• ‘NEVER WASTE A CRISIS OPPORTUNITY TO EXPLOIT FEAR IN OTHERS’ mantra applies to now a dramatic increase in phishing scams by telephone and internet – “essentially an online con game, using spam, malicious websites, email & instant messages to trick people into divulging sensitive info by appearing to come from reliable sources.” Best safeguards are: (1) Never click links or attachments in suspicious emails without first confirming the website through your browser URL bar; (2) Never give personal info over the phone without confirming the caller’s number on their website and never recall a number they provide; (3) Never install a ‘solution’ to malware ‘discovered’ on your computer and reported by phone from a ‘security tech support expert’; (4) Never click on a pop-up ad without first running a system scan on your anti-virus software; (5) Use caution in clicking on ‘paid search ads’ – particularly those offering ‘support services’ without careful exam for ‘typo squatting,’ a registered domain name looking similar to legit sites. [NORTON-LIFELOCK – 3/24/20]
  • THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IS A CRISIS OF UNCERTAINTY – defined by urgency and imperfect information – which either prompts decision-paralysis (although waiting to decide is a decision in itself) or temptation to jump immediately and execute. Somewhere in between is the best process – “pausing to literally take a breath and allow a moment to step back, take stock, anticipate & prioritize… This may sound counterintuitive, but research shows that the simple act of pausing, even for milliseconds, allows the brain to focus on most relevant information, gaining broader perspective to anticipate how things might unfold, and then act accordingly to help avoid knee-jerk reactions that can lead to poor outcomes… Lessons from past crises suggest that leaders are more likely to underreact since bold & rapid actions feel too risky in normal times, but unprecedented crises demand unprecedented actions… and business leaders cannot afford to wait when events are moving as fast as they are right now.” [McKINSEY – MARCH 20]
  • SBA DISASTER ASSISTANCE in response to coronavirus now provides up to $2 million low-Interest loans for working capital to small businesses suffering “substantial economic injury” – unable to meet obligations and pay ordinary and necessary operating expenses, fixed debts, accounts payable & other bills because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere, and 2.75% for non-profit organizations, with repayment terms up to 30 years. Businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible.  Once a declaration is made by SBA for designated areas (listed at sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19), application info is online at SBA.gov/
  • ONLY IDIOTS BELIEVE THAT STOCKTRADING IS AN EQUAL PLAYING FIELD. But adding insult to injury, in the last twelve months, leading to “the most ferocious stock market crash in history and eruption of the biggest health crisis of our generation,” CEOs have sold over $9 billion in personal stock shares of their own companies, and over 1,700 have bailed from top exec positions (10% just last month) at U.S.-traded corporations serving all major industries including: TECH (IBM, HP), Airlines (Boeing, United), eCommerce (E-Bay, Linked-in, Salesforce), Media/Entertainment (NY Post, Warner Bros, Disney, Hulu), Retail (Best Buy, Bed Bath Beyond), Food & Restaurant (Kraft-Heinz, McDonalds), Finance (Wells Fargo, Mastercard, Credit Suisse), Apparel (Gap, Nike, Under Armour), Automotive (Harley Davidson), Insurance (Met Life), Consumer Product (Colgate Palmalive), and even Utilities (T-Mobile, PG&E). “Every situation is different, but strange that we’ve seen such an unprecedented corporate exodus at such a critical moment in our history.”  [INVESTOR WATCH – 3/25/20]
  • IS OUR CULTURE BETTER OFF WITH THE INTERNET? A decade ago, Pew Research surveyed hundreds of ‘prominent’ thinkers’ who concurred that “the internet will enhance human intelligence as people are allowed unprecedented access to more information, becoming smarter and making better choices.” As present day events demonstrate, that expectation was misguided. Reality is that “it takes patience and concentration to evaluate new information – to gauge its accuracy, weigh its relevance & worth, then put it into context – but the internet, by design, subverts patience and concentration… When it comes to the quality of thoughts & judgments, information per se is less important than the way info is presented and taken in. The internet, which overloads our brains by stimuli, has resulted in superficial thinking, less reflective and more impulsive” – very, very far from people making better choices.  [THE SHALLOWS – Nicholas Carr]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK:  “By 2000, politics will simply fade away. We will not see any political parties.” – R. Buckminster Fuller in 1966

A different perspective on the Coronavirus: https://townhall.com/columnists/anncoulter/2020/03/25/how-do-we-flatten-the-curve-on-panic—p–n2565739?utm_source=coulterdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl&bcid=be9796dd8b3cfc7f2a550c6bec436c84&pid=6cc283b0-3891-43b2-b418-dc50165fcb9a