UK’s economic strategy to combat Covid-19 needs a ‘rethink’

economic strategy

The UK government’s economic strategy to combat the impact of Covid-19 might need a rethink, warns the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organizations.

The warning from Nigel Green, the chief executive and founder of deVere Group, comes as government bonds appear in crisis mode and as the British pound dropped below $1.20 to hit multi-decade lows in a rush into cash.

Mr Green says: “The UK government’s response of a £330bn ‘war chest’ package sounds impressive and has generated positive headlines.

“However, the economic strategy to combat the impact of Covid-19 might need a rethink for two main reasons.

“First, there are concerns that the fiscal stimulus they have offered might not be enough. This is evidenced by spooked stock markets sinking as investors fear the measures are not adequate.

“There are serious questions. Can they get it into the hands of individuals and companies quick enough? Is the system too political to get these measures to the people that matter most and fast enough?

Economic strategy ideas

“Second, the government is raising this enormous headline-hitting injection through issuing bonds. But the bond market has responded with fear: the 10-year gilt yield is up from 0.5 per cent yesterday morning to 0.75 per cent.

“An oversupply risk is also exacerbating a wider and deeper lack of confidence, as we have seen on stock markets. The UK’s leading stock index, the FTSE100, was down 4.8 per cent this morning.”

He continues: There are some concerns about the mechanics of markets. The Volcker Rule post-2008 prevents banks warehousing risk, so if everyone sells and there is no-one to buy, then what happens? Previously, banks’ proprietary trading desks would take risks, but they are not allowed to now, meaning central banks will have to step in.

“If the markets don’t function as they should, this could hit the credit markets – a major issue as corporate America has borrowed more than ever before.”

Mr Green concludes: “I’m confident that ultimately the current volatility will highlight that we live in a time of great capabilities, opportunities and great promise.

“But with this volatility, people should revise and perhaps rebalance their financial strategies and portfolios to create, build and protect their wealth as the economic landscape evolves.”

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About the Author

Jacob Wolinsky
Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of ValueWalk.com, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at)valuewalk.com - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver