The Real Covidiots Are the Confident — PANIC-21 Will be Worst
Editor’s note: Our editors are taking a very well-deserved Christmas break, so while they’re away, we’re featuring their most popular articles from the past year. This one is from 12 September.
Do you remember when Victorians were laughing about Sydney’s curfew and lockout laws? We chuckled about how they’d turned the vibrant nightlife of the city into a ghost town…
Now who’s laughing?
Do you remember when Donald Trump was ridiculed and accused of being a racist for restricting travel from China? When he first warned the world that COVID-19 was deadly serious, other world leaders and his own scientific advisor were still telling people not to worry.
Trump told us that the virus was airborne when the WHO said it wasn’t. They even doubted human-to-human transmission!
Now Trump is being ridiculed in the media for downplaying the disease…
From pandemic piñata to immunity idol, ‘Sweden now has one of Europe’s lowest COVID-19 death rates’, reports CNN. And, for all the nitpickers out there, ‘Sweden’s COVID-19 case rate has dropped below both Norway and Denmark’, reports the UK’s Telegraph.
Can you imagine how awkward that is for the lockdowners?
Within days of any state or nation declaring itself COVID-free, you can be sure a covidiot will set out to prove them wrong. New Zealand and Queensland celebrated within sight of the starting line let alone the finishing line.
Even those who warned about the second wave have been embarrassed by it. They claimed it would be more deadly than the first based on previous pandemics. But the second wave isn’t leading to more deaths, so far. In fact, deaths aren’t trending up at all in most places experiencing the second wave.
Here in London, a list of so-called Nightingale hospitals sprung up to handle the flood of patients. The UK government’s priority in handling the pandemic was to ‘Save the NHS’ instead of having the healthcare system save its patients. Strangely enough, nursing homes copped the COVID infected patients which hospitals turned away, instead of the Nightingales, which stood empty…NHS staff spent the pandemic posting dance videos while the entire nation applauded them from front lawns and balconies every Thursday evening.
Another type of blunder has flowed steadily from our leaders and enlightened ones. From French President Macron removing his face mask so that he could cough more comfortably at a group of students, to press conference speakers and journalists only keeping their masks on when they think the cameras are rolling, to a series of extra-marital affairs by lockdown imposing leaders and their advisors, nobody is safe from their own hypocrisy anymore.
But even such COVID hypocrites get their own back sometimes. As NSW arts minister Don Harwin discovered, the media is only too happy to humiliate themselves over COVID-19 too. The man was accused, charged, found guilty, and fined $1,000 according to journalists, all before the police had even looked into whether he had actually breached the lockdown laws…
Once the government’s lawyers looked at the police’s case, they found more holes than in a peer reviewed epidemiology paper and dropped the case. Don was reinstated.
Let’s not even begin with the mask debate…or the hydroxychloroquine…or the ventilators…or how COVID deaths are measured…
The ability of this pandemic to make a fool out of everyone eventually is unsurpassed. Only in Australia is the trust in governments, academics, scientific models, and experts holding up reasonably well.
I can tell you, it completely mystifies people around the world that we’re putting up with closed borders within the country, bans on leaving the country, and a complete debacle for those trying to enter it.
Meanwhile, my mum moved house internationally from Austria to Germany while the border was supposedly closed. She did it all, from start to finish, at the height of Europe’s lockdowns…
Her housewarming party was well attended…
Only the journalists at the local IKEA were surprised by her move. She made it into that particular local paper for the first time since being a car model decades ago. This time with an IKEA shopping trolley…
I better explain where all of this is going, as amusing as it may be. This isn’t just fun and games. Investors risk being made a fool of too. And that costs money instead of just self-esteem.
As we’ve often discussed in the past, human psychology is designed to lead you astray when it comes to investing in financial markets. And pandemics bring out the worst in our little flaws.
So, as every opinion possible to hold about COVID-19 gets upended at some point; how do you avoid becoming a victim financially too?
Ignore the rumours and don’t trust the news, for one. The market is flipping in what it believes mighty often. We’ve had the fastest bear market, bull market, and corrections ever. Holding any opinion on where it’s going for long is a mistake.
Second, if you think that governments and central banks can paper over a pandemic without far more economic and financial carnage than we’ve experienced so far, you’re dreaming.
Not until all the government programs, temporary measures, and support is withdrawn will we see the consequences of the lockdown…or the pandemic, depending on who you ask. PANIC-21 will be worse than COVID-19 for investors.
In my view, exposing the reality lurking behind the government policies would be too ugly to contemplate anytime soon. The likely sequence of events, then, is a very gradual rollback of programs. This means poor economic and financial performance for years to come. A bit like in Europe and Japan after their crises. Stagnation to avoid a bust.
But staying in cash and waiting out the crisis could be a mistake too. The banking system is more exposed to this mess than anyone. And, under G20 rules agreed to in Brisbane in 2014, bank bail-in laws mean that depositors’ money can be taken to rescue the banks.
Whatever you do, don’t make a big punt on the markets now. Just as the science over COVID keeps upturning faster than the politicians who supposedly rely on it, financial markets keep changing their mind too. Even if you’re right about where the market is going, you’ll likely by ‘proven’ wrong several times along the way.
One last note. My grapevine has picked up an odd story in several different places around the world at the same time. It seems that gold dealers are unable to meet demand from retail investors. They’re sold out.
You’d think this just means that the gold price goes up and the market clears. Basic supply and demand. But that hasn’t happened. Not yet.
This suggests that another surge in gold is coming. But, by the time it strikes, you won’t be able to get your hands on any gold. Because the supply is proving a problem.
So, what should you do?
Until next time,
Editor, The Daily Reckoning Australia
PS: Australia’s Great COVID Recession — Learn which investments to accumulate and which ones to avoid in order to give you the best chance of preserving your wealth during the recession. Click here to learn more.