Global Head, Citi Private Bank
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Making sense of the trade-off between virus containment and economic recovery is a vital task for investors over the coming months.
Across much of the world, lockdown restrictions are continuing to ease. Slowly but surely, many of us are now resuming our everyday lives, reuniting with our friends and regaining our freedom to travel. This partial restoration of normality is absolutely critical to our wellbeing, both individually and collectively. Recent months have taken an enormous toll on us in many ways. Separation and inactivity may have been essential to containing the virus, but they also have deeply negative consequences. Good health and robust healthcare systems ultimately depend upon economic prosperity and reviving employment. We must therefore strike the right balance in our ongoing response to COVID-19.
Admittedly, striking the right balance is far from straightforward. The renewed outbreak in Beijing this week was a stark reminder of the challenges that lie ahead. Fortunately, however, our understanding of the virus is also improving all the time. Targeted restrictions rather than blanket shutdowns will likely characterize our fightback from now on. And as we await an effective vaccine, we can surely take heart from other breakthroughs. The University of Oxford’s latest discovery that a cheap and widely-available anti-inflammatory drug can save the lives of severely ill COVID-19 patients is just one such example.
Making sense of the trade-off between virus containment and economic recovery is also a vital task for investors over the coming months. With continued breakthroughs and setbacks almost inevitable, we must be prepared for further volatility in financial markets, as David Bailin and Steven Wieting set out in their latest note. However, they also emphasize the ongoing recovery potential of assets that were hit hardest by the economic shutdown. To remind you of the key actions that we recommend, we have just released our Mid-Year Outlook report as a fully interactive experience.
This week, we had the privilege of hosting more than 3,000 of you for our inaugural Family Office Leadership Program Virtual Summit events. While we always love welcoming you in person, we are also thrilled to be able to share these very special sessions with a much wider audience than usual.
Former Fed Chair Janet Yellen shared her insights into the role of central banking in the COVID-19 era and beyond, including why policy-setters should “never say never” when it comes to negative interest rates in the US. Renowned philosopher Nassim Nicholas Taleb then gave a truly fascinating discussion of the nature of risk amid the pandemic, and also why the world’s response to the virus represents a “black swan” event. Please do join us if you can for next week’s highly topical sessions covering innovations in family office healthcare practices and the future of energy.
I was absolutely delighted to hear from many of you who enjoyed the series of brief musical interludes that we brought you in April and May. So it gives me great pleasure to announce a further series of concert segments, this time showcasing Carnegie Hall’s national youth ensembles.
Each summer, the Hall’s Weill Music Institute brings together the brightest young musicians from across the country to form the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA), NYO2, and NYO Jazz. These remarkable teenagers must undergo a comprehensive audition process to take part in a multi-week training residency with leading professional orchestra and jazz musicians.
All of us at Citi Private Bank feel greatly honored to celebrate the energy and talent of this extraordinary and diverse group of young people. And while they are unable to convene in person this summer, we wish them well as the program occurs online.
This week’s episode features NYO-USA first performing a segment from Prokofiev’s “Montagues and Capulets” from Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64ter. They then leave us with the jaunty rhythms and bustling energy of some beloved tunes from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess: A Symphonic Picture, striking a perfect balance to ease us into the weekend.