The May 4 issue of Barron’s had an article which started, “Some top medical experts claim the swine flu virus has a 50-50 shot at becoming the deadliest bug to hit the planet since 1918-9, when some 50 million people perished, at least a half million of them in the U.S.”
I find this reporting to be irresponsible and panic provoking. Even though one of those experts quoted is Larry Brilliant, chair of the Centers for Disease Control, the CDC itself continues to offer in its press releases that this strain appears to be no more contagious than previous virus strains that we’ve seen over the past few years.
Google Flu Trends confirms that the current flu activity is within the norm for this time of year. Others will claim that the swift action of airlines, schools, etc, is what kept this from becoming a pandemic.
What does this have to do with finance? The same Barron’s article suggested that this flu, if it continued on the path predicted, would have taken what ever wind that started to blow out of this economy’s sails. (My metaphor, not Barron’s)