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In today’s Exponential Investor…
- Where is Jack Ma?
- Who started Covid-19
- Get ready if it was China…
One of the more baffling stories so far of 2021 is the disappearance of Jack Ma.
Have you seen Ma? Has anyone?
Apparently he’s not been seen since October last year.
Weirdly his disappearance is said to have coincided with some disparaging remarks about the Chinese regulatory system where according to Reuters he, “blasted China’s regulatory system in a speech that put him on a collision course with officials…”
It’s also said this was one of the main reasons why the Ant Group IPO was suspended.
This leaves the question, where is Jack Ma, one of the wealthiest individuals in the world?
Has he gone on a long holiday? Has he taken a longer “holiday” courtesy of the Chinese government?
Is he even alive?
We don’t know, but I’m expecting there to be a lot more to this than just Ma on a self-directed holiday.
It also seems interesting that no one has come out and said, it’s fine, Jack is here. He’s all good. His Twitter account, although not prolific, hasn’t been used since 10 October as well.
It’s all just a bit… weird.
That’s not the only weird thing to seem to be emanating from China right now.
According to several reports, the evidence mounting that Covid-19 did indeed come from a Wuhan lab is becoming quite weighty.
According to Business Standard,
China on Monday vehemently refuted the US charge that the novel coronavirus was leaked from a bio lab in the country
A few of the UK tabloids here, including The Daily Mail and The Sun, are also running this allegation. And it’s something that’s been lingering in the back of people’s minds since December 2019 when this really first started to kick off.
Australia’s government also called for an investigation into the origins of Covid-19 in China as “entirely reasonable and sensible” back in April 2020.
That alone causes massive turmoil with the Australian and Chinese governments. So much so that China even decided to whack massive tariffs on Aussie wine up to 212% in November 2020.
There’s been a bunch of trade-related angst in the second half of 2020 between the two, and with relations seemingly at all-time lows, expect more of that over in the Asia-Pacific region.
However, there’s a legitimate question to unfold here too.
What if Covid-19 did come from a Chinese lab?
What happens in that situation?
What does the world do if in 2021 its uncovered that a Chinese-run biotechnology lab was the result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
At this point, you can’t see the world just saying, oh that’s unfortunate, please don’t do it again.
If that’s the outcome, then you’ve got to expect some kind of The World vs. China doomsday scenario.
Economic sanctions, trade barriers, even possible military action.
Prepare for the unexpected
I see 2021 as being the year that we move on from Covid-19 – it’s inevitable really.
Yes, things seem to be getting worse before they get better. Albeit there’s still a very low risk to anyone of working population age, but you can read plenty of my position on that from last year’s editorial.
Lockdowns are the reality it appears we’ll have to deal with for now. Soon enough, with vaccination rollouts, then caseloads and deaths will fall. If they don’t, then we’ll be looking at a whole bigger more terrifying situation about the truth.
Nonetheless, with these measures in place, whether you agree with them or not, 2021 will be a year when infections and deaths reduce. That’s simply how these viruses work in response to a vaccinated population and one that’s built a level of natural immunity.
As we move beyond it all, then the questions as to why and how will become far more focused on China and its role in it all. Those questions will need answers, answers will be demanded.
If China proves to be culpable, then it’s going to shake global trade and finance like a crocodile with a chook in its mouth.
It’s a scenario that may take a bit of time this year to play out, but at the same time means you’ll have some time to prepare for that eventuation.
I wrote to you last year about the idea of “prepping”. You should also ensure that you’re financially “prepped” for some more shocks to the system this year.
I don’t expect a March 2020-style crash, but if the wild winds of China’s culpability do come to the surface, then we might see some wild movements in the markets for China-related and focused companies.
There are a few stocks that I’ve recommended over the years, that I’m now taking a harder look at on the basis of what happens if there’s a global trade war with China. Banning of imports from China and a blockage of exports to China.
What impact does that have to business?
It might seem a stretch, but if 2020 has told us anything, it’s that you should expect the unexpected, and make sure you’re prepared for it.
Editor, Exponential Investor
Category: Genetics and Biotechnology