HomeRI ResourceFederated Hermes Inc.Spirit of resilience: Market Risk Insights, Q4 2020
Research and White Paper

Last year, Albert Camus’s 1947 novel The Plague returned to global best-seller lists as people searched for a deeper understanding of the pandemic convulsing society.

Many readers would not have been disappointed. With nations enduring successive waves of covid-19 infections and consequent lockdowns on social, economic and community activity, Camus offers insight that transcends decades. Worldwide, people have arguably “reached the phase when plague would seem to them the very tissue of their existence; when they forgot the lives that until now it had been given them to lead”.

Successful trials and rapid production of vaccine in late 2020, combined with the return of political orthodoxy to the White House, presented investors with best-case scenarios at the end of a difficult year. And, even without an immediate vaccination programme, the global data show that in spite of escalating infections in some countries, the overall covid-19 death-rate continues to fall as health professionals apply experience to better treat patients.

A sense of cautious optimism is evident. As Camus described it: “Indeed it could be said that once the faintest stirring of hope became possible, the dominion of plague was ended”.

In this issue of Market Risk Insights, we observe financial indicators correlating with this spirt of resilience demonstrated in the pandemic. Snapshots of our analysis are as follows: