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Ebola and Investments
Old 10-13-2014, 09:45 PM   #1
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Ebola and Investments

Events of the last few weeks do not give me warm and fuzzy feelings about the ability of our government or our health care providers, to control ebola in the USA.
Maybe we'll get lucky, maybe not.

If things get out of hand, my offhand guess is that we'd have a severe recession/depression and a recovery that could take longer than I will live. Even if I don't personally get ebola.

I'm soliciting opinions on what might happen, and how (dirty market timing) to suffer the least financial damage.

Sell all stocks and go 100% Treasuries?
Seems pretty extreme...
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Old 10-13-2014, 09:52 PM   #2
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If this thing gets loose I will not give a damn about investments. I will only be interested in ensuring that my family survives. So I have a 1% allocation to emergency supplies/firearms/etc. and the rest is invested normally.
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Old 10-13-2014, 10:28 PM   #3
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Grim stuff, even as speculation. As has been discussed here in the past, why strive for a 100% success rate in FIRECalc when many other factors, such as a stable society/government, have less than a 100% certainty.

Per wikipedia, "In the Late Middle Ages (1340-1400) Europe experienced the most deadly disease outbreak in history when the Black Death, the infamous pandemic of bubonic plague, hit in 1347, killing a third of the human population. It is believed that society subsequently became more violent as the mass mortality rate cheapened life and thus increased warfare, crime, popular revolt, waves of flagellants, and persecution."

In any type of plague, health care demand will spike up, then down. If earth's population declines by, say, 1/3rd during a decade, demand for goods will be way down everywhere. At least the survivors won't be as worried about global warming.
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Old 10-13-2014, 11:53 PM   #4
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"Ebola and Investments"......

I'm Speechless
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:40 AM   #5
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Less than 100 years ago, the flu pandemic killed maybe 5% of the worlds population, and more than that in some local areas. It was worldwide and devastating, but people adapted and recovered and soon it was the roaring twenties.. So far Ebola has killed less than 0.00007%. Much less than many diseases we routinely live with and take for granted. Apocalyptic scenarios make good movies and people love scary stories and scary speculation. There will be lots of panic no matter how bad this gets, but we know a lot more and we will adapt and recover.

But I am also with Brewer and will take simple precautions to avoid contact and infection if it ever spreads so much that that makes sense. As an almost ER, I'm in much better position than many working people to take my family and hunker down and be anti-social if it comes to that. But we are a long way from that.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:08 AM   #6
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Someone is surely working on an ebola vaccine right now. There's the place to park your money if you think ebola will have an impact on the financial world.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:36 AM   #7
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Invest in a flue vaccine this season. 50,000 deaths in the US per year. 250K-500K worldwide.
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Old 10-14-2014, 07:19 AM   #8
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Old 10-14-2014, 08:09 AM   #9
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Right now I'm more worried about measles, enterovirus D68, West Nile and Chickungunya.
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:13 AM   #10
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We can always look on the bright side. The Black Death in the 14th century in Europe set the stage for the Renaissance and the elimination of the feudal system.
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:17 AM   #11
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I'm more concerned about a 3 day drive with a cat and 2 cars with over 560,000 miles between them.
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:19 AM   #12
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Current estimates from the World Bank is a cost of 31.6 Billion, but this was made at a point when 3500 people had died. With an indefinite horizon, the is no way to put a number on this.
Currently, the financial markets are centering in on West Africa.
The worst pandemic in the past 100 years was the 1918 Influenza outbreak. The number of deaths have been estimated at from 50 to 100 million.
From Wiki:
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The 1918 flu pandemic (January 1918 – December 1920) was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic, the first of the two pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus. It infected 500 million people across the world, including remote Pacific islands and the Arctic, and killed 50 to 100 million of them—three to five percent of the world's population—making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history.
As an interesting aside to this, while treatment was less available at that time, neither was the mobility factor near that of today.
The number of state and federal Public Healthcare workers has declined by 19%% since 2008. Some of the worst projections of changes that may be necessary suggest that instead of individual hospitals gearing up to handle large numbers of patients... it could be necessary to establish large central isolation units to effect the economies of scale. Not just money economies, but allowing for concentrated treatment by greater, centralized training.
(Think... that just to change protective clothing takes four people and 20 minutes).

At this point, the understanding of the disease is in the process of change. The 21 day incubation period, and the means of transmission is still not firmly understood. The establishment of "protocols" for dealing with protection is also in the process of revaluation.

And so, while it is comforting to know that the full attention of the medical community will be centered on containment and cure, we aren't there yet.

Easy to blame the press for hyping the concerns, but the memory of 1918 lingers. Maybe in the long run, public awareness will be the best tool for prevention and control.

Between the worries about ISIS, and the spread of Ebola, no small wonder about the uncertainty of investing.

"The world is too much with us..."
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:27 AM   #13
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Five ebola-fighting biotech firms to invest in: Today's Market: Biotech Stocks To Buy For Their Ebola Vaccines | Seeking Alpha

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After the news broke that the United States had its first case of Ebola, investors bid up the shares of Tekmira Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TKMR), BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:BCRX), Sarepta Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SRPT), Newlink Genetics (NASDAQ:NLNK) and even 'Big Pharma' company GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK). Tekmira Pharmaceuticals led the way higher, as many investors are already familiar with the company and their TKM-Ebola drug which was used to treat the first two caretakers brought back to the US from Africa.
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:45 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by calmloki View Post
I'm more concerned about a 3 day drive with a cat and 2 cars with over 560,000 miles between them.
You have to drive to the Moon and back?
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:47 AM   #15
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You have to drive to the Moon and back?


And here I was thinking "That's really a high-mileage cat..."
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Old 10-14-2014, 10:00 AM   #16
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And here I was thinking "That's really a high-mileage cat..."
Might be a hover cat
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Old 10-14-2014, 10:08 AM   #17
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It is a high mileage cat, which is mightily un-enthused about the car riding thing. I'm pretty sure. or maybe that vigorous tail wagging indicates a happy cat and the cat commentary is all about the scenery.

Actually it's an 1100 mile drive with 2 people, 1 cat and 2 cars, one with 315,000miles and another with 246,000.
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Old 10-16-2014, 04:09 PM   #18
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Grim stuff, even as speculation. As has been discussed here in the past, why strive for a 100% success rate in FIRECalc when many other factors, such as a stable society/government, have less than a 100% certainty.

Per wikipedia, "In the Late Middle Ages (1340-1400) Europe experienced the most deadly disease outbreak in history when the Black Death, the infamous pandemic of bubonic plague, hit in 1347, killing a third of the human population. It is believed that society subsequently became more violent as the mass mortality rate cheapened life and thus increased warfare, crime, popular revolt, waves of flagellants, and persecution."

In any type of plague, health care demand will spike up, then down. If earth's population declines by, say, 1/3rd during a decade, demand for goods will be way down everywhere. At least the survivors won't be as worried about global warming.
I've heard that many people benefitted economically from the aftermath of 14th century plague in Europe. Increased mobility, the end of serfdom. The Medici family became very wealthy merchants following the Plague. Also, is was 1/3 of Europe's population, although China and India were hard hit, many parts of the world were entirely untouched.

Speaking of Ebola and investments, does anyone know what company manufactures those hazmat suits? I think I might want to buy some stock....
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Old 10-16-2014, 04:22 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by EastWest Gal View Post

Speaking of Ebola and investments, does anyone know what company manufactures those hazmat suits? I think I might want to buy some stock....
Ebola Stocks: Hazmat Suit, Face Mask, PPE Companies Spike As Ebola Virus Outbreak Spreads
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