Good morning, it's a gradually recovering Paul here, with Friday's SCVR.

Today's report is now finished.

I'm still catching up with what's been going on, over the past couple of weeks. Rightly or wrongly, I'm increasingly coming round to the view that the actions being taken by Governments, in shutting down large parts of the economy, could well turn out to be counter-productive. Hundreds of £billions in economic activity is being killed off, with ruinously expensive compensation schemes being dreamed up. For what benefit? We're likely to end up with millions of unemployed, many thousands of destroyed businesses, all of which might have slowed down the spread of the virus a little.

Seeing police being asked to stop traffic, and accost people in parks, to enforce inconsistent & illogical policies on social distancing, again just strikes me of authorities feeling the need to be seen to be doing something. Meanwhile millions of people are crammed into buses & trains, going in to work as normal. So which is it? Are we isolating, or not? To my mind, we should be rigorously isolating anyone who is vulnerable, and everyone else should be getting on with life and trying to keep the economy going.

In terms of shares, we really haven't even begun to count the cost of the economic mayhem which is unfolding. Forecasts have gone out of the window - we haven't got any sensible guidance yet on how companies might perform. Lots of companies are likely to be reporting huge losses this year, and may or may not survive.

For this reason, I'm losing confidence in the recent big bounce in oversold shares, and have decided to bank more profits.

We're in completely uncharted territory, there's never been anything like this happen before - with an extended shutdown of whole sectors. The losses are likely to be ruinously high, I reckon. On the flipside, Govts seem to be prepared to throw vast amounts of stimulus at the problem. A world that was already unreal, in terms of zero interest rates & mountains of debt, is getting more distorted by the day.

How bad is this recession going to be? Nobody knows. But it's already rippling out. Newspapers are reporting that banks are pulling mortgage deals, so the window to remortgage at historically low rates has probably slammed shut for now.

As regards individual shares, I'm not going to…

Unlock the rest of this Article in 15 seconds

or Unlock with your email

Already have an account?
Login here