Let's Be Careful Out There

I don't like trafficking in end-of-the-world predictions. On the whole, humans tend to figure stuff out, so I am by no means a doomsayer. In fact, the market often worries too much about imaginary disasters, so usually I am on the side of calling for calm.

Yet there is sometimes a potentially worrisome situation that the market seems to ignore. Or at least ignores for a while. Then in a sickening whoosh, the worst-case scenario gets discounted.

I sure hope I am wrong about this next development. Nothing will make me happier than to be proven the little-boy-who-cried-wolf.

However, I think it is an important enough development to bring to your attention as the market seems to be almost completely ignoring a serious development in the Chinese swine flu crisis occurring in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

From a Reuters article titled "As virus spreads to more Chinese cities, WHO calls emergency meeting":

BEIJING (Reuters) - An outbreak of a new coronavirus has spread to more Chinese cities, including the capital Beijing and Shanghai, authorities said on Monday, and a fourth case has been reported beyond China’s borders.
China’s National Health Commission confirmed that the virus, which causes a type of pneumonia, can pass from person-to-person, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
President Xi Jinping said curbing the outbreak and saving lives was a top priority as the number of patients more than tripled and a third person died.
Adding to the difficulties of containing it, hundreds of millions of Chinese will be traveling domestically and abroad during the Lunar New Year holiday that starts this week.
Authorities around the globe, including in the United States and many Asian countries, have stepped up screening of travelers from Wuhan, the central city where the virus was first discovered.
“Wuhan is a major hub and with travel being a huge part of the fast approaching Chinese New Year, the concern level must remain high. There is more to come from this outbreak,” said Jeremy Farrar, a specialist in infectious disease epidemics and director of the Wellcome Trust global health charity.
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