As we sign off this edition to print, Somerset Maugham’s quotation that “we live in uncertain times” is very pertinent, as ‘virus fever is endemic’. I’m referring not to the dreadful Covid-19 virus itself but to the sudden realisation amongst the general public in recent days that what was China’s problem is one that has rapidly spread worldwide. Stock markets globally have also seen dramatic falls towards levels last seen in 2008 during the Great Financial Crisis.
Italy has now taken unprecedented measures in curtailing many daily activities amongst its populace and by the time you read this column, the UK might well be heading in the same direction.
The Bank of England has just cut bank rate to a historic low of 0.25% and in the Budget the purse strings have been loosened to allow large increases in infrastructure spend to take place over the next decade. More details on the budget and its implications to follow in the April edition.