And now comes omicron

I have not seen this much of the Greek alphabet since taking ancient Greek in high school. But seriously, can we recognize finally that pandemic concerns are the significant factor moving the economic narrative? Those that keep asking when is the economy going to get back to “normal” need to ask when COVID will stop being a story that moves markets and policy.

This is a serious issue. Oil prices came down drastically as it seems demand for oil would be reduced due to the emergence of the new variant. This will raise further questions, about public willingness to attend events, shop in stores, go out to dinner, and so on. It is a serious issue with a lack of serious discussion around it right now.

From a forecasting perspective the world, to some extent, resets with the emergence of each significant variant. What do I mean? We wait to hear if this existing vaccines will offer protection and if there are other issues surrounding the new variant. These are the factors impacting individual behavior and public policy, but we need new information with each variant emerging.

Beyond the economic aspects there are clearly social and political factors that are the topic of numerous column inches and many hours of news programming. All without really reaching any conclusions, much like the pandemic.

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