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Looking for a silver lining

Perhaps, as the ancient stockbroker suggested, I am being “far too pessimistic” about what the future may bring. Maybe I am falling into the classic cognitive trap of recency bias – paying too much attention to the latest, miserable events rather than the historical evidence that mankind and markets have managed to survive far greater crises than Covid-19 and gone on to thrive. Living standards, life expectancy and wealth are all far higher now than ever before, and there are many reasons to think they will remain on that trajectory.

So, to balance my Eeyore-ish outpourings of last week, I’m going to try to forget about the enduring “economic emergency” that the chancellor Rishi Sunak said we face in his Spending Review this week, put out of my mind the “long-term scarring” he suggests Covid-19 could leave on the nation’s economic health, and ignore the mountains of debt that have been racked up tackling the pandemic and be an optimist. 

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