Today, I thought I would cover two topics. First, I want to update you on how Acropolis is operating, and, second, offer some thoughts on what one prominent economist is saying about the impact of the coronovirus.
Regarding Acropolis, it appears that our regular disaster recover preparations were worth their time and energy. As a Registered Investment Advisor, Acropolis is required to have a disaster recovery plan in place and test the plan regularly.
Thankfully, St. Louis hasn’t suffered major disasters recently like Hurricane Sandy or the California wild fires, so we’ve only put the plans into partial action for snow days. In this case, we had more time to prepare than we would with a regular weather event, and all of the essential services are working.
As a result, everyone is now working from home, often with our specialized phones from the office, additional computer monitors and even some of the office chairs. Like a lot of people on Instagram, we sent a lot of photos of our home offices to each other, and we’re up an running albeit in pretty casual clothes.
Right now, we’re operating fairly normally despite the remote workforce and expect that we will be able to continue to operate for as long as the situation requires. It’s not easy, but as we see in a lot of places and throughout history, we’ve got a ‘We Can Do It’ spirit at Acropolis.
During the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, I regularly turned to Greg Mankiw’s blog, which you can find here. He’s a Harvard professor that writes regularly and offers opinions of other economists, even when he doesn’t agree. My assessment is that he’s somewhat right leaning, but he strikes me as fair regardless of your political leanings.
In any case, he had a post recently that he intended for reporters looking for his thoughts on how policy makers should respond to the crisis. Although I’m not an economist and don’t necessarily agree with everything he writes, I thought his points were interesting enough to share, although I edited them somewhat.
- Mitigating the health aspect of the crisis is the first priority.
- A recession is likely.
- Congress and the President should focus fiscal policies on social insurance, like the $1,000 per person check that’s currently under discussion. Helping people with their current economic problems may keep them stay at home, which could slow the spread of the virus.
- Now is not the time to worry about growing government debt.
- Monetary policy from the Federal Reserve should focus on liquidity and serve as the lender of last resort.
Hopefully, policy makers can act quickly in response to the virus and its impact on the economy, which feels increasingly swift itself.