March 23-27, 2020

 

a look back at this week’s essays…

A Challenge That Every Business Owner in the World Is Facing Right Now

JS has a dilemma.

“Right now,” she writes, “I strongly believe in self-isolation… which brings me to a question about the young woman who cleans my apartment. I want to tell her to stay home. And I want to tell her that I will pay her even if she doesn’t clean. But for how long? I don’t want her to think that this ‘offer’ (if I make it) is open-ended. What is the right thing to do? I don’t really know. What do you think?”

This is what I told her…

Click here to read more.

The Stock Market Collapse, and What We Can Learn About Economics

The cause of the current financial crisis is the same as every financial crisis we’ve ever had. What’s different is this widespread government shutdown of businesses. This didn’t happen in any of the other virus outbreaks. It didn’t happen in 1987 or 2000-2002 or 2008. It didn’t even happen in 1929.

What happens when you have a widespread shutdown of private enterprise?

Click here to read more.

 

quick quiz

1. How much do you remember about this week’s “Words to the Wise”? Can you use each one of these words in a sentence:

* promulgate (3/23/20)

* Black Swan event (3/25/20)

* anomaly (3/27/20)

2. Fill in the blanks in this week’s quotations:

“Government is like a ______. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.” – Ronald Reagan (3/23/20)

“_____are not paid on profits not made on sales of products never produced by workers not working, truckers not trucking, and buyers not buying. And we are just at the beginning.” – Bill Bonner (3/25/20)

“O Gold! I still prefer thee unto _____, which makes bank credit like a bark of vapour.” – Lord Byron (3/27/20)

3. Are these statements True or False?

* If you counted 24 hours a day, it would take more than 30,000 years to reach a trillion. (3/23/20)

* If stocks rise on all the bailout news, then give up another 50% of their value, old timers call it “a dead cat bounce.” (3/25/20)

* The lion’s share of the world’s gold is held in storage by individuals or worn as jewelry. (3/27/20)

 

recommended links from this week’s blog

 “Coronavirus Explained: How It Shut Down the World” – In this video, Patrick Bet-David talks about the coronavirus, how it spreads, the most deadly epidemics in history, and how viruses affect the stock markets around the world. (The guy is mesmerizing!) Click here.

“Please Pass the Salt” – Got some spare time now that you’re stuck in the house all day? Here’s something you can try…

How good are you at punctuation? To try a 10-question test designed for middle-schoolers, click here.

Ready for a little coronavirus humor? Click here.

“An eventful week at the Masaya Volcano” – Nicaragua’s Masaya volcano – which we often fly over on our way from Managua to Rancho Santana – was recently featured as part of Good Morning America’s Extraordinary Earth series. You can watch the GMA segment here.

More viral humor… click here.

 

Q&A

Question: Are you concerned about government trying to take too much control during this crisis?

Answer: In times of national crisis, those that have faith in central governance want to see more of it. In business, you centralize things when you want to exert control and decentralize things when you want to stimulate growth. Central planners thrive on power. Decentralizers thrive on freedom.

Our federal, state, and local governments are centralizing power at a scope and pace I haven’t seen in my lifetime. And although I don’t dispute the occasional need for it (just as I don’t in business), I worry that all these newly empowered politicians will find it difficult to give up that power after the current crisis has abated.

This brief article from History.com sheds some light on that: “Why Congress Passed the Defense Production Act in 1950” To read it, click here.

After you read it, let me know what you think. Are you concerned about government trying to take too much control during this crisis? Post your answer on our Contact Us page.

Have a question for me? Submit it on our Contact Us  page.

 

Take a look back at the stock market for the last week here.