The Black Swan is Back as Worldwide Markets Crumble

by | Mar 12, 2020

The Black Swan is Back as Worldwide Markets Crumble

The coronavirus is taking its toll on stock markets worldwide.

We’ve often heard the age old phrase the stock market is the world’s largest casino. But these days it feels more like the world’s biggest roller coaster. One day the DOW closed up eleven hundred points. The next it’s down more than two thousand. The biggest one day decline in Wall Street history.

Trying to pick the bottom in this market is a fool’s errand. Some of the hardest hit by the coronavirus? The travel industry. Airlines. Hotels. Cruise ships and restaurants as frightened customers stay home voluntarily or are ordered to by local governments.

Compounding the problem is the crash in oil prices, roiled by a bitter dispute over output between Russia and Saudi Arabia. These surprise events trigger what traders call a “black swan,” an unpredictable event beyond what is normally expected and has potentially severe consequences. They are characterized by their extreme rarity, severe impact and insistence they were obvious in insight.

The two thousand eight housing and banking crisis comes to mind. Seems the black swan is back.

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Brian Banmiller

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CBS News Radio national business journalist Brian Banmiller has spent more than 40 years in the news industry, covering business, politics and the economy on television, radio and in print. Currently, his “Banmiller on Business” reports are delivered to an audience of millions nationwide.

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