Today really might be a historic crater in the markets

When I said weeks ago that I was relaxed about all this because Trump would obviously push for stimulus and strong controls, I had absolutely not anticipated that state and local governments would choose to nuke literally all commerce in their jurisdictions.

It is abundantly clear the chair of the Federal Reserve is an absolute jackass, and he is pushing a 2008-playbook in response to the crisis as well. He waited until blood was on the streets to drop rates to zero because he fancied himself to be in a dick-measuring contest with Trump. He was wrong, Trump was right. He needed to act sooner and bigger and he didn’t.

We do not need a 2008 response to this. We need stimulus that puts a lot of money into every single household in America – give it to the people directly, not major corporations – and we need it immediately. State and local governments just put potentially millions of people out of work overnight. Quantitative easing did not do much last go around except prop up paper markets, which as we saw, did not translate into helping the “real” economy. There is no logical reason to believe it will help here.

This has never happened before in this country, because we have never had a generation of politicians this poorly raised and innumerate. (Yes, you can go to Harvard Law School and still understand approximately nothing about how the real world operates. Credentials are not an education, as we have daily proof.) Politicians used to have to have day jobs themselves, they could not live off of taxpayers while their constituents suffered.

The opportunities to help people erode once the economy is destroyed at the level of firms and businesses, not just lower wages. You destroy business and businesses can no longer be vehicles to provide economic relief. This is now an event for which I can’t think of a precedent. At least with the financial panic of 2008 and the Great Depression, there was a natural purge that took time to play out. Yesterday was millions of people learning overnight that their businesses are effectively closed for a month.

Economists and historians for centuries will be studying that time that Americans decided arbitrarily to kill their entire fucking economy over a virus that had obviously been over-hyped by a chattering class with zero credibility or sense of responsibility. This policy response at the local level is totally unnecessary and cruel to millions of Americans. And its impacts will eventually be felt by the professional class, who think this is all one Netflix binge at the moment, because they are as innumerate as the people they elect.

To everyone pushing the “close everything” mentality on social media and elsewhere, go to the bathroom and look in the mirror. Understand that you and your ignorant, stupid panic personally had a role in people losing their financial lives this week. You and your goddamn lifetime supply of toilet paper.

I keep trying to remind myself of my own manta: Don’t bet against America. But this really could be bad, guys. You don’t shut down commerce at this level without serious pain, and the people who are doing it seem to have very little appreciation for what they’ve done. I’m praying for a miracle.

Quite appropriate that these governments announced policies betraying their own people on the Ides of March though.

5 thoughts on “Today really might be a historic crater in the markets

  1. I don’t know how serious this pandemic is going to be, because I’m not an epidemiologist. I do know the stock market will bounce back provided I live long enough. I know the grocery/toilet paper shortage will sort itself out as supply catches up to demand, as long as government doesn’t interfere. It does look like the greatest economic damage is coming from a few self-aggrandizing governors.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You know, it is really sad how many people have bought into this idea of total closure and shut down. Yesterday a friend of mine responded to my post, that only vaguely touched upon all this hype and craziness, and got really offended because I said I was still going to enjoy life and that shutting down all businesses and economies was far more devastating than the actual virus itself. She proceeded to tell me that because she has a compromised immune system, that this is justified. NO! Sorry, it is not! In fact, I find it very selfish that people only think of themselves and not how these total shutdowns will hurt the economies of not just our states and our country, but of the entire world. If people know they have compromised immune systems, it is THEIR responsibility to take precautions, just as if someone is infected, with any kind of virus, it is THEIR responsibility to stay home and to receive medical help when necessary. It is not fair to all the other millions of people, who are NOT sick, to have to completely shut down their lives and their livelihoods in order to protect these few people. I am sorry if this sounds harsh, but it is a reality. People need to work. The economies need to function. We CANNOT shut down the world because a few people get sick or MIGHT get sick.

    Liked by 1 person

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