The global pandemic unsurprisingly dominates the news again this week and opinions diverge on what happens next.
Financial markets continue to climb with the Nasdaq up to within 5% of its all time record level on Wednesday. 39 million Americans losing their jobs = 5% drop in business prospects for the companies in this tech heavy index? Yes there is a regular trickle of good news on the search for a vaccine and we have our fingers crossed, but perhaps its more likely that markets are simply pricing in further government stimulus measures, money printing and inflation.
Where Traders see the the glass half full, for others the outlook is largely negative. The World Economic Forum warns the global downturn risks becoming a prolonged recession and noted economist Barry Eichengreen proclaims a coming global debt crisis. So maybe companies should be thinking smaller and safer despite the speed of recovery in financial markets. Necessity has forced new working practices for almost all and law firms are among those innovating to reduce costs and remain competitive.
In Singapore the government announced the Circuit Breaker will end from 1 June and there will be gradual opening up of the economy over the coming months. Some changes may be longer lasting: in a nation where work from home was almost unheard of until a few months ago, it seems it could be here to stay with Mastercard the latest to announce it will continue with WFH at least until a vaccine is available. Good news for lovers of video calls and haters of the MRT.
Away from Corona, innovation continues apace and good news this week which could mean the end is nigh for plastic bottles.
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