We all know – or rather, have heard of – Warren Buffet. One of his more famous mantras is: to get rich you need to be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Of course, this is much harder than it sounds, particularly over the long term. But it captures well how we have traversed asset markets in the short but tumultuous recent months, raising our appetite for risk near the March nadir, and then reversing back down to neutral at the end of June.
The ultimate public health costs and economic impact of Covid-19 are at this time unknown. Public health responses have weighed the human cost of intensive care units being overwhelmed and the number of preventable deaths exploding against the jump higher in unemployment, collapse in investment and demand destruction attached to social distancing. Governments have, understandably, chosen life over wealth.