22 Mar 2020
As we all isolate and get used to home video conferences and virtual lunches, there is much to reflect on. In markets, there will be permanent changes. Some financial products will disappear. Some ways of managing money may not survive. There will be permanent losses in wealth for some. Like it or not, central banks will have more influence on markets than ever before through the impact of their huge asset purchases and credit facilities. Their actions have hopefully prevented more disorder and greater economic damage. Time will tell how quickly this feeds into asset prices, but it will. De-risking will come to an end and there will be victims from this. The good thing is there will be new opportunities for investors. Keep calm and look for value.
This has been a most extraordinary week. The public health threat from the COVID-19 virus got much more real and much closer and more personal for many more people in many more countries. The numbers from Italy and Spain are particularly shocking and the way in which life has changed is quite astonishing. Actual and virtual lockdowns, school closures, mass cancellations of events and closures of businesses are things that we never thought we would see. Life has changed beyond belief and our priorities have shifted to safety and security in the most fundamental way.