This last week, the American stock market seems to have taken a beating. Especially the Dow, as Market Watch reports: Up-down-up-down – a thousand points:
It was an especially bad week for at least ONE billionaire: Jeff Bezos’ fortune dropped by $13 billion in just hours after Amazon shared its first quarter results. Bezos, the world’s richest person after Elon Musk, was already the fourth-biggest wealth loser this year, with his fortune dropping by $23 billion through Thursday. Amazon posted a loss of $3.8 billion this week and predicted sluggish growth for the second quarter. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, if the loss continues, Bezos will be worth $155 billion — down from a 2021 peak of $210 billion. (According to LinkedIn).
My heart bleeds for him: imagine having your net work shrinking by 25% in just a year, with over of tenth vanishing in a single week!
Of course, another billionaire may have just deep-sixed a fifth of his $264 billion dollar fortune, too. Elon Musk has spent a lot more on buying the damaged-goods called Twitter than he ever spent on sending a Tesla Roadster out into the universe. In the eyes of many people – including some fairly smart and well-informed ones – Twitter is on the same path as such once-great firms like Montgomery Wards, Sears, and Kodak.
And of course, all the pundits are in a frenzy: the economy is collapsing, the markets are collapsing, and we have to be ready for Armageddon or the Gotterdammerung. Or something.
Some of this seems to hold more water than others. The Russo-Ukrainian War and the tacit alliance of most of the Western Powers with the Ukraine has created major economic problems. And worsened the supply chain fiasco caused by the Pandemic Panic and Chinese troubles. (Why a tacit alliance? Massive military aid (including all kinds of weapons and ammo) and the economic sanctions.)
The list of items in short (or no) supply in much of the world is long, but here are some major ones: fertilizers, grain (wheat especially), rare earths, metals in general, fuel and other petroleum products. Indeed, enough to trigger massive worldwide shortages – and even to induce famine in some places. Stupid government tricks and poor weather may add to this.
BUT – very little of the hype spreading out from the government, the government-supporting media, and the talking heads has little to do with real problems. Especially when DC and Paris and Bonn and London all spout nonsense about how WONDERFULLY the economy is growing because we are past the Pandemic. AND blaming it on Russia and Putin.
As we’ve pointed out in the past, almost nothing we are reading and hearing on the media – whatever brand we are listening to – is simple truth. It is tainted, corrupted, contaminated, spun, twisted, and rendered impossible to trust. By virtually everyone out there.
For various reasons, but all too often for the basic reasons of power and money: more power for their political faction and beliefs for one. And more money in audience, advertising, sales, and influence.
What is real? Pilate asked a similar question a long time ago: what is truth? Ponder that for a bit.