Whereas most of the above is nature’s doing, we must also be much more vigilant in how we are contributing to the increasing strength and duration of each. We need to do a much better job of collectively working towards solutions to these problems – as opposed to exacerbating them.
Should our infrastructure plans “adjust” according to the frequency and severity of these events?
What do YOU intend to do about these problems?
What am I going to do?
These are the questions that need to be asked and addressed. Otherwise, we are kidding ourselves while we idly stand by as observers of our own demise.
Topic: That ‘silly, crazy stock market’ this month
Categories: Economics, Financials, and Social Psychology
Between a rock and a hard place? You probably spent some of the past few weeks rummaging through the onslaught of news concerning the stock market. In just a few days, there were swings from single digits to over thousands of percentage gains. What is the most amazing part? Ironically, these public companies did absolutely NOTHING different to cause this phenomenon. In fact, some of the biggest debt funds pounced on this situation to dump old, crappy positions they had. This generated some outlandish profits (for those who could get out in time!)
However, for those who don’t own any stocks, I hear you. Who cares, right?! Well, the rest of us care. Unfortunately, it caught our attention instantly. This might be due to many of a certain age recall being caught up in this “spin cycle” very similar to this in our investing past. In fact, if your stomach didn’t roil a bit, and your brow didn’t raise, you must be a first-time trader. You have no scar tissue built up from previous downturns. You haven’t been burned…yet.
Moreover, if you recall in spring, 2001, there was a ton of hoopla regarding “surging dotcom stocks.” It seemed like you didn’t even need an ounce of ability to make profitable picks during that time. Just buy, buy, buy (Thanks, Jim Cramer!) Subsequently, there was a different kind of BOOM! There was a “crash-landing.” In little time, the markets tanked. Everyone ran for the hills, and many brokers ducked their calls. We were shirtless, stuck, and scared!
Nevertheless, I’m not naïve enough to think that the ‘dotcom bubble of 2001’ is anywhere near the same as the last two weeks have been. But I tell you, when you see some of the publicly traded stocks like GameStop (GME) and AMC Theaters (AMC), it forces a reflection moment. These stocks went from (practically) zero to amazing heights. Then, they returned to earth again in mere days. Unfortunately, it rhymes with some of our tortured past like 1987’s Black Monday, spring 2001, and September 2008. I agree, all had different characteristics. We won’t get into them all, but each created a form of sheer terror in the marketplace at the time!
Thankfully, at least for today, it seems like the storm has mostly passed. We’re back to the “old, regular froth” that we’ve become accustomed to from the past several fiscal years. We’ll just keep our chinstraps fastened, our eye on the ball, and continue onward, right? I mean, what else can we do? Happy investing, folks!
Topic: How and who will pay for COVID-19 vaccinations?
Issue: Pandemic, vaccination costs, and the risks of ongoing collateral damage in the U.S.
Pandemic was recently dubbed the “word of the year” by Merriam-Webster (click link either left or below). Congrats, pandemic, you’ve officially arrived! However, now the discussion has shifted from acknowledgment of the pandemic (for many – but not all – of us) to another word, Vaccine/Vaccination.
Whereas ‘pandemic’ can be delivered to our shores for free, ‘vaccine’ cannot and will not come ashore for the same, wonderful price. What that leaves us with, is, how and who will be actually paying for the delivery and distribution of each vaccine?And, how much per dose?
U.S. Imports: To me, it’s starting to take the form of most every other import into our country. Those who have the means will receive the goods, and those who don’t will just have to sit and wait. And since we’re not talking about the newest G.I. Joe (with the ‘Kung Fu grip’) toy or BMW model, it isn’t quite so simple a formula for success going forward.
Issue: Is it better to risk an economic collapse using a more deliberate approach in reopening America (with a broader national testing program), or, try to get us ‘back to normal’ as quickly as possible and risk another spike in infections and deaths?
After this lockdown ends (sometime before the end of time, I imagine), I’ve decided to book a trip around the world. Who’s with me?! Nope, just pulling your leg, but sounds pretty tasty, huh?
It’s just that, you know, being a lifelong “travelin’ man,’ I’m struggling with the “everyday backyard scene.” No, it’s not quite Groundhog Day, but pretty close.
In fact, I just posted a video of what appeared to be my full grown, ash tree uprooting and exiting my backyard. For reals…I think.
Okay, maybe it was my imagination or something. Anyhow, the point is that we are at the point of, well, seeing fleeing trees! And, no, it’s not worth the risk of contracting anything outside the home, but it’s something to take a closer look at, right?!
And, until then, I guess the only outdoor fun will be watering the plants…Woo….Hoo.
Arena: Healthcare and Politics (and why they don’t mix), Vol. III
Topic: How do we manage to blame the ‘other party’ during a global pandemic?
I understand all too well that America in 2020 is in the midst of a political tug o’ war over, well, almost everything. We have demonstrated that we can brawl about just about anything: from guns and ammo, to impeachment, and just about every bit of minutiae worded in a congressional bill.
But, the coronavirus, seriously? I mean, do we really think that this little bugger even cares whether you are pro-life or not? Or, how about whether you have open carry permissions in your state? Or, whether you voted for Hillary or Trump in 2016? The obvious answer is NO, it does NOT.
It only cares about finding a way into your bloodstream (and mine, too) and causing enough harm to hopefully derail us from future family births, graduations, weddings, and the like. The virus is the real enemy, not your next door neighbor (with the Bernie bumper sticker you may despise).
Let’s try to bear all this mind moving forward. Remember, the people who #StayAtHome aren’t lazy, foolish or have an aversion to sunlight. They are, hopefully as you are too, trying to get this monster to go away. For good. So, let’s try to bury the egos, the bravado, and, in some cases, the reckless disregard for stay at home orders.
Issue: What “good” has already resulted from shutting down entire city, state, and nation populations due to the Covid-19 pandemic? Let’s take ‘a closer look’ …
If you haven’t yet noticed, we are in an international health crisis – the likes of which have never been seen on this size and scale. Our global population is closing in on 8 billion – and one of its largest, China, first experienced one of the most enigmatic and deadly outbreaks of what is termed “Covid-19.” As of this post publication (3/21/2020), China has (reportedly) gained control of the outbreak of new infections. Conversely, the location I’m currently residing in, Los Angeles, Calif., U.S.A. – is in its second full day of a complete lock down/ social distancing/ shelter-in-place, house arrest, or whatever you’d like to call it.