The name Bob Seidenschwarz is familiar to KGVO listeners through his work with the Montana World Affairs Council, however, he was on Talk Back on Monday to talk about the massive drop in the stock market.

Seidenschwarz is also an investment adviser with the firm S.G. Long Financial, and provides general insights into the financial markets, including the nearly 1,000 point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Averages on Monday.

“We opened the market this morning with a thousand point drop in the Dow,” said Seidenschwarz. “That basically erased all the gains we saw in the market this year. Right now, (as of 9:00 a.m. on Monday) we’re down about 824, so we’re down about 2.3 to 2.4 percent as the other indices are. I don’t want to make it sound blasé because it’s not, but this was totally predictable when you looked at the news over the weekend about the spread of the virus.”

Seidenschwarz said the United States government must take issues such as the coronavirus seriously and begin planning for the possibility of a pandemic.

“Amid the impeachment trial, President Trump initially suggested that the out break was not too serious, however, he more recently signaled that he recognizes its gravity. The U.S. is hampered by uncertainty surrounding the White House leadership on global health security issues. In 2018 when security adviser John Bolton dismantled the National Security Council’s Global Health Security and Bio-Defense Directorate for Global Health and Bio-Defense folding its staff into the Directorate for Weapons of Mass Destruction.”

Seidenschwarz said such an agency should be a major part of the U.S. government.

“This should be a stand-alone entity, and no mixed in with the rest of the bureaucracy,” he said. “This is something that has been stated over and over again, so in the coming days the President will receive a lot of calls to restore the directorate and designate a high level official to coordinate the U.S. response, both domestically and internationally. This needs to be a cabinet position unto itself.”

At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1031 points.