>> April 29, 2020
>> Blog Post #67
Up or Down?
Follow the flow or lag behind?
Go against the grain?
Various countries seem to be actively preparing for the next phase, some sort of gradual de confining of their populations.
As I’ve said before, I try to follow the news as little as possible. It is hard to cut off totally though, as people tend to share what they have heard, are doing, or what they fear.
From where I stand, it feels like a lot of countries initially took the same type of measures when putting the confinement in place: close the borders, close the schools, ask companies to go remote, inject massive liquidity on the market, pass “temporary” laws usually only seen during wartimes, etc.
But this here looks different. It seems that the deconfinement strategies may look different from one country to another. The timing might change, the rules might change. Situations might be more country specific.
It probably has to do with two main factors. How bad local economies are hit and how the governments in each country is holding up to the test. Both are obviously linked closely. Strangely I do not believe it has much to do with sanitary reasons at this stage.
My guess is some countries might be willing to take more risks than others, without ever telling you so – of that be certain – because they might not be as well off as you might think. It might be smart to keep an eye out for these.
Where I live schools will be reopening within a couple of weeks. I do not know why as no explanation has really been provided as to why this was necessary, advisable, or just random. Main explanation is that the economies need people to be back at work. Keeping them at home to watch after the kids is probably seen as the biggest factor in preventing that. After all I only know of one person who stopped going to work before they even closed the schools over here, and the only reason he did it is because he really does not like going and would invent any possible story not to go. The story here was that he was hypochondriac, and the pandemic scare was driving him insane. Hilarious.
In any case, I find it really interesting that we need people AT work, not TO work. It seems to me that in this day and age a lot of tools exist to make working from a lot of places relatively easy. In a large number of cases where this is not possible, as a lot of jobs have to be on the job, I think these times offer us an unprecedented opportunity to review the insanely complex logistical chains we are subject to every day and go more local.
Local to me seems less risky, more resilient and more humane.
Here’s what I’ll do and my thought process with all of this. In case of extraordinary situations which are exponential in nature, it’s best to panic and run first. You don’t want to be the last one exiting the flaming cinema, selling your stock during a market crash or waiting in line in front of the bank during a bank run. However, when promises of a return start to be heard, I feel it’s safe to lag behind. To wait for confirmation that the trend is safe and that it won’t all go crashing down again.
Oops sorry everyone is sick again.
Oops sorry it’s mutating into something different now.
The upward trend is more like something you need to ride for a while, and you don’ have to worry about the timing as much.
But there is one final thought here though. All of this is made easier if you can afford it. As I am absolutely convinced that the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed and will continue revealing to a log of people how bad inequalities are, even in the so-called rich countries. Lagging behind because you feel it is a better risk strategy is only possible if the deal is on the table. Being forced to follow the herd is a totally different predicament.