Monday, April 27, 2020

Rainy days ahead...

I've tended to see the debates about the lockdown and its duration in terms of the more blatant political lines being drawn: in simple terms, champagne socialists on the one side, right-wing libertarians on the other, and in the USA at least, both swayed positively or negatively by the neurotic rhetoric of a President looking to preserve some sort of position of electability come November.

Yet here in Guatemala we're not at the crux of an election cycle, and there is noticeable pressure from various sectors to re-open as quickly as possible, the motivations more nakedly economic. 

A lot of this chatter seems to focus on the fate of malls, as if whatever happens to Zara is really going to be the clincher for the Guatemalan economy.

My wife has an intriguing hypothesis about this. Consumer-facing businesses like retail probably appreciate already that there's a deep recession coming and sense one last chance for a bonanza when all those consumers and their pent-up demand are set free. 

At the very least they'll clear out existing stock. Some might even be able to do a bit of the rainy day saving (hoarding) that they hadn't thought to do before 2020. 

But if there is no noticeable gap between quarantine and depression, the opportunity may well have been squandered...they perhaps surmise. 

And perish the thought that those demob happy consumers get any kind of advance inkling of just how broke they're all soon going to be.

There are also some canny investors driving up the stock markets right now when they must know they’re bound to come down - like, a lot. 

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