by James Corbett
October 11, 2014
As the media hype over Ebola in America continues to grow, New York’s Kennedy International Airport became the first of five major airports across the country to begin “extensive screening” of passengers arriving from West Africa. Under the program, passengers from the affected countries with fevers or other Ebola symptoms will be isolated and examined by CDC workers before being allowed to proceed. Like the TSA, however, these “extensive screenings” are just another form of security theater at the nation’s airports with even the CDC’s own officials admitting that false positives will occur and the screenings are by no means foolproof. Meanwhile in Spain Teresa Romero, a Spanish nursing aide who is said to have contracted the disease from a repatriated Spanish missionary she was treating, remains in critical condition in a Madrid hospital. The Guardian, for its part, notes with some surprise that less than 24 hours after it was announced that 750 UK troops would be sent to Sierra Leone to help with Ebola containment efforts there it was revealed that the deployments were in fact already in progress and many of the troops were already there.
In Syria, the town of Kobani on the border with Turkey is set to fall to Islamic State fighters unless Turkey opens its borders to let through arms. Although Reuters reports on the situation it ignores the obvious (and perhaps uncomfortable) truth that Turkey wants the IS fighters to succeed against its Kurdish enemies and instead choose to lead the story with the suggestion that Kurdish forces are begging for increased US-led airstrikes in the area.
In the markets all lights are flashing red as the Dow turned negative for the year and stocks end the worst week in three years. The Fear & Greed index has hit a record “fear” level, meaning fear of volatility is now driving markets and effecting everything from safe haven demand to junk bond demand to put and call options. Investors list the QE tapering as a key reason for the slowdown, with many getting caught on the wrong foot betting on the funny money-fueled Fed gravy train gains continuing indefinitely. The CBOE Volatility Index, traditionally a gauge of market expectations about market instability, shows many investors fear that this is not the end of the equities roller coaster and more ups and downs are expected in the near term.
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