Nothing is as Bad as it Looks: 351,372 15,263

As of 7:00 am yesterday I was 83% in equities. The reasons:

  1. My DTR changed to 10%
  2.  I ran the numbers On Bloomberg Corona Update and found this:

        351,372  were confirmed Cases and 15,263 were deaths worldwide.                                     The font size was larger than I can replicate here.

  1. Where deaths have occurred Deaths Cases World
    Italy 5,476 59,138 9.26% 4.3%
    Mainland China 3,270 81,093 4.03%
    Spain 2,182 33,089 6.59%
    Iran 1,812 23,049 7.86%
    France 674 16,689 4.04%
    U.S. 460 38,951 1.18%
    U.K. 281 5,683 4.94%
    Netherlands 213 4,749 4.49%
    South Korea 111 8,961 1.24%
    Germany 94 24,782 0.38%
    Belgium 88 3,743 2.35%
    Switzerland 66 8,060 0.82%
    Indonesia 48 514 9.34%
    Japan 41 1,089 3.76%
    Turkey 30 1,236 2.43%


    Numbers don’t lie…but Marketers present them falsely.  The Heading font size announcing the number of confirmed cases and deaths was Huge (check it out yourself on the  Bloomberg  COVID-19 update)  What are these BIG numbers in BIG print supposed to accomplish?  Scares the ___ out of you!

    Below the Big print are the results for each country in terms of deaths, in the 1st column. That puts Italy at the top of the list. Italy deaths then becomes the opening remark on every newscast.

    What they don’t tell you is what I add in the 3rd column, the percentage of people who contract the Virus who die.  If they ranked by this statistic, Indonesia would be at the top, but then, everybody would say, what the hell, It’s only 48 people!

    What if they included with the BIG print introduction, the percentage of Worldwide deaths, which is 4%?  Well, that would detract from the story THAT WILL SELL…TO WHOM?  The Advertisers who take up half the airtime on their radio and TV programs.

    Don’t get me wrong. I am all for freedom of the press and I think all Americans should avoid crowded places and close contact with other people.  I just want news to be presented truthfully for the sole purpose of informing.  OMG! I’m starting to sound like Trump.


About Frank Sortino

Frank Sortino is finance professor emeritus from San Francisco State University and Director of the Pension Research Institute which he founded in 1981. For 10 years he wrote a quarterly analysis of mutual funds for Pensions and Investments Magazine and he has written two books on the subject of Post Modern Portfolio Theory. He has been a featured speaker at many conferences in the U.S., Europe, South Africa, and the Pacific Basin. Dr. Sortino received his Ph.D in Finance from the University of Oregon and has carried out research projects with many institutions like Shell Oil, Netherlands and The City and County of San Francisco Retirement System.
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