Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Adjusts Doomsday Clock 100 Seconds From Midnight

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Adjusts Doomsday Clock 100 Seconds From Midnight by Nathan McDonald for Sprott Money

Unfortunately, the news of late has been one bad thing after another, with geopolitical situations around the globe continuing to either deteriorate or simply flounder in their current degraded state, with little to no improvement in sight.

The situation with North Korea, which saw significant progress throughout 2019, has been almost entirely pushed to the sidelines, as President Trump and his administration have been forced into an all-out defensive position due to the ongoing impeachment proceedings.

This has frustrated North Korea, which has stated they “are no longer bound by nuclear test commitments” and have thus begun to resume their programs of old.

And even though it is highly likely President Trump won’t be convicted by the Republican-controlled Senate, and the odds are now favoring his re-election, the reality is that the political divide is possibly the greatest it has been since the American Civil War—and will only grow moving forward.

The impeachment proceedings have been effective in bogging down the Trump administration, but as can be seen from the deteriorating situation with North Korea, it has come at a cost.

In other parts of the world, the news has been no better. Witness the recent violent hostilities between the United States and Iran, which for a moment stood on the brink of an all-out shooting war. The two countries still stand on the precipice, with only a spark needed to re-ignite the conflict.

Finally, throughout 2019 we saw the ongoing trade wars between the United States and China rack both countries’ economies, hitting key sectors and forcing governments on both sides to take action to support the industries that were hurting most.

However, even though that situation has settled down and progress is now being made regarding future trade deals, China has once again found itself in a dire situation. The recent outbreak of the deadly coronavirus has forced the country to lock down millions of people and place countless under quarantine.

Additionally, it appears that the virus is not contained. Reports have indicated it is spreading across the globe, with cases already reported within the United States.

In response to this dire chain of events, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, who are responsible for maintaining the infamous ” Doomsday Clock“, held a press conference to address these and other concerns, which they believe pose a threat to humanity.

Their decision to adjust the “Doomsday Clock” to 100 seconds from midnight should not have anyone panicking. It does not mean that the world will end overnight. However, it’s a dire warning that should not be completely ignored.

As stated by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists :

“Humanity continues to face two simultaneous existential dangers—nuclear war and climate change—that are compounded by a threat multiplier, cyber-enabled information warfare, that undercuts society’s ability to respond. The international security situation is dire, not just because these threats exist, but because world leaders have allowed the international political infrastructure for managing them to erode.”

This adjustment brings the clock to its closest point to midnight since it was created in 1947, with the next closest being 2 minutes from midnight in 1953 . That was during the height of the cold war, in which the threat of all -out nuclear war was at a fever pitch.

(Chart source, Oilprice.com)

(Chart source, Oilprice.com)

Markets across the globe were rocked today by this announcement. Additionally, the outbreak in China caused widespread fear throughout exchanges, with oil, luxury goods, and travel shares taking the biggest hits.

(Chart source, goldprice.org)

(Chart source, goldprice.org)

Meanwhile, gold and silver bullion have not fully reflected these new heightened risk levels, despite increasing slightly in price throughout today’s trading session.

Hopefully, the “Doomsday Clock” will once again turn back as global risk levels and fears recede.

However, the risks are out there for the time being and should be accounted for in the short to medium term, at least until cooler heads prevail and the dangers are contained.

Move forward with caution and keep both eyes and ears open. Volatility will likely only increase as we move through what I believe will be a very tumultuous 2020.

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Sprott Money

Various authors presenting analysis and commentary on the precious metals, economy and precious metals mining markets.