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2008 is going to feel like a picnic in comparison

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The worst economic crisis of my life was the 2008 financial crash. As readers will know, we had long forseen a crunch coming in the credit markets due to lax Government regulations and arrogance of those in power both at the banks and the Governments.

However, 2020 feels like it will be worse. For one, those immidiately affected are the old, the poor (retiaers, coffee shop owners, airline workers etc) and the needy; not wealthy bankers losing their jobs in Canary Wharf at Lehman Brothers as the first stage.

Moreover, because this crisis is so visceral and real, the Fed last night dumping $500 billion into T-Bills and dropping interest rates by 100 basis points has made no difference. Markets are down about 6% at time of writing. Pumping more fiat money only helps the Banks and traders, it will not make people fly again nor can a coffee shop owner survive when the Government has ordered them to close.

The 3 to 4 month hiatus in the economy we are about to experience will be very hard to manage. I can see UK Government debt ballooning by £100 billion for this year and maybe next year too – there is just so much to subsidise and try to keep going. In the round, this in and of itself won’t kill the Country financially (unlike Italy) but it does mean higher taxes will be coming in the 2020′s to pay for all this – and who is to say this is a one off, quite the opposite, Covid-19 is a successor to H1N1, so is already not a one-time emergency.

We will have to see where things go but airlines and all forms of travels, sports and events and retail food (incidentally all amongst the big winners economically of recent trends) are all going to be smashed to pieces. Whatever world emerges by the mid-summer will look very different to the world as it was on Valentines day in the West.

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