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Edition: 350

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What are the possible economic effects of COVID-19 on the world economy?

In a widely-quoted scenario using estimated attack and fatality rates of coronavirus, about 0.07% of the population of the US dies. That's about 230,000 people, which the market is not ready for.

Fixed interest LIT carnage makes stamping fees worse

Retail investors in fixed interest LITs now realise some structures were not the defensive portfolios they expected, but have prices reached value? Plus it's time to act on stamping fees.

Optimism among forecasts of the COVID-19 peak

This detailed analysis of infections, deaths, drugs and vaccines includes an optimistic scenario: perhaps US and Australian infection numbers will peak in early to mid-April with a decline after.

Rob Arnott on flattening the virus curve, not the economy

Rob Arnott is a leading researcher, fund manager and academic often quoted in US media. We chatted at a moment in time when President Trump must make some critical calls on coronavirus.

Watch this ratio as market volatility escalates

The ratio of the S&P500 to the gold price is a useful indicator of the mood of the market. A high ratio indicates that equities are expensive relative to gold, and the ratio has been falling recently.

Note to Australia: be more French in the COVID-19 war

Andrew Baker is well-known as a superannuation consultant. Now working in the UK, he was caught in France with his family and is in lockdown. He worries Australian policy was too slow.

Media worth consuming - March 2020

Links to dozens of global media articles that do not receive mainstream coverage in Australia. It's sceptical, fun and revealing, often challenging consensus and accepted wisdom.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 350

We have reached a critical moment in the coronavirus fight, and this edition brings some heavy-hitting opinions from Warwick McKibbin, Christopher Joye and Rob Arnott, plus three other articles on implications. The next two weeks will deliver a major moment in history when President Donald Trump decides whether to ignore medical advice and lessons from other countries.

Most viewed in recent weeks

House prices surge but falls are common and coming

We tend to forget that house prices often fall. Direct lending controls are more effective than rate rises because macroprudential limits affect the volume of money for housing leaving business rates untouched.

Survey responses on pension eligibility for wealthy homeowners

The survey drew a fantastic 2,000 responses with over 1,000 comments and polar opposite views on what is good policy. Do most people believe the home should be in the age pension asset test, and what do they say?

100 Aussies: five charts on who earns, pays and owns

Any policy decision needs to recognise who is affected by a change. It pays to check the data on who pays taxes, who owns assets and who earns the income to ensure an equitable and efficient outcome.

Three good comments from the pension asset test article

With articles on the pensions assets test read about 40,000 times, 3,500 survey responses and thousands of comments, there was a lot of great reader participation. A few comments added extra insights.

The sorry saga of housing affordability and ownership

It is hard to think of any area of widespread public concern where the same policies have been pursued for so long, in the face of such incontrovertible evidence that they have failed to achieve their objectives.

Two strong themes and companies that will benefit

There are reasons to believe inflation will stay under control, and although we may see a slowing in the global economy, two companies should benefit from the themes of 'Stable Compounders' and 'Structural Winners'.

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