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How Markets And The Media Have Overhyped Coronavirus –



How Markets And The Media Have Overhyped Coronavirus |

Josh Owens

Josh Owens is the Content Director at An International Relations and Politics graduate from the University of Edinburgh, Josh specialized in Middle East and…

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In my last article, Are Oil Markets Overreacting To The Coronavirus?, I warned of the power of media hype when it comes to epidemics. The human brain has a tendency to mix up the severity of an outcome with how likely that thing is to happen. Just like our fear of terrorism or shark attacks, when it comes to epidemics we are incredibly poor judges of how much of a danger they really pose.

Our intensely interconnected societies and sensationalist media mean that this failure of judgment can translate into mass hysteria and fear in the markets that can have a tangible impact on the world economy. Oil prices have collapsed, stock markets have fallen by the largest amount since the 2008 financial crisis and the Dow Jones saw its largest single-day points drop in history. All of this has come from the spread of the coronavirus from China to South Korea, Italy, Iran, and Japan. But as this spread continues there is one key factor that market observers appear to be missing, highlighted by the below chart.

This is an epidemic curve showing the number of new cases per day in China (the world’s second-largest economy and the world’s largest importer of goods). It appears that China is in the process of successfully containing the coronavirus and, for that reason, has already begun to reboot its economy.

The large jump in the middle of the above graph was caused by China changing its recording method from positive test cases to clinical diagnosis. The trend can perhaps be seen more clearly in the Guangdong outbreak in the curve below.


You can follow more epidemic curves updated regularly on Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection, including the more recent and smaller outbreaks beyond China’s borders. All of the Chinese data suggests that the epidemic is coming under control there.

Here is a graph of containership congestion levels in the Outer Pearl River Delta:

China is getting back to work. And you can be sure that the Chinese government will be doing everything in its power to stimulate growth. Related: Coronavirus Meltdown Continues As Brent Drops Below $50

Here are some other key indicators that show the same thing:

But these are generally not the statistics or the graphs reported by the media. Instead, they report cumulative data and crude numbers out of context.

These cumulative graphs suggest that coronavirus deaths and cases are increasing and therefore the epidemic is getting worse. Of course, in a cumulative graph, the cases will only ever go up or plateau.

John Hopkins CSSE

This graph, which is far more relevant, shows a general downward trend in global new confirmed cases per day and an increase in new recovered cases. This data would suggest that containing the coronavirus is very much a possibility and if governments continue to follow good practice the new outbreaks can be controlled without impacting the economy too severely.

In fact, the largest threat to the markets at the moment is not an epidemic of disease but an epidemic of hysteria. Governments and medical institutions are reacting, as they should, to prevent a worst-case scenario. But for societies and markets to react in the same way is neither logical nor healthy.

For example, the WHO recently upgraded the global risk of the coronavirus outbreak to ‘very high’, a fact that spread across media outlets like wildfire. At the same time, the head of the WHO stressed that the biggest challenges to overcome were fear and misinformation. It is this fear and misinformation that is driving a huge portion of the negative sentiment in global markets.

Another way that media spreads this fear is by reporting the number of deaths and cases without context. Take the numbers below.


Yet, when compared to the global annual mortality of other diseases, the number of total deaths is relatively insignificant.

Measles: 140,000 deaths

Influenza: 650,000 deaths

Tuberculosis: 1.5 million deaths

Infectious gastroenteritis: 1.8 million deaths

Imagine a world in which every death from the flu was reported on the front page of every media outlet. You might be surprised, for example, to find out that in the U.S. 105 children have died from the flu so far in 2020 – the second-highest number of deaths at this time of year since records began in 2004. 

Another piece of relevant data that is frequently excluded from articles about the coronavirus is the age and health of coronavirus victims. With the death rate for an infected individual aged 50 or lower under 1% and the death rate of an infected individual without a pre-existing condition also below 1%. Related: Saudi Arabia Aims For Additional Cuts As Oil Plunges Below $50

A vital point to understand when it comes to public health measures designed to contain an epidemic is that it is always a trade-off between the deaths caused by the epidemic and the deaths caused by economic stagnation. Poverty is the single largest determinant of health, and economic growth is the single most powerful instrument for reducing poverty. This is not a zero-sum game and it will be a calculation that the Chinese government must make as its population returns to work.

