President Trump was clearly rattled and nervous as he addressed the nation tonight regarding the coronavirus.
Trump banned all travel from Europe, except the UK, starting travel. This seems to apply to shipments of goods as well. "Anything coming from Europe to the United States is what we are discussing,” said Trump.
The WSJ commented "The president suggested the restrictions would apply to goods shipped into the U.S. from Europe."
If so, the supply chain disruptions will be staggering.
Already, the ISM says 75% of Companies Suffer From Coronavirus Supply Chain Disruptions . This will compound the disruptions.
Note: Trump was not very clear as I am now told "White House has clarified that the Europe ban DOES NOT apply to goods and trade reports."
Did Trump make a mistake with an ad-lib?
His speech was accompanied by heavy breathing at times. It was clear he did not want to be saying what he was saying.
Despite his travel ban on Italy which should have come earlier, he blamed the EU tonight for not acting soon enough or strong enough.
"Taking early intense action, we have seen dramatically fewer cases of the virus in the United states than are now present in Europe. The European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hotspots."
Trump displayed no empathy for Italy and little for US citizens.
His own assurances as recently as a week ago that the coronavirus was no big deal can now readily be seen as lies. He was forced to walk back recommendations that people can go to work. Trump offered small business loans for those impacted.
But loans are loans, they have to be paid back. The loss of profits and wages on those impacted will be enormous, especially on importers and exporters dependent on the EU.
Yet, in another feeble attempt to downplay the significance of what's going on, Trump called this a “temporary moment in time that we will overcome as a nation, and as a world.”
Full Speech Video - Please Play
I do not know what tomorrow will bring, but the futures are reacting strongly now with the Nasdaq and S&P down nearly 4%.
Trump's speech did not go over well and was not reassuring to say the least.
A recession has started.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock