Wall St.’s virus is short selling

Collusion. Impeachment. Contagion. Tough first term. Can the US  survive a second term if the stakes keep ramping up?

I failed to note the locust hitting Asia and Africa to give it a biblical prospective.

As I noted two weeks ago, empty big box store shelves are appearing as US consumers are panicked by breathless media reports of suspected coronavirus cases.

Wall Street offers no backbone as short sellers ravage shares to the tune of $6 trillion lost in global stocks as $4 trillion vaporized in US equities this week. Dow futures on Friday morning suggest another 1.3% leg down following Thursday’s 4.5% rout.

Trump should instruct his Securities and Exchange Commission chair Jay Clayton to institute the “Uptick Rule,” which could stem the short sellers ability to inflict further damage for the sake of profit.

The conventional wisdom that the markets are looking six months out appears to be lost right now. While many infectious experts believe this CoVid-19 outbreak will abate in the spring as the weather warms, the economic hardship of having Chinese manufacturing shut down for three to six months will take its toll in many business sectors.

However it is not the 401(k) money that is slamming the equity markets, no it’s the institutional investors in hedge funds and private equity that are making the easy money and it should be curtailed.

Perhaps Vice President Mike Pence’s announcement of naming Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to the the administration’s Coronavirus Task Force will provide relief for small investors. Then again maybe not since Mnuchin has a Goldman Sachs background.


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