Christina/ March 21, 2020/ The daily grind

Until November 2016 I did not know what the term “Black Swan” means. Than, Donald Trump became President elected of the United States on November 8th, 2016. On that day stock exchange prices went down and then up again. I start to take interest in stock markets and get myself the “Börsenradio”-App. Amongst others I studied Business Administration, i.e. I know a little bit about how markets are working. Until then I believed that markets are rational and share prices would rise upon corporate profits and vice versa. Than I hear about certain stock market adage like: “political markets will not last for long”, “continuous buying and selling will make you lose” and “give when everybody is selling and sell, when everybody is giving.” Okay, I did not attach too much significance to that at first. In 2017 stock market prizes are rising and rising. At that time nearly everybody could have made a fortune. In 2018 things change. Stock prices go down, people start to become nervous, the crash prophets appear and the term “Black Swan” comes up. A Black Swan is an unexpected and unpredictable incident with massive econimic consequences.

That does not happen yet in 2018 even though that year’s performance is rather low and the slack monetary policy of the central banks meets with criticism and fear. As prices rise again in 2019 and the outlook is positive again the sentiment becomes positive again, the warning voices become silent.

Greta Thunberg and the clima crises
Suddenly Greta Thunberg appears on the scene, a 16-years old pupil from Sweden. Suddenly it is all about “green and sustainable financial assets”. Even the robber barons of this world, like Larry Fink of Blackrock, write flaming letters to their top managers and tells them to practice “Green Washing” urgently. Well I guess so called top managers of this world are not really amused about being rebuked in public by a “little” girl. Well, quite embarrissing the whole thing, but not really a “Black Swan”.

The Black Swan appears
From close to scratch here it is: the Black Swan. In December 2019 EVERYTHING changes, even though hardly anybody realizes it so far: the first Corona-case occurs in Wuhan, a million-resident metropolis in the province Hubei in China. Until then I did not hear about Wuhan. At first, the whole matter seemed to be very far away. The meaning and dynamik of the matter was completely unpredictable at that time. However, he had arrived: The Black Swan. At first it was “just” about the Chinese economy. Bad enough already as we are all connected to each other economically because of globalization. Everybody was talking about bad economic consequences. Noboday expected a pandemia and thus a catastrophy for the world. Both, Down-Jones and Dax are doing well at the beginning of the year so everything seemed to be okay so far. Mid February however the mood slowly changes. People start to realize that the corona-virus is more dangerous than expected. And still people do not know how to handle the situation.

Everything is different!
Henceforward everything changes. Suddenly I watch TV news every day which I have not done for a while. I am looking for reliable news on the Internet and come across the Corona-Update podcast of a German virologist of the renowned Charité of Berlin, Christian Drosten. I am really thankful for this guy and his daily information. He seems to be solid like a rock and honest. I do not want any Fake News I want concrete information. He tells us about the development and the chances to stop Corona. In the meantime panic buying has started and I suddenly run the risk of losing orientation myself. On the one hand, politicians tell us that basic services are safe but the “street” shows another picture. I grew up in a consumer society. I witnessed empty shelves in a supermarket only once, when the wall fell and people bought nearly everything from their “welcome bonus”. However, that passed by quickly.

How long will it last and what’s to come?
The situation is very much different from everything I have seen so far, that’s for sure already. The pandemia will have unpredictable consequences for everybody. We live in a situation that nobody could have imagined. Every Hollywood-Horror-Movie with such a plot would have failed: too unrealistic, too overcast. And it is getting worse every day: shops are closed, restaurants are closed, bars, museums, schools, universities, everything closed. Public life is dying, slowly but surely. And nobody knows if that is enough to stop the virus, for how long the state of emergency will last and what’s to come after the crisis. Only one thing is for sure: we will go on, but not like before.

I have great respect for all doctors, nurses, employees in supermarkets and other public facilities who do their utmost and beyond that in this situation. I am also affected by the restrictions howevere I know that this is not about me but about saving my and other people’s lives.

Stay sound – take care for yourself and others – bolster each other up!

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