Between a rate cut and a $100 million reward for stopping the Covid virus, I would take the $100 million award any day of the week.
As the fear continues, the cessation of business meetings and get togethers sets in, we find ourselves in a real quandary. No matter what you do, if you try to minimize the coronavirus at all with facts about lethality for ages and for compromised groups, you can't win.
Which means that fear is driving pretty much everything these days, some rational and some erratic and even threatening.
Look, I think it's pretty simple, we are going to try to avoid getting it until we get it -- that's the common thought, as I don't know a soul who really thinks he won't get it. That's how thick the fear is.
We are in the world of mitigation not containment. In an economy with cross borders so easily obtained, you can't really hope to shut it down.
But what you can do is figure out a way to make it so if you get it the lethality of it is somehow diminished.
Which brings me to the $100 million prize. We have so many fantastic minds in the world, minds that could be unleashed if they knew there was a pot of gold in it so they would feel there's something to be gained from stopping everything and focusing on this illness. We have much better tools than we used to have. Where is our Elon Musk? Where is our Jonas Salk? Where are our mumps, measles, small pox, chicken pox and polio solvers?
Whenever I veer into the science of the matter, I find myself castigated for not being a virologist. That's silly. Since when do you have to be a doctor to write about medicine? I am developing my own medicine right now with the help of a prominent doctor at a major teaching hospital. If I listened to these critics I would never have gotten as far as I have gotten. It might not work, but at least I am giving it a try.
Yet, the naysayers say stick with the Fed as something that can help. I come back and say how can it help? Can it invent a vaccine or a medicine that gets you healthier faster so you don't have to go on a ventilator at a hospital. Can it get you back to work faster and don't you wish you knew how fast you could get back to work when you get sick?
While we wait for the non-existent prize the government has to be sure that there is "tide over" money for the millions of small businesses that will not have enough clients and customers because of the new "stay at home" economy. The big chains can get through it. You are not going to see Yum! Brands (YUM) go down, or Darden Restaurants (DRI) go down, although their stocks are a tough buy, given the stay-at-home ethos. But the independents? I can see them going down rather easily, as they live hand to mouth. Same with smaller retailers or any mall-based business, because no one wants to go where people are gathering.
So, a prize and tide-over loans. Both more important than the Fed, but both beyond the ken of those who know nothing but the Fed 24/7 and want to put that square peg into a round hole.