Thursday 14 May 2020

Three Magic Words...

Vaccine Vaccine Vaccine. Simple. Elegant. Seemingly impossible to imagine at this difficult and frustrating moment in time.

We will only return to normal when a full Covid-19 vaccine has been developed, tested AND widely distributed. Until then, sit back, listen to some more Deepak Chopra abundance meditations, read, Zoom/Hangout/Teamssss or whatever your eyes go googgly on first and enjoy this quieter time of life.

First there was shock, bewilderment, anger and then open acceptance. A couple of months in and a few wonderful books later (particularly enjoyed the beautifully apt "Gentleman In Moscow"), we have all rationalised and identified a path for ourselves out of this crisis. No matter what we say and do, we are all in the same boat from an economic perspective - simply because nothing can get to the way it "used to be" until the vaccine is available for everyone. Or are we indeed?

No. We aren't really, be honest. There will be boats and then there will be yachts. Worse, there will be larger-than-ever super yachts of inequality. The antibody tests will at minimum create more of a two-tier global system than anything else - the younger, "healthier" and more capable of travel (should that be "more allowed") across international borders, reaping the advantages of being mobile and apparently immune to either catching or spreading the disease.

The difficulty of this two-tier world will become more apparent as the months go by. The elites will feel more superior than ever. The masses and those that likely need to be freed from the constraints of global lockdowns, resigned to longer periods of impoverishment and a difficult path of return to gainful employment.

Global media has not done much to assuage these fears. In the US and other EU nations, the vitriol and ugly rhetoric has started to gain traction, opposing news networks provide different realities of what the world currently looks like, with very different and very dangerous forecasts of where it will go.

The markets for now seem not to care. Just. They seem to be slipping today (Thursday 14th May). With fear and fingers on the sell buttons all around, this may quickly turn into a rout. Most ammunition has been used in the "limitless" war the FED and others central banks have so far successfully waged against this combatant.

Meanwhile, green shoots of Private Equity Covid-19 recovery funds (as predicted here a few weeks back) continue to gather pace. Chances must be taken. Fears overcome. The woods have not been cleared as of yet but we shall smell the clean, fresh grass of unencumbered attractively-valued-portfolios and pipelines once more.

Stay calm, healthy and happy. Vaccine, Vaccine, Vaccine. Repeat slowly and calmly with each breath. It will happen. As per our elegant protagonist in situ within Moscow's Metropole Hotel, after a delicious meal and nightcap, we will meet in person again.