I’m fearful. How could I not be? We are, right now, heading towards a global recession with so many variables that there is no clear picture on how bad it will get, or how long it will last.
Opinions are the greatest commodity available at the moment, but much them are of little value as the coronavirus epidemic spreads, stock markets plummet, consumer behavior becomes illogical, and the supply chain of knowledge dwindles as quickly as auto parts and hand sanitizer.
Whether by paranoia or panic, we’ve got people stockpiling toilet paper in preparation for a shitstorm that will continue for who knows how long? Two months? Six months? A year?
Nobody is really talking about recession — not yet and not loudly — but history shows us where we are headed. 2008 is still fresh in our memory.
The coronavirus has been big news, globally, for months. We have been fortunate, so far, in Canada with cases of infections limited to a few provinces and only one death; so far. Statistics change hourly. The World Heath Organization has been avoiding the word ‘pandemic’ for weeks.
The picture in the United States is not as clear, but it is not good. Still, the North American continent is not yet in bad shape like, say, Italy, Iran, or South Korea. Or China.
And this recent crude oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia will further devastate money markets at a time when treasury boards can do so little to prop up individual economies. How much lower can interest rates be reduced?
Just yesterday a large domestic producer in this country announced plans to cut spending by more than 30 percent. The Canadian oil patch — already reeling — is in no way prepared for the economic downturn that has begun.
Governments are searching madly for ways to respond; our own prime minister is announcing something or other today. The ever-vainglorious U.S. president has been continually weighing in with his unfettered ignorance; more concerned about the battle he will face in this fall’s election.
And the race between the two Democrat hopefuls who plan to do battle with Donald Trump this autumn is in no way inspiring.
I’m fearful. You should be too. Of course, right now, that’s just my opinion.
*the above image is ‘borrowed’ from the rather clever video for the Van Halen song Right Now.
The 1991 image seems especially appropriate right now.