear that a full-blown pandemic would cause would transform our society overnight.  Even now, Chinese restaurants in Canada are completely empty due to concerns about catching this virus.  But once this virus is being spread in virtually every city in North America, many of us won’t want to go anywhere at all, and that would bring economic activity to a complete and utter standstill.

For a while, it seemed like this outbreak was almost entirely a Chinese problem, and most Americans were not too alarmed about it.  But over the weekend the rapid spread of the virus in South Korea, Italy and Iran spooked financial markets and mainstream news outlets in the U.S. started publishing stories about this outbreak with very alarming headlines.

And those alarming headlines are justified, because experts are telling us that we could very well be on the verge of a horrifying global pandemic

“We are at a turning point in the Covid-19 epidemic,” said Lawrence Gostin, a global health law professor at Georgetown University. “We must prepare for the foreseeable possibility, even probability, that Covid-19 may soon become a pandemic affecting countries on virtually all continents.”

Once this virus starts to spread in a community, the number of cases can explode within hours.  For example, the number of confirmed cases in South Korea went from 30 to 602 in just 96 hours

Confirmed infections in South Korea have exploded over the last 96 hours from just 30 cases to 602 confirmed cases. Local residents there are scrambling to purchase preparedness supplies, stripping shelves bare and leading to a sense of urgency. Some cities in South Korea have already taken on a “ghost town” vibe, with streets emptied and nearly all community functions shut down.

And as I write this article, the number of confirmed cases in South Korea has now shot up to 763.  By the time you read this article, it will probably be even higher.

In Italy, the number of confirmed cases went from 3 to more than 150 in just a couple of days

In Italy, officials said a third person infected with the flu-like virus had died, while the number of cases jumped to above 150 from just three before Friday.

Authorities sealed off the worst affected towns and banned public gatherings in much of the north, including halting the carnival in Venice, where there were two cases, to try to contain the biggest outbreak in Europe.

Alarmingly, Italian officials can’t even figure out how the virus got to Italy in the first place, and then have now placed “almost a dozen towns” under quarantine…

Italian health authorities were struggling to find out how the virus started. “If we cannot find ‘patient zero’ then it means the virus is even more ubiquitous than we thought,” said Luca Zaia, the regional governor of the wealthy Veneto region.

Almost a dozen towns in Lombardy and Veneto with a combined population of some 50,000 have effectively been placed under quarantine.

This morning I went to take a look at the Serie A results from over the weekend, and I was particularly interested in seeing how Atalanta had done after their stirring Champions League victory last week.  Unfortunately, their game was among three matches that were called off due to the virus

On orders from the government, the Italian league games that were set to be played today – Inter Milan v Sampdoria, Atalanta v Sassuolo and Hellas Verona v Cagliari – were called off.

However three other matches in Genoa, Turin and Rome on Sunday were allowed to go ahead as scheduled with many fans wearing facemasks while sitting in the stands.

This is basically the equivalent of cancelling NFL games in the United States.  It is something that simply does not happen under normal circumstances.

But these are not normal times.

There has also been an eruption of cases in Iran, and five of their confirmed cases have already died

As of Sunday, Iran reported 28 cases, including 5 deathsdays after authorities there said they had no Covid-19 within their borders. Cases with links to Iran have already turned up in Canada and Lebanon.

Very quickly, the country’s narrative about the virus has changed. Schools and universities across the country are being shuttered as a “preventive measure,” along with some cinemas and restaurants, according to Al Jazeera.

So now we can’t just try to isolate ourselves from China and assume that everything is going to be okay.

This virus has already spread all over the world, and that means that it could come into the United States from almost any direction.

Of course China continues to be the epicenter of this outbreak.  According to Epoch Times reporter Jennifer Zeng, there are tens of thousands of people in the hospitals in Wuhan, and crematoriums continue to burn bodies 24 hours a day…

50-60 K people in hospitals in #Wuhan, out of 18 cremators at a crematorium, 3 were burned out due to overuse. Other 15 in operation 24/7. Many families died out.

Here in the United States, we only have 35 confirmed cases so far, and many have been wondering why that number has stayed so low.

Well, perhaps it is because the CDC has only tested 414 people so far…

Given the tens of thousands of Chinese nationals entering the United States of America every month, the thousands of Chinese students and the many thousands of residents who are under “observation” by state health authorities in places like Washington and California, a reasonable person might expect that the CDC has so far tested at least 10,000 people for the CoVid-19 coronavirus. But guess how many the CDC has actually tested?

To the great shock of anyone paying attention, the CDC’s own website admits the agency has tested only 414 people in the entire country.

As I discussed the other day, there are thousands upon thousands of people currently under “self-quarantine” in the United States.

Why have the vast majority of them not been tested?

And it looks like the quarantine period being used in the U.S. and in much of the rest of the world may be way too short.

In fact, Chinese officials are telling us that one Chinese man “took 27 days to show coronavirus symptoms”

A Chinese pensioner who took 27 days to show coronavirus symptoms has sparked fears that a 14-day quarantine is two weeks too short.

The 70-year-old man was infected with the killer virus in China’s Hubei Province and showed symptoms nearly four weeks later, the local government said on Saturday.

So we may be releasing countless numbers of potentially sick people back into the general population way too early.

This is a nightmare that is getting worse with each passing day, and if this turns into a true global pandemic the impact on the global economy is going to be off the charts.

We can get an idea of where things could be heading by taking a look at what is already happening inside China.  Small businesses all over the nation are rapidly running out of cash, and in just a matter of weeks virtually all of them will be out of cash.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

Let’s start with Chinese businesses: while China’s giant state-owned SOEs will likely have enough of a liquidity lifeblood to last them for 2-3 quarters, it is the country’s small businesses that are facing a head on collision with an iceberg, because according to the Nikkei, over 85% of small businesses – which employ 80% of China’s population – expect to run out of cash within three months, and a third expect the cash to be all gone within a month.

Should this happen, not only will China’s economy collapse, but China’s $40 trillion financial system will disintegrate, as it is suddenly flooded with trillions in bad loans.

Now try to imagine what that might look like on a global scale.

We have never dealt with something like this in the post-World War II era, and there is still so much about this virus that is not known.

Personally, I am still hoping that this outbreak will start to fizzle out once warmer weather arrives.  But so far nothing seems to be able to slow this virus down, and it appears that a “tipping point” has now arrived.

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.

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