The first real pandemic in 100 years, the bursting of a credit and asset bubble that everyone believed in, and the incredible speed of the reversal has left many people bewildered, confused and grasping at straws.

It is natural for human nature to look for hopeful outcomes at a time like this, as it takes a long time to adjust emotionally and psychologically to the secular change that is now taking place.

Napoleon liked to say that “the role of a leader is to define reality and inspire hope.” But before we can give hope, we have to define reality. And the best way to define reality is to study what will not come back in full. This is what this note will mainly cover.

Before we do that, though, some good news: world economies are beginning to walk the path towards unwinding lockdowns: after the hammer (strict lockdowns to limit contagion and avoid overwhelming public health services) comes the dance: measures designed to balance getting lives back on track (to great extent) and spreading the disease, one of economy vs. healthcare.

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