Big Short investor says the shutdown is worse than the coronavirus: It bleeds deep anguish and suicide

 marketwatch.com  04/07/2020 20:29:00   Shawn Langlois

Universal stay-at-home is the most devastating economic force in modern history And it is man-made. It very suddenly reverses the gains of underprivileged groups, kills and creates drug addicts, beats and terrorizes women and children in violent now-jobless households, and more. It bleeds deep anguish and suicide.

Thats Michael Burry, whose timely bet against mortgage securities ahead of the 2008 financial crisis was highlighted in The Big Short movie, sharing his controversial thoughts on the economic shutdown in an email to Bloomberg News.

His view comes amid mounting job losses and a reeling stock market  both of which, he seems to believe, could be mitigated if the country were allowed to get back to work.

Burry, who earned his M.D. at Vanderbilt University before he shifted gears to become a professional investor, has for weeks been railing on Twitter TWTR, +2.72% against the governments response to the pandemic. Heres just a sample:

Burry also made the case for hydroxychloroquine, a drug backed by President Donald Trump, that has become a political hot potato, with many in the medical community questioning its efficacy.

Heres Burrys vision from last month of what the U.S. needs to do to address the outbreak:

He offered more detail in his emails this week to Bloomberg News as to why he would immediately lift stay-at-home orders for everybody but high-risk groups.

I would let the virus circulate in the population that is not likely to get severe disease from it, he wrote. This is the only path that comes close to balancing the needs of all groups. Vaccines are not coming anytime soon, so natural immunity is the only way out for now. Every day, every week in the current situation is ruining innumerable lives in a criminally unjust manner.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 tally keeps rising in the U.S., home to the most confirmed cases at almost 400,000, with 11,851 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Globally, here are now 1.39 million cases and 79,091 deaths. Another 292,973 people have recovered.

Hopes for another positive session in the stock market came crashing down Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.11% , S&P 500 SPX, -0.16% and tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.32% all giving up strong gains to end lower.

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