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The Real Black Swan Event

By May 10, 2020Commentary

Investors often refer to Black Swan events; those totally unexpected, unpredictable, events that appear very rarely, but can completely change a situation.  The coronavirus may appear to be one of those events.  But we have endured pandemics before, particularly of influenza, and public health experts have warned us repeatedly that they will recur in the future.  The real Black Swan of the coronavirus epidemic is our reaction.  Who would have imagined that our so-called leaders would have allowed themselves to be stampeded by a frantic and sensationalizing media into completely shutting down economic and social activity.  This is unprecedented and frightening in its implications and we will have to take action as societies to ensure that it can’t happen again.  I have written before about the literature and study of mass hysteria, delusions and panic.  We know these things can happen, so we need to protect ourselves by creating mechanisms to ensure that they don’t.  And we need to get ourselves out of this one as fast as we can.

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