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Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 352

  • 9 April 2020
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The stock market usually bottoms well before positive data shows a turning point. The number of strong days in the market recently is a testament to the willingness of some investors to look through COVID-19 to a future of vaccines and economic stimulus. But as countries force business shut downs and demand people stay home, timing of sustained recovery is a coin toss.

The three key issues in the COVID-19 outlook

Hamish Douglass outlines the three main issues in the outbreak of coronavirus, with consequences which may change businesses and consumers forever. Will we face V-shape, U-shape or depression?

Survey: the impact on you of COVID-19

Let us know how are you coping in the current crisis. How is your portfolio performing? Have we seen the stock market bottom? When will the crisis end? What does 'the other side' look like?

How to make up for lost time on COVID-19

Bill Gates warned the world in 2015 that we were not ready for the next inevitable pandemic, and we ignored him. The Washington Post has provided free access to his updated views.

The simple mathematics of social distancing

A simple check of the mathematics explains why social distancing is so important, and in the absence of a treatment or vaccine, the only way to stop COVID-19 becoming rampant.

One trillion and counting: is government debt a problem?

With about $350 billion of new government spending announced to combat COVID-19, the obvious question is whether Australia can afford it, especially when national income will fall rapidly.

Brace yourself for (bad) tax and super news

The previous austerity of the Coalition Government has been tossed aside to deal with COVID-19, but at some point, debt will be repaid. Are policies once considered off-the-table now a target?

Hybrids throwing up opportunities … and risks

The GFC provided asset managers with a source of behavioural data they could only dream of. However, no amount of modelling can capture the full panic that some investors experience. 

Demographic change at the worst possible time

The missing piece in most analysts' views of the future of the stock market is demographics. The secular bull market until 2019 was driven by a generation that is now retiring and selling equities.  

COVID-19: Is this time really different?

All crises are inherently different, but investor reaction to them is remarkably consistent. There's no evidence to suggest this has changed, which means there are importnt lessons from history.

Most viewed in recent weeks

10 reasons wealthy homeowners shouldn't receive welfare

The RBA Governor says rising house prices are due to "the design of our taxation and social security systems". The OECD says "the prolonged boom in house prices has inflated the wealth of many pensioners without impacting their pension eligibility." What's your view?

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.

Coles no longer happy with the status quo

It used to be Down, Down for prices but the new status quo is Down Down for emissions. Until now, the realm of ESG has been mainly fund managers as 'responsible investors', but companies are now pushing credentials.

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