Ancient chinese curse – may you live in interesting times!

by | May 14, 2020

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Mr Trump, in an effort to apportion blame, has called it the Chinese virus. Whilst celebrating his viewing ratings and being number one on Facebook, he has taken some time to realise how serious the whole Coronavirus Covid-19 is to the world. But then, he would be out of his depth in an intellectual paddling pool. But his naivety in his press conference does have some entertainment value. In that respect, he is the gift that keeps giving.

In the UK, the Government appears to have been slow to react and has struggled to get equipment and medicines to where it is needed. It has managed to turn the ExCel Centre in London into the Nightingale Hospital London in 9 days, which is remarkable. There has been a welcome return to trusting experts and the approach and timing of measures appears to have been considered. The Government has been radical in the economic measures that it has taken to try to protect jobs and businesses with a view to having some infra-structure still in place to kick-start the economy after the crisis is over. All previous spending plans have been eclipsed, both here and in the US, and it will take some time for economies to recover.

There is a welcome introduction of sensible politics, last seen in the Financial Crash in 2008. Rival politicians seem to be being reasonable, asking inciteful questions of members of the Government and not wasting any time scoring cheap political points. Long may that last.

We can all be thankful for the wonderful work being done by the NHS, shop workers, teachers, carers, delivery people and the supply chains that have enabled us to keep going at this time. Fantastic that so many of our “key workers” are so cheap to employ. Hopefully, this crisis will make our society review our values and pay these people what they are really worth. The Thursday night clap and other good work has seen a welcome rise in community spirit. But what would mean more going forward would be decent pay and working conditions for these people.

In the UK, the housing market has come to an abrupt stop. People are being advised not to move house at this time. Surveyors not valuing properties. Lenders reducing their maximum loans to value to 60%. So only product transfer and some re-mortgages may proceed. So, there are a lot of mortgage advisers kicking their heels at the moment.

Perhaps this should be the time that they re-visit their business and write all the protection that they should have offered previously and not found time to complete.

The FCA has stated that it would encourage advisers to work from home wherever possible and minimise the amount of travelling and meetings that they attend.

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