Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Coronavirus - Cui Bono?

So how does the Coronavirus play out in the context of the whole world? If you are the dictator of a country and have an interest in keeping your population ignorant, not well. it's hard to cover up having to quarantine whole cities and getting everyone to wear surgical masks. Also hard to hide long wait lines at hospitals and widespread workplace closures. Blame it on anyone you want, but it's hard to hide your inability to actually do anything about it.

Biggest beneficiary: Leaders of open societies, and most notably President Trump. Trumps trade policies have avoided causing a global market crash by being very narrowly targeted and being backed up by diversification policies that have been moving the country away from such a heavy dependence on China. Not perfect by any stretch, but helpful in this context. Market corrections or sub-optimal performance can be blamed on the virus and while that's not 100% the case, it's probably enough true as not to matter much. Meantime, so far, the infection/fatality rates are much lower in the freer countries which instills confidence in their governments.

Of course if you're excessively paranoid and in to conspiracy theories you could postulate that the virus was developed in a university lab in Minnesota, and deliberately leaked to China by the Trump admin to destabilize the Chinese government and cover up the damage his trade war is doing. The big problem with this theory is that it involves the Deep State working quietly and efficiently in concert with the Trump administration and having no leaks at all in the process.

Right. Happens all the time.

NOTE: We now have an outbreak in Iran which the management there is not doing well with. Big surprise. Saudi Arabia is quietly in panic mode over the thought that a plane load of infected pilgrims might contaminate the prayer rugs in Mecca and Medina. Divine retribution, anyone?


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