KASB Ray of hope: Ostrich strategy

Dear Friends,

Pakistan has now officially joined the group of countries following what is being called the Ostrich strategy. I wrote a few weeks earlier about Belarus’s President who recommends vodka and ice hockey. We are god fearing people – our cures are different. The State’s strategy of lock down seems to have capitulated – or rather just decayed with fatigued. Not to worry. This too shall pass. They dont call Pakistan a hard country for nothing.

On our webinar today, Dr. Salman Ahmed of Lombard Odier gave an insightful overview on the oil markets. He thinks a spike in prices created by supply cuts is very likely – especially when automotive and travel demands comes back. Saad Siddiqui of JP Morgan thinks that the economic recovery in emerging markets would take much longer. Most of these markets had very little fiscal space even going into the crisis. They are spending 1-3% on fiscal stimulus compared to 10-30% of GDP responses in the developed world.

I think there is now sufficient evidence which supports PM Khan’s view that the lock down is not the best strategy. Of course it doesn’t make sense to lock down everyone. However, that doesn’t mean that do nothing is superior approach. The best approach is to test, trace, track and quarantine. Kill the virus rather than let it go through the public.

Ryanair’s Mike Oleary has said that his airline won’t be able to survive if IATA enforces rules for keeping the middle isle empty. Last month he was in the news for recommending that only Muslims should go through extra checks at the airports. The lesson: humility is a virtue and karma bites.

We pray for the good health of you and your families.

With love,

Ali Farid Khwaja, Faisal Irfan and Team KASB

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