by Jack Kelly
It’s another horrible, terrible, no-good, dreadful down day for Wall Street, as stocks drop over 900 points. This is on top of yesterday’s 1,000-plus plummet.
I’m sorry to be the one to tell you that things are not looking so rosy. Fortunately, we are finally waking up to the threat of the coronavirus outbreak. By becoming aware, hopefully our leaders in Washington can take a break from doing nothing but arguing with each other to start taking the appropriate actions to keep us safe.
I don’t know what they’ve been doing, but we have all seen by now the graphic, stomach-turning, heartbreaking pictures and videos secretly leaked out of China. These visuals show people literally falling down, face-first onto the ground and dying. Citizens have been aggressively rounded up and sent to hospital. Many people were physically locked into their homes and apartments by what looks like armed government personnel. Millions of people have been quarantined. Travel has been banned. Businesses have ground to a halt or shut down completely.
If companies stop—or significantly curtail—conducting business in the second largest country in the world, we’re in for some trouble. The media, Wall Street and the public are realizing that the supply chain of goods from China will be disrupted. If factories are not producing products such as iPhones, clothes and everything else we buy from them, department stores and supermarkets will be empty. Revenues and profits will fall. People will most likely be downsized and hiring will seize up until there is more clarity.
In case you’re interested, I’m pissed off because I saw this coming and planned to make some investments that would profit if the stock market dropped. When I didn’t see any cracks in the stock market and read about China infusing its economy with billions of dollars, I figured “what the hell do I know?!” After all, I’m just another dopey recruiter, CEO and writer—not a professional investor. Here’s a lesson: always trust your instincts (unless you are usually wrong), as most often, you probably know more than the so-called experts who are busy yelling about politics and other things they know nothing about.
Enough with my whining. Are you in the mood for some conspiracy theories to brighten your day? Twitter has banned the following theory, so let’s avoid tweeting about it. There’s a bioweaponry laboratory in Wuhan, China—the epicenter of the coronavirus. Some people, including the Twitter-banned blog Zero Hedge and Senator Tom Cotton, claim that the virus was made by the scientists and inadvertently leaked out to the public.
Another related theory is that the laboratory in Wuhan that tests viruses (especially on animals), sold the animal subjects to “wet markets” (you don’t want to watch those videos) for human consumption. Now, I’m not saying that I believe this, but I’m just trying to liven up a grey, dreary day in New York with some gossip. C’mon…it’s a little better than dwelling on a down stock market that is hurting peoples’ pockets and the real concerns for those infected with the virus.
Speaking of viruses, there’s another interesting conspiracy rumor floating around. Michael Bloomberg, as we all know, is now buying—sorry, campaigning—to become president. He’s spent millions of dollars in advertising and is now a contender, despite his dreadful performance in the last debate.
Here’s the tea: Bloomberg literally owns a media empire. In full disclosure, I listen to Bloomberg radio and watch Bloomberg TV all of the time. Over a year ago, Bloomberg was kicked off (or left—depending upon whose version you believe) cable over a monetary dispute.
In January, the Bloomberg channel was resurrected. As an avid viewer, I noticed changes on the radio (yes, he owns a bunch of stations) and the newly emerged television station. For the last few weeks, Bloomberg television ran nonstop fearfests about the coronavirus and its impact on the economy and stock market. Meanwhile, on the radio, there are unrelenting reports detailing with the negative aspects of President Donald Trump’s economy.
Since the majority of listeners and viewers for both Bloomberg radio and TV are well-to-do, Wall-Street types, it looks like he was planting the seeds of fear. If investors start panicking, they’ll furiously sell. The stock market has been on a 10-year tear, making many people filthy rich. If a light could be lit to ignite fear and panic ensues, the ultra-wealthy investors and big institutions will sharp elbow each other to sell their stocks first and salvage their huge gains before it’s too late. This would cause what we’re seeing right now before our very eyes.
The stock market is Trump’s one crowning achievement. If stocks crash or plunge, it will look bad for him. Bloomberg, the acknowledged smarty-pants financial guy, can get up on his box at the podium on tonight’s debate stage and promote himself as our savvy “financial savior.” He’ll say that Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren don’t know how to resurrect a faltering economy and fast-dropping stock market. He’ll point out that socialism won’t work now, as there is a major crisis to deal with. Die-hard Trump fans may be swayed if the markets keep precipitously falling.
You’ll probably start seeing the media jump on the bandwagon. They didn’t say much about the coronavirus, but will do so now. They’ll talk about doom, gloom, stocks falling, people getting sick and dying. This will fall right into their anti-Trump narrative and also boast their ratings.
Okay, enough with the bad stuff. On a positive note, you have to read the story of the 42-year-old Zamboni driver who got onto the ice and scored a winning goal in the NHL. Well, you probably don’t have to read it now that I’ve ruined it for you. Oops, sorry!