Threats from Hurricane Irma and North Korea
After a long holiday weekend the DJIA fell 234 points this Tuesday. Finally we have some kind of negative reaction in the stock market to the bad news. Over the weekend we got news that North Korea had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, and now we know that Hurricane Irma, which is now listed as a category 5 hurricane, is one of the biggest, if not the biggest hurricane ever in the Caribbean.
Anything Can Happen
It looks like it is going to go right by Puerto Rico; for those who may be concerned about me, I am Connecticut now, so my family and I are not on the island, but we certainly have property there and we are also very concerned about our neighbors and the people of Puerto Rico. It is not likely to be a direct hit, but anything can happen. It is projected to pass Puerto Rico Wednesday afternoon.
Irma Threatens Caribbean Islands on Heels of Hurricane Harvey
The people of the Virgin Islands are going to suffer a similar fate. There are other Caribbean islands that will not be as fortunate; the hurricane is going to go right over them. Who knows where it is going to go after that? There is a state of emergency in Miami, in the keys, from Key West all the way to Key Largo. It is a massive hurricane with lots of potential damage on the heels of Hurricane Harvey.
And you know what? We’re broke. Harvey is almost a $200 billion price tag, and I don’t know what Irma will be, because the government will have to bail out Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. There is no way the government can deny them relief – they are American citizens. There was a lot of opposition to a Puerto Rican debt bailout but no one will be against giving money to Puerto Rico as a result of the hurricane.
Hurricane Aid for Puerto Rico instead of a Bailout
In fact, this could end up being a bonanza for Puerto Rico. They could end up getting a massive amount of aid all disguised as hurricane aid. They are talking now about power being out for 4-6 months in parts of the island because the government has so under-invested in the infrastructure – the government-owned power company. Maybe Puerto Rico will get a bunch of money in order to re-build that infrastructure as part of the hurricane bail-out money. So money they could not get from Congress because of fiscal troubles may come through another channel.