Comfortably numb

Published on 26-06-2020 14:30:00

As markets continue to firmly park their bottoms on a cushion of QE, the mood among investors, as well as Liverpool’s triumphant football fans and Bournemouth beach-goers, appears to be comfortably numb again.

It is less hazy elsewhere though. Reuters’ latest poll of economists finds their outlook worse than a month ago, while pandemic control in the US seems to be going from bad to could it be much worse? as our own Alastair George points out in his latest strategy piece. And Intu is one short step from collapse

Boris might be toying with closing packed beaches, but enforcement will be a challenge. And it appears that there’s a truck-sized hole in his team’s Brexit plan. Rishi Sunak is also being taken to school – one think tank says that cutting VAT is no magic bullet.

But others are comfortable without feeling numb. Short sellers pocketed €1.5bn from Wirecard’s $2.1bn accounting scandal and feel that represents a vindication of their much-maligned trade.

Not many eyelids are blinking at  the 8% like-for-like quarterly growth at Tesco, which our own director of research Neil Shah comments on here for the BBC, Aston Martin is raising more equity and KLM has attracted government backing for its £3.1bn bailout.

Speaking of multiple billions, some investors are musing that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is now over-ripe. Perhaps he’d excite more people if he had put in the $100m that basketball star and aspiring billionaire LeBron James just raised for his media venture. Talking of sports shoes, Nike’s Air Jordans seem to be cushioning the company’s leadership from its latest sales plunge.

Will it take them as long to reach their goals as it’s taking Richard Branson to get people into space? We’re also worried fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos might be going deaf, as Amazon responds to accusations of having too much state-like power by setting up a pseudo police force.

Back in the real world, you might be worried that, once open again, bars might overcharge for a refreshing summer cocktail. If so, try Azerbaijan. Want cheaper streaming? Try India.

Even though Olympus no longer makes cameras, Volvo continues to pursue its dreams of being central to the ecosystems of self-driving cars, showing that there’s always a way to overcome discomfort – without being numb.

Until next week,

The Stream Team

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