It’s not the shot in the arm you think

Tuesday 10th November 2020

As one of my guests on the JazzFM Business Breakfast show this morning said, the general euphoria over a possible vaccine for Covid was like a back to the future time warp. The financial markets danced to the rhythm of the FOMO – the fear of missing out    without any thought for any realism, just as they did last year. 

Such was the mood yesterday that suddenly the ‘work and play at home’ tech stocks like Zoom, fitness  and online shopping  took a bit of a beating, and the bombed out sectors like airlines, travel, leisure,  and banks had giant rallies.

Even big oil surged, as if we are suddenly going to board planes for long weekends in the sun. I’m no aviation expert but I think it probably takes a little preparation to bring an airliner out of storage and get it fully airworthy and fully crewed.

I suspect that reason will prevail, but you can see what’s happening, aside from the welcome ray of sunshine from a bit of optimism. Monetary policy which is built on negative or near negative interest rates are pimping  up the value of shares, never mind the long term damage this is doing to Government balance sheets. So any ‘good news’ story fuels the need to buy. This is going to be the new normal for some time.

It’s a bit dreary to douse the flames of hope, but any vaccine needs to be peer reviewed and then validated by the appropriate official drugs agency – and this is before the number of dosages are decided. Will it be compulsory and where are the anti-vaxers in all this ?

It’s good to see that science is working for us, of course, but there’s one nagging thought that won’t go away, no matter how many other vaccines vie for the race to immunity. The Pfizers and the Astrazenecas will have given governments all over the world a grim social distancing task as they try to enforce lockdowns against increasingly rebellious populations.


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