2020: Beyond the crisis

On Sunday afternoon I turned to some recorded TV news shows. But programs from three networks were garbled due to satellite problems.

So, I read an article by James Kostohryz, “The Next Leg Down: Another Massive Decline Is Coming.” Then a John Mauldin article, “We Are Facing a Depression, Not a Recession.” Then a Wall Street Journal article my multiple authors: “America’s Make-or-Break Week,” which was summarized by its sub-title: “The bills are now coming due for big companies and millions of laid-off workers. Decisions made in the next few days will shape how coronavirus impacts the economy.”

These articles helped me understand why Prohibition was repealed in 1933, and why this probably isn’t the week to watch Henry Fonda in the 1940 movie version of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Watch Harriet instead.

The stock market’s recent volatility led me to winnow my universe to only the strongest and most likely to flourish after Hurricane Corona passes. On March 23, I recorded the lows made that day by the companies I follow. While likely not a bottom, I felt the day’s lows would be a significant marker. The market seemed to agree, because the next three days were sharply higher.

The human suffering in this global pandemic vastly overshadows the importance of the market. The Great Depression, which shaped my parents’ generation and was so aptly depicted by Steinbeck, was minor compared to the suffering Harriet Tubman and millions more endured during the 246 years of slavery in America. A larger frame of reference can help us see beyond this present crisis!

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