There are many things in life that are predictable. Summer is not that far off. The Yankees and the Mets will have a better year. The Islanders will be playing all their games at the Nassau Coliseum next year. During my lifetime, the most unpredictable part of our lives is the stock market.
The average resident pays little or no attention to the gyrations of the market unless they have a 401k plan. Over the past eight years, most 401k plans have done very well and that’s the good news. But anyone who pays attention to the market, other than the experts, must be confused by its current dramatic ups and downs.
My first observation about the craziness of the stock market was when General Dwight D. Eisenhower was president. It seems that Eisenhower was hospitalized due to a stomach ailment which now called Crohn’s disease. Every day, the market bounced around based on what he had eaten for lunch and his body temperature. A bland diet for a presidential lunch made the market go up 700 points. A slight uptick in his body temperature, caused a decline of 450 points.
With the expected increase in reports about the number of people infected by the coronavirus, you can expect the stock market to rise and fall daily in staggering numbers. No matter how disinterested the average citizen is in the climate on Wall Street, sooner or later, people will start making rash decisions about vacations, investments and other parts of their life, because of the potential bad news from market reporters. Instead of letting the market dictate our decisions its time for the people who run our government to take charge of this impending health crises.
The job of the federal agencies that monitor health conditions is to be proactive to any threats to our health. By now, every one of the 50 states should have had hundreds of thousands of testing kits at hand that are not defective. If they don’t have the proper equipment, then give them federal money to do local testing. It has been reported that China has tested millions of people for the virus threat, compared to paltry numbers in the United States.
There is no doubt that more aggressive testing may reveal larger numbers of people who are infected. Honest reporting of test results will help the entire nation better understand what new steps must be taken to protect our population. I am not advocating for a pandemic in the United States. I am suggesting that the facts about how to handle this potential crisis should come from our national leaders and not be based on the craziness of Wall Street.