It is possible that stock markets were in a bubble at the start of 2019 and the coronavirus was the black swan event necessary to bring it all crashing down to earth. As for oil markets, there is plenty of bearish news at the moment, with an oil supply glut, Russia angling to leave the OPEC+ deal and Libyan oil production poised to come back online. Chinese demand has undoubtedly fallen in Q1 and everything from refinery runs to imports have been hit extremely hard. An oil price crash was entirely justified then. But the data doesn’t suggest that the coronavirus is escalating. The data suggest China has already started coming back online. The question is, when will that data begin to show in the markets?

By Josh Owens for

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Media Release – May 20, 2022 – Guelph Police – Guelph Police Service



Attempt break and enter

The Guelph Police Service is investigating after an attempted break and enter at a west-end business.

Early Thursday morning, two males arrived by vehicle at a business on Speedvale Avenue West. One of the suspects was caught on video using an angle grinder in an attempt to gain access to a storage unit, but the males fled when an alarm sounded.

A query of the licence plates, which were on an older two-tone Ford Escape, revealed they are registered to another vehicle.

The incident remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call Constable Graeme Adams at 519-824-1212, ext. 7419, email him at, leave an anonymous message for Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or leave an anonymous tip online at

Prohibited driver arrested

A Cambridge male banned from driving was arrested after he was caught behind the wheel in Guelph Thursday.

A Guelph Police Service officer was on patrol on Speedvale Avenue West just after 3 p.m. when he queried a licence plate and learned it was registered to a prohibited driver. A traffic stop was conducted and the owner of the vehicle confirmed to be the driver.

Investigation revealed the male is a prohibited driver as a result of a December, 2021, conviction for refusing to provide a breath sample. A 49-year-old Cambridge male is charged with driving while prohibited and driving while suspended. He will appear in a Guelph court July 5, 2022.

Male threatens staff, gets arrested

A Guelph male faces charges after threatening to “mace” employees of a local business Thursday afternoon.

Approximately 4:20 p.m. the male entered a business on Woodlawn Road West near Woolwich Street. Staff recognized him from a shoplifting incident earlier in the week and began to follow him. The male became agitated and threatened to “mace” the employees before reaching into a fanny pack he was wearing and removing something.

Staff retreated and called police, who located the male in the area of the business. He was not found to be carrying any weapons.

A 40-year-old Guelph male is charged with two counts of uttering threats and breaching probation. He was held for a bail hearing Friday.

Stunt driving charge laid

A Guelph male was taken off the road after he was caught Thursday driving more than twice the speed limit.

A Guelph Police Service Traffic Unit officer was patrolling just before 1 p.m. in the area of Victoria Road South and College Avenue West when he observed a vehicle travelling at a high rate of speed. The vehicle was clocked at 110 km/h in a posted 50 km/h zone.

A 21-year-old Guelph male is charged with stunt driving and speeding. His driver’s licence was immediately suspended for 30 days and his vehicle impounded for 15 days.

Total calls for service in the last 24 hours – 246

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Brock Media Clips for Friday, May 20 – The Brock News – Brock University



Here’s a look at some of the media attention Brock University received recently.

Royal Canadian Tour continues, Indigenous groups await formal monarchy apology: Assistant Professor of Education Stanley ‘Bobby’ Henry spoke to CHCH about statements from Prince Charles that discussed residential schools in Canada and the need for reconciliation.

Brock prepares future nurses for challenges in the field: Department of Nursing Chair Karyn Taplay and Nursing student Sierra Smith spoke to Newstalk 610 CKTB about the growth of Brock’s Nursing program, as well as what it’s like to pursue a career in nursing. Taplay also discussed the Nursing program’s expanding enrolment in a St. Catharines Standard article.

