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  • Writer's pictureJohn Foulis

Newsletter 14th June 2020

The lockdown breakdown edition

I've seen the future, is murder

With some economies starting to open up, prognosticators need to get their predictions in quickly before the future is already here.

In the ongoing competition to be one of those that can claim they predicted the next financial crisis, auto-loans have been a favourite source of instability for years now, and they're getting a new boost from the shutdown.

Recent stock market recoveries have leant heavily on the major technology stocks, and they could get another boost from the multiple opportunities for them to pick up struggling companies at bargain prices.

Of course, when in doubt it's always safe to predict the collapse of the financial industry, again.

The John Denver Paradox

Amongst the unlikely beneficiaries of the corona time are country music stars. Apparently they provide the perfect maudlin accompaniment to drinking alone at home.

Less fortunate are pilots. It turns out it's not like riding a bike, and they are struggling to remember how to do it, or at least how to do it when there aren't actually any passengers.

Too much of a good thing

The range of products which are not finding their market at the moment continues to grow.

Diamond traders have a surplus of gems, so if being isolated together hasn't destroyed your relationship, now might be a good time to get engaged.

OPEC are thinking of copying central banks in order to remove volatility from the market. Personally I always get backwardation and contango mixed up.

A drop in coffee exports might only be the result of the crop cycle or it could be a sign of demand issues.

The good news for people who like proper bread rather than pretending to like whatever their boyfriend has produced is that all those sourdough starters mean that bread hasn't been this cheap in decades.

How do you bump into people on Zoom?

Advocates for the continuation of working from home are plentiful. The miseries of the open plan office play a big part in the desire for something else, and there is also a strong element of tech evangelism. Some people are going to be disappointed.

If you do find yourself back in an office, Dutch real estate experts have an idea what it might look like. Eager clients are likely to include call centres in developing countries.

Sir, you've banned them all now...

Donald Trump announced another decision that inexplicably seems to benefit Putin. In this case it may be more about annoying Angela Merkel, but it's hard to believe he'd be that petty.

However, if his antics in the tech world are anything to go by, Merkel might only have to wait till he's come full-circle. This week he called for a ban on Microsoft gaining government contracts, having only recently favoured them in order to spite Amazon.

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