It is Raining Insanity Everywhere!

In college, I worked briefly at the Boston Psychiatric Hospital. One of the most surprising lessons was that patients could seem completely “normal” at any given time, but completely crazy at another. I learned that in many cases their insanity was manageable to the point where they could live independently and hold a job. At least until the next bout struck. Then, absent support, all hell might break loose.

That type of insanity is raining on us today. Everywhere and in every way.

What is it?  Where is it? And, what to do about it?

Trump says the election is rigged. He knows because he is doing it. He is rigging it with the Post Office, with his Russian friends, and his trigger-happy gun men who rush to trouble spots to frighten and intimidate ordinary Americans. Trump is perhaps crazy to think it might work, and completely insane to try. And, far too many gullible Americans, who watch Fox news, believe a lot of it and get insanely worried.

But hopefully, Biden’s steady hand will prevail, and he will be elected, and Trumps’ insanities will evaporate quickly. How fast we can forget bad dreams!

The novel coronavirus has stirred up another kind of insanity. “It’s a hoax!” ‘You cannot impinge my freedoms”. “I can do whatever I want”. Several people –before they died from the virus—have confessed on TV that they were ‘crazy’ NOT to believe what was going on. Trump’s refusal to wear masks and use social distancing has played into the craziness of a large part of the population, sharing a delusion that the virus was invented to get him out of office. If that were the case, it could be called murderous craziness. Trump may yet go to jail for that and other crimes.

All the while people have been dying of the virus and losing their jobs, their homes and all their savings. In shocking contrast, the stock and other financial markets have been booming, as if everything is just fine and getting better.

Perhaps people think Trump will win again and restore Trump values. That remains a possibility but is not likely.

So, we are looking at a bizarre, crazy world.

A world that has been run ragged by four years of Trump craziness.

A world that has yet to get control of the virus.

A world in which financial markets can look at the horrors around us and still insist the best is yet to come.

And, then Tesla — with its erratic history of market manipulation — splits its stock 5-1 and the company’s total value (total number of shares multiplied by stock price) rose by about half overnight!  All that changed was the number of shares, which was multiplied by 5. Tesla, whose loyal customers account for 1.14% of all vehicles sold, is somehow now worth more than GM, Ford, Toyota and Honda combined –by some $80 billion! 

Except for the fact that Tesla’s fate impacts only a small number of investors (and an even smaller number of car owners!) that might be the craziest item of all the craziness we’re living with right now. New buyers just think it is a great company; they do not know or care about the fundamentals.

None of the above makes sense in a normal world.

I was taught 75 years ago the what goes up normally comes down – in physics, life and, especially, finance.

I see everywhere sensible friends, family and normal people who have been caught up in this craze. I fear for them all.

What to do? Be patient! The laws of gravity always prevail! Do not lose your heads in greed and ambition. Keep thinking.

At least the Queen of England will still reign!


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