Who are union members supporting in this election?: Professor of Labour Studies Larry Savage spoke to CBC’s Ontario Today program about the decision of a construction union to endorse the Progressive Conservatives in Ontario’s upcoming provincial election.

As several Canadian cities loosen public drinking laws, Toronto rejects proposal again: Professor of Health Sciences Dan Malleck spoke to The Globe and Mail about current conversations around alcohol consumption and their relationship to temperance movement of the 19th and 20th centuries. Malleck also spoke to Nunatsiaq News about Nunavut’s system of alcohol regulation.

“We want to make curling cool” — Rolling the dice on the Roaring Game: Assistant Professor of Sport Management Michael Naraine spoke to Yahoo!Sports about the potential for legal sports gambling to bring a new audience to the sport of curling.

If you know of an appearance or story about a Brock faculty member, student, athlete or alumni, please drop us a line with a link to the story at

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How marketers can work with diverse media suppliers – Smartbrief



Jo Hamilton: How marketers can work with diverse media suppliers

(Image credit: The Gender Spectrum Collection)

Marketers need to be able to reach diverse, multicultural audiences with authentic, relevant messaging — while demonstrating to customers they’re walking the walk by championing diversity within their own organizations. 

One way brands can achieve both is by working with diverse media suppliers. 

A new set of guidelines on working with diverse media suppliers was published this week by the Association of National Advertisers, its Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing, and the American Association of Advertising Agencies. 

America’s multicultural population “will be the majority in the not-too-distant future,” the report states, citing 2020 US Census Bureau data. The multicultural population rose to just over 42% in 2020, up from 36% in 2010.

The guide also lists more than a handful of business benefits from working with a diverse supplier base.

There’s a wealth of information in the guidelines, but we’ve highlighted some key information and advice:

How to find diverse media suppliers

The report offers several resources to help marketers get in touch with diverse media suppliers – those that are owned by ethnic minorities, women or the LGBTQ community. They are:

Diverse media requires different metrics

The guidelines recommend that marketers consider using alternative metrics when measuring diverse media performance.

This is because highly targeted audiences come with less scale and higher CPMs. Alternatives or additional metrics could include brand awareness, intent, favorable opinion, shares, video completion rates and click-thru rates. 

The importance of diverse creators

The guidelines also offer resources to help marketers find diverse content creators, such as influencers, agencies, production companies and directors. 

Involving diverse teams in the creation of content from the start can prevent brand missteps — such as this recent Samsung campaign, which missed the mark with women.  

Cindy Gallop, consultant and founder and CEO of MakeLoveNotPorn, told SmartBrief in response to that Samsung campaign:

“Every brand and client — like Samsung — should mandate that their ads are overseen by women, created by women, approved by women, cast by women, directed by women, photographed by women, and announce that they will not give their business to any agency where the leadership team, the creatives and the creative decision-makers are all male.” 

That example, which arose from a lack of female involvement in the creative, could apply to any campaign that hasn’t involved members of the audience it targets. 

The right creative messaging

The guidelines therefore recommend that creative teams include diverse voices to ensure creative messaging is relatable.

“A lot of the time what we think works, and what works for a general market audience might not necessarily work for a multicultural audience,” said Paula Castro, multicultural creative business partner at Google, during an IAB NewFronts panel

The importance of cultural nuance and heritage when engaging with Black audiences was recently explored by Numerator’s Amanda Schoenbauer, with a study by her company highlighting the levels of diverse thought and behavior within that community. 

“A full picture view of this — or any — group of shoppers requires additional consumer context and segmentations,” Schoenbauer wrote. 

Marketers can look to diverse suppliers to help deliver that context and culturally appropriate messaging. As one diverse supplier says in the report from the 4A’s, ANA and AIMM: 

“There is much more value we can provide to connect through culture, heritage, emotion, nostalgia, etc.”

For more insights like this, subscribe to our free newsletter.

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