What Will Happen? (Sunday Sermonette)

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You all know that it’s coming.

At some point, President Trump will present the evidence that 2019-n-CoV (COVID-19, or Wuhan Coronavirus) was designed/engineered. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Wuhan Institute of Virology, China’s premiere research institute into viruses for both civilian and military applications had a hand in it.
The announcement will be made in the East Wing of the White House and will take the form of a press conference. President Trump will stand in front of the podium with US Army doctors from Ft. Detrick and possibly Vice President Pence flanking him.
Stocks have been falling in the US because people know that this is coming but I expect that trading will be suspended to keep it from being too bad. Maybe the announcement will be adjacent to a federal holiday so the banks have a 3 day respite? 
Companies will divest themselves of Chinese partnerships as fast as they can because the ‘flu’ is one thing and a mutating, weaponized, virus with a very long incubation period – which is persistent on surfaces, is quite something else. 
President Trump wants an economy that is booming for his November re-election but I see the US growth slowing as companies decide how to keep their supply chains going without Chinese participation. Countries such as Australia, which put most of their eggs in the Chinese basket will have bigger problems because the Chinese demand for raw materials and petroleum will continue to drop. 
The price of oil will drop as worldwide demand slackens. 
It’s coming and the only question is when.
China will survive and they may even report accurate death tolls and infection rates – one day. But those numbers won’t be forthcoming anytime soon.
Russia has completely closed its border with China. So has North Korea. South Korea has some sort of death cult that has been deliberately spreading 2019-n-CoV. It’s not a Stephen King novel. It’s contemporary world news.
(NY Times) Now, health officials are zeroing in on the church’s practices as they seek to contain South Korea’s alarming coronavirus outbreak, in which members of Shincheonji, along with their relatives and others who got the virus from them, account for more than half of the confirmed infections. On Saturday, the number of cases in the country soared to 346 — second only to mainland China, if the outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship is excluded from Japan’s count. 
More than 1,250 other church members have reported potential symptoms, health officials said, raising the possibility that the nation’s caseload could soon skyrocket further.
Every day the news gets more interesting but it will take a general announcement from the White House before it gets real internationally. 

26 thoughts on “What Will Happen? (Sunday Sermonette)

  1. I am considering liquidating my equity positions to avoid a potential serious down turn here. Do you suggest doing so, and do you have any info as to when (or if) this COVID-19 'Black Swan' will subside?

  2. All this is possible. And then again the decision to downplay this might be made. At the moment the threat is still mostly potential. There's a lot of fear and apprehension about this but the actual morbidity outside China is minimal. And what is happening INSIDE China is at best an estimation. It seems that the death toll there is much more significant than it is elsewhere…..so far. Time will tell if that remains the case and the WHY of such disparity in morbidity will keep researchers busy for a while. Don't EVER expect China to come clean about ANYTHING related to this event. At best it makes them look stupid and incompetent and under some circumstances could be construed as an act of war or terrorism. So they will never admit anymore than MAYBE this was an "accident". How that affects the markets is anybody's guess. The markets do what they do, sometimes for good and understandable reasons, often for no apparent reason at all. As summer arrives and the weather heats up and dries out it may be that this virus will literally dry up and die in the warmer weather ending this, with of course the question of whether it returns next winter when conditions improve for the interpersonal transmission of flu and other such maladies. I am actually kind of surprised this hasn't taken off faster than it has. And it still might. It's been a very unpredictable disease, which again lends some credence to it being a weaponized creation.

  3. Sources say that rural Texas will be very unsafe during the coming pandemic and that people should move to high ground in Arizona.

  4. No, that's not true. The only safe harbor is the Texas Hill Country. We had SNOW last night in Arizona. It's cold, and you might catch cold if you visit. Texas is warm and safe. Fear Arizona.

  5. President Xi went on the record, essentially saying that it was an accidental release from their own bug factory yesterday. Some media outlets picked it up. If the White House suggests that it's an engineered product, I think that the DJI will tank and drag a lot of stocks with it.

    President Trump has a vested interest in playing it down and may never go there (see Dan below, who knows a lot more about the medical end than I do).

    But I think that it's a ticking time bomb, and I dropped some holdings including my S&P 500 futures bet – for the time being.

  6. As I wrote above, Pres. Xi essentially said yesterday that it was their goof and that it's important to focus on lab safety. It wasn't a complete vomit or acknowledgement of blame, but it's likely as much as we're going to get out of Beijing.

