2020 – Something Big is Afoot. Are You Prepared?
Economic Growth with Cross Currents
Shingles. Sounds like one is discussing a roof. But this virus is a remnant from the childhood disease called “Chicken Pox”. About 15 years ago the Love of My Life experienced a case of Shingles. After watching her deal with the pain and upon learning there was a vaccine, I visited my doctor and requested a prescription for the vaccine explaining that I did not want to have a similar experience. He said it was only 50% effective, restricted to folks 60 years or older, and I was only 57 at the time. My reply was “Round Up”. We had an intense conversation and …finally, he saw things my way. I walked out of his office with the prescription, went to the first pharmacy I saw, and got vaccinated. Done! Nope. Apparently, I was one of the 50% not protected. There is a new more effective vaccine, but I did not get the new one… I had been vaccinated. That bad decision had ripple effects.
The pain from my hernia surgery is past. The pain from the Shingles is intense and breath taking. I stay exhausted. As long as I sit still, everything is bearable. The moment something touches the site of the blisters, a combination of intense itching and stabbing pain is emitted. Have you ever tried to walk such that nothing touches your side, chest or back? Impossible. I am sure I provide comic relief to anyone who sees me or maybe they feel extreme sorrow for such an afflicted creature as they see struggling to walk. Perhaps they wonder “Why is that old man holding his shirt away from his body?”
Getting older is such fun. Three years ago, while recovering from my new ACL, I was told to stay off ladders. Now I am not supposed to pick up heavy weights. I will worry about all of that later, right now I am focused on getting well enough to go get the new Shingles vaccine.
Several folks read about my surgery and called to check in with me. Among those that called were some of my favorite minds with whom I enjoy conversations about economics and real estate. I tried to keep my whining to a minimum and invariably our conversation shifted to economic trends and occasionally the cultural war that is going on in the USA. Two of those conversations were especially significant. One I have been chewing on especially. I think of it as “The Call” but I have not processed it completely. Maybe next week’s blog.
Over the last week, there were several enormously important data points. Did you notice these?
1. Wuhan Virus – Some politically correct folks have chided me about my analysis based on numerous data points that indicated the Wuhan Virus is a bio-weapon that was intentionally released by China. Not covered by the Main Stream Media because it does not match their propaganda agenda, a British media company and Fox News broadcast interviews with Dr. Li-Meng Yan, the virologist whose specialty was immunology at the Hong Kong School of Public Health.
In December 2019, Dr, Yan studied the new virus and her results showed that the virus was a man-made virus not a bat virus, originated as a bio-weapon, and was released intentionally on the world by China. When she contacted her research peers and superiors about her results, she found herself locked out of her research data, the Chinese government delisted her research papers, and they confiscated her research. Recognizing that there was a high risk of “being disappeared”, she fled to the USA. The Chinese have tried to discredit her… which is an endorsement.
2. Wuhan Virus Antibody Therapeutic and Vaccine – The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine announced that the effectiveness of their drug Ab8 based on the antibody they discovered which in animal tests completely destroys the Wuhan Virus has been confirmed by the University of Texas Medical Branch Center for Biodefense and Emerging Diseases. Operation Warp Speed is bringing this crisis to an end in record time. I was off on the exact timing but earlier this year I predicted capitalism would deliver therapeutics and a vaccine. We are much better off today than we were six months ago and there is light at the end of the tunnel.
3. Lancaster, Pennsylvania – For several years, George Soros has spent enormous sums getting his candidates elected to the office of District Attorneys (DA) in major cities. Now we can see the effect of those Soros DA’s who have dismissed charges on the Protestors, Rioters, and Vandals (PRVs) that were arrested faster than I can say it. Think of it as recycling PRVS with a box score of $1 Billion in damage and 47 deaths. Soros must be proud of his Democrat DA’s. If you have been watching the videos of the continuing street battles between police and PRVs in Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, ad nauseum in Democratic Controlled cities in the USA, on Sunday you might have expected to add Lancaster, PA to the list. A white police officer responded to a domestic problem only to be attacked by a knife wielding black man who had a history of cutting people with his knife. To defend himself the policeman shot the man with the knife, killed him, and the PRV’s responded by attacking the police precinct, etc. Damage, fires, injuries all led to arrests. That is where the story changed. The Lancaster District Attorney set the bail for the PRVs that were arrested at $1 Million each. None made bail so they are still in jail. The word got out to the other PRVs. There were no further riots. Oh, the Lancaster DA is a Republican not a Democrat.
4. Mideast Peace Treaty – Did you see the Treaty signing between Israel and Bahrain and UAE? Clinton’s failed Mideast peace treaty still costs us Billions of Dollars every year. Obama was so out negotiated by Iran that he gave them $5 Billion Dollars in cash which funded terrorism around the world and in return Obama got a worthless autograph. Trump accomplishes the “impossible” and the major media ignore it plus the Richmond Times Dispatch puts the article on page 12.
5. The Fed – Wednesday, Chairman Powell announced they would be holding interest rates at or close to zero through 2023 or until inflation went above 2% per annum ON AVERAGE. That means inflation would have to go up to 3% or 4% for some period of time in order to get the average up to 2%. The stock market was not happy as it upended their assumptions about economic growth. Until the election in November is DECIDED, look for stock market volatility. By the way, The Fed has increased its Balance Sheet from $4 Trillion to $7.1 Trillion. Will they QE all the bonds needed to keep interest rates at 0% when inflation kicks in and the financial markets raise interest rates? Caution.
The stock market continues to fluctuate because it is so fully priced. The Wuhan Virus is giving an excuse for the Democratic governors to hold back restaurants and smaller businesses from reopening. Therefore, every positive announcement about a vaccine drives the market up and any negative pulls it down.
An even greater risk to the stock market is the election, not just who might win but will it be swayed by ballot fraud. The Democrats have pushed for mail in ballots often with little regard for vote security. Both sides are gearing up for a protracted legal battle.
Meantime, both the residential market and industrial markets are red hot. That means those portions of the land market are quite active. We will eventually see bubbles in both markets, but this period of time should be enjoyed now so that when we are in pain in the future we can look back fondly.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”
(John 14:27 New Revised Standard Version, Oxford University Press)
Capitalism builds wealth, socialism consumes it in self destruction. I serve an awesome God. With God on our side, who can stand against us.
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