Global Head, Citi Private Bank
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The combination of hoping and striving has paid off.
Optimism is much more than just a state of mind. It is also a powerful life force,
which can help bring about a multitude of positive outcomes. Better health, increased
longevity, more effective leadership, and greater happiness are just some of the benefits
that research has shown often accrue to those who persistently take a constructive
approach to life’s challenges.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic so far, optimism has prevailed. While the human and economic toll has been heavy, the apocalyptic predictions that were rife in mid-March have not been realized. The worst of the crisis brought out the best in us, from the heroism of healthcare workers, to the decisive interventions of governments, to the solidarity among communities. The combination of hoping and striving has paid off.
To be sure, we will face setbacks. As restrictions are eased, further outbreaks are more likely than not. This time, though, the world is much better prepared. Testing, tracking, and tracing have come a long way in recent months. Healthcare systems have ramped up their capacity. And in the quest for a vaccine, there is unprecedented unity of purpose among the world’s finest scientific minds. Such progress should reinforce our optimism as the great reopening of the global economy continues.
The prospects for lasting positive change were also explored in this week’s very engaging discussion between Ian Bremmer, President of the Eurasia Group and GZERO Media, and our Chief Investment Officer David Bailin. “The world after coronavirus: Where’s the upside?” highlights the potential for a brighter future, so long as political and financial leaders make the right decisions. You can listen to Ian’s and David’s insights here or download the podcast.
Well-grounded optimism also runs throughout our recently-launched Mid-Year Outlook 2020 report. For a summary of its main messages – as well as additional views from our local experts – I warmly invite you to attend one of our livestream events or replays over the coming days. While key economies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, Jeffrey Sacks – our EMEA Strategist – sets out the potential opportunities for the coming recovery we see in this region.
Starting next week, we are curating a series of eight very special live events. On Monday, former Fed Chair Janet Yellen will be discussing central bank intervention in the COVID-19 era. On Wednesday, philosopher and author of “The Black Swan” Nassim Nicholas Taleb will be exploring the phenomenon of “antifragility” – things that thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, and disorder. If you cannot attend in real time, we will be posting replays.
Over the last few months, a major source of optimism for all of us at the Private Bank have been the stories of your contributions to the fightback against COVID-19. I am therefore deeply honored to share with you a short film that perfectly captures the entrepreneurial determination and creativity of the global citizens whom we exist to serve.
Sid Brown and his team at NFI – the supply chain solutions provider that Sid’s grandfather founded almost ninety years ago – have helped to meet some of North America’s most fundamental needs during the economic shutdown. Rolling their trucks over vast distances, they have kept supermarkets stocked with groceries and other vital provisions. In the face of daunting health risks and unprecedented logistical challenges, their resilience and relentless drive are truly inspiring.
As Sid put it, “The respect that our frontline employees have received from the public has been tremendous. I’m really proud of what we're doing for our country in what has been a dark period for the whole world.”
Indeed, it is thanks to the heroes such as the team at NFI – as well as to the entrepreneurial spirit of our clients globally – that optimism is prevailing today.
Thank you for the trust and confidence you show in the Private Bank.