The UK Goes Under Lockdown
Keep calm and do not carry on. That was the message from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday as his country locked down for good (well, unless you exercise, medical attention, to go to work, or a shopping trip to JD Sports). This is not business as usual!
Yesterday, the United Kingdom readied its armed forces for street duty and pledged to fine rebel roamers, but this news could have come from anywhere in the world.
A dispersed majority agrees; there’s no other way. This three-week shut-in must slow hospital arrivals or else thousands will die in an impressive but overwhelmed National Health Service (NHS). Lives are being saved through the collective sacrifice of millions of livelihoods.
However, a bunched up minority is less convinced. With vaccines still a way off, some think that if it wasn’t for the media splashing scary headlines, most of us would be chill to develop herd immunity, get the blighter out our system, and then let vulnerable people back into society. Clearly, it’s a division-deepening disease.
The British government has pledged to protect small businesses from going bust during this lockdown with 80% of wages covered by an unlimited fund. £350 billion has also being allocated in loans and grants to stave off bankruptcies, and this is redeeming news for the country’s FTSE 250 and All Share stock markets, full of smaller companies only doing business domestically.
As far as broader markets are concerned, this is what bears have been waiting eleven years for. This is it, the recession. It’s time to roll up those sleeves and place your bets because if you can beat the market now, you can beat it anytime.
Sure, rebalancing your portfolio at the moment might feel like reshuffling chairs on the Titanic, but eventually ‘cases fall’ headlines will start appearing. We’ll bend the curve, beat the virus, and months of pent up demand will spring markets back. Hopefully, this black swan also flushes out the bubbles of before. Time will tell!