Good analysis, Charlie and thanks Patrick. The economy is on life support currently. The equity market seems way too complacent currently, and needs a lot of luck to get out of this fast i.e. a treatment that works well and is proven to be such very soon. The recent bear market rally looks like it is about to roll over.
I tend to agree that hopes for a 'V' shaped recovery are probably unrealistic. The assertion that has been made by some commentators that a short, sharp containment period will result in the virus being under control by the end of April seems a little quixotic, considering the highly contagious nature of the 2019 coronavirus. That said, Charlie Jamieson's comparison with the GFC is perhaps a little simplistic. I suspect that financial markets are currently underestimating the number of companies and industries that are likely to get a boost from the pandemic situation over the weeks ahead. Agriculture is one possible example. The lockdowns and border closures around the world will likely lead to disruption to the supply of agricultural commodities, while at the same time widespread fear of contagion is likely to lead to increased consumption of healthier foods such as fruit and vegetables, as consumers look to boost their immune systems. Reduced supply and more demand should equate to higher prices for many agricultural commodities.
Thanks Patrick, we've less options now to deal with this pandemic and economic fallout than we did during the GFC and other turbulent times in our history. You've mentioned that governments and central banks are lacking further options to deal with this crisis and I tend to agree. My concern is that we may see a greater divide between the haves and the have nots, leading to further economic disruptions It feels like we're going to experience a massive amount of social unrest and instability. Let us hope that we don't all heard into our banks at once, que up and ask to withdraw our cash. Maybe toilet paper and currency share the same values. I can remember when money was made from paper, however today it feels a bit plasticky. Maybe gold is the way to go?
"governments and central banks lack options'' : i respectfully but definitively disagree with this comment which is at the heart of this piece. We are in a new paradigm; it began gently in 2008 but since that time central banks and governments have demonstrated a willingness to act in stronger and newer ways; there are a plethora of policy options available, let alone options that are yet to be devised. Make no mistake we are borrowing from tomorrow, but for today they will spend our way out of the Covid-19 crisis
Romano - I'd be curious to hear your thoughts as to what you think central banks and govts could do from here? Just more of the same but with ever rising values? Or do you think policies take a different approach from here?