About Me

Retired chief investment officer and former NYSE firm partner with 50 plus years experience in field as analyst / economist, portfolio manager / trader, and CIO who has superb track record with multi $billion equities and fixed income portfolios. Advanced degrees, CFA. Having done much professional writing as a young guy, I now have a cryptic style. 40 years down on and around The Street confirms: CAVEAT EMPTOR IN SPADES !!!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Sotto Voce -- "Acceptable Deaths"

Pressures to re-open the US economy continue to grow. Thanks largely to the many Covid policy
failings of Team Trump, the quantum leap in various testing procedures needed to minimize flare
ups in the virus as the economy moves to open gradually and selectively are still absent. A range
of low population density states that are anxious to re-open will, if they proceed, have to do the
random testing as well as the business unit testing 'on the fly'. There will likely be flare-ups in
areas of these states, and deaths will occur.  This development will put governors in a very tight
spot as folks come back to work amid fresh outbreaks that may tax smaller regional health care
systems and require heavy remedial action. If the setbacks are not large, selected states may
move ahead with opening plans, and returning workers may be forced to gamble their lives upon
return so as not to lose their livelihoods. These local scenarios will play to a national audience
and increase the tensions and fears of the workforce. Local level safeguards galore will be needed
to mitigate the rising caseload if pressures to return to reinstating 'stay at home' policies rises
sharply.

On a national level, it would appear to be prudent to attempt to re-open the economy only
gradually and in a very coordinated manner to contain the virus damage as best as possible.
I do not know if cautious, slow programs to return to normal will undermine investor confidence
or whether markets players will 'keep the faith' through a long ordeal. I would not be shocked
to find continuing market volatility that flows from advances and setbacks along the road to
normalcy.




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