    As to the virus itself, once the dust clears, we may get a closer look at morbidity than we now have. Again the standard of care is problematic in China – and nursing homes are emptied out in the US every winter during the regular flu season.

    But the markets are very sensitive when it comes to supply chain interruptions and China is a key to almost every large manufacturing supply chain. It's a useful lesson to American (and world) business not to put all of your eggs into one basket. I think that the market will drop until the excitement dies, and when is anyone's guess.

  7. Good information here once again. I believe I'll stay where I am for the time being. Arizona and Texas seem to be debating which is the place not to be.

  8. This all does indeed sound like something out of an unusually well-written thriller. Fun times.

    As for Places of Refuge, Rhode Island seems like an especially poor choice. On the bright side, I'm extraordinarily better-armed than most of most of my "Blue State" cohabitationists.

    -Kle.

  9. We haven't experienced something like this in modern times. Ebola on steroids.

    What is certain is devious and dastardly minds are at work to make this a campaign issue, and pin the blame on President Trump.

    President Trump will be proactive on this issue, and most of the country will take note. The American Media Maggots (h/t BZ) will try to use the crisis to discredit him. Bet on it.

  10. Kansas is a cool place to be with the best BBQ ever, which means that it's a good idea if I only occasionally visit Kansas.

  11. There have been a number of good Sci Fi themes that mirror the situation. It's not yet as bad as The Stand (King) or a number of other dystopian thrillers. We haven't been overrun by cyborgs (yet) and Sky Net is not active and sentient yet, so we have that to look forward to.

  12. Fascinating stuff, LL, as usual. I had not heard anywhere that "God Emperor"/President for Life Xi had confessed what he did. Considering the first law for Communist Emperors is to hold onto power, he must be extremely confident that the PLA will cover his back.

    While I'm generally feeling good about a Trump sweep in the fall, the one gotcha is if the economy really collapses – not just recession but '08 levels or worse. Then you have this swell of people wanting bigger government and wanting government to run healthcare motivated even more by fear of the virus. That could throw a monkey wrench into the mix.

  13. From a couple of previous comments and independently, I have a thought. What if the Chinese government released the virus on purpose to interrupt the world economy so that the U.S. economy would take a down turn and maybe get Trump defeated? What is killing off maybe 1 million (less than 0.1%) of your own people to get back on track to total world domination by 2049? The Communist Chinese world domination goal has been messed with by Trump. Sacrificing this many people for the leaderships end goals seems to me to be within the Communist Chinese mindset.

  14. That could throw a monkey wrench into the mix.

    Which is why I wrote this the way that I did.

    Yes, it could propel Comrade Bernie and his legion of doom into power. However, when you look at how many actual votes he received in Nevada, the Donkey enthusiasm even for free stuff, is very tepid.

  15. I don't think that Pres. Xi would weep at the loss of 300 or 400 million people. It would make his nation easier to govern. However to do this when his economy is tanking is unlikely to be purposeful.

    He'd have to go deeper into the i ching than anyone on Earth has gone before to be able to predict the causes and effects of a virus like COVID-19.

  16. Some dipstick traitor in the State Department allowed a flock of infected to come back to the US without going into quarantine. And President Trump is livid. Rightly so.

    So far Corona here is like SARS here. Not very deadly. Yet.

    Hope we ride this out and it energizes us into becoming the manufacturing beast we used to be.

  17. Mr. Wolf and Anon, I understand your point of view, I really do. We have fried pies, Karen's, guns, horses and so much more. But it's not safe, not at all, unlike the ARIZONA MOUNTAINS, where the cold FREEZES the virus.

  18. Karen's brisket burritos are known to cure impotence in Republicans and cause seizures in Democrats. They have a type of discriminatory magic.

    Beware the Arab mares in Texas hill country. They whinney "allah u akbar" and toss Christian priests onto small Texas rocks. In Arizona, the rocks are much larger, big as a house.

  19. See Andrew, this is the sort of thing I wrote about some while back. You are insightful and make your point(s) very well.

    Paul

  20. Crap: I missed selling my equity positions by 1 day, and got hammered by the 1,000 point drop in the Dow today, as my sell orders are part of the panic. Hopefully, my gains will stay above a continued drop as the morbidity stats climb. And the age old question: when do I get back in?

  21. I'm sure that if for some magical reason Commiefornia was immune, no one would venture there anyway so check that one off….

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