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Macro Macchiato 27/04/20: Waterloo for the Free Market?

When Alice entered the strange and surreal world through the looking glass, she retained the power of rational thought. Perusing her new surroundings, she begins Chapter Three by deciding that “Of course, the first thing to do was to make a grand survey of the country she was going to travel through. It’s something very like learning geography, thought Alice.” Our Coronaworld is a little like this, a surreal version of the world-that-used-to-be with strange new rules and conventions to be learned. One method of making a grand survey of this new world becomes available this week as first quarter earnings season is upon us. Listed companies in all sectors from around the world will report on t

A Kangaroo Shaped Recovery

Some readers may have listened to me discussing the post-Coronavirus trade scenarios with Richard Meade of Lloyd’s List on one of their recent podcasts. We discussed the possibilities of a V-shaped, U-shaped or even an L-shaped recovery. The more I consider the possibilities for the future, the more I feel certain that we will have a W or M-shaped recovery, one that looks like the track of a kangaroo jumping along the X-axis of a GDP chart. Until a medical solution is found to Coronavirus, it won’t be possible to engineer a lasting economic outcome. Beyond any possible lasting immunity after recovery from infection, a medical solution requires a vaccine. A vaccine may not be available nearly

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