Household stockpiling two years ago was irrational, countries doing it now is not

Exactly this time two years ago, we thought we were entering a food crisis. People were stockpiling food items in the expectation of supply shortages and empty shelves, despite repeated reassurances from the industry and politicians. The reality was that the food and retail sectors pulled out all the stops to keep the supply lines open and to keep us fed. Today, two years on, though, a new and worrying food crisis is on the cards for different reasons.

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Another decade, another recession … but this one’s different

When US Presidents, UK Prime Ministers and other leaders in politics and business take charge, the first 100 days of their leadership is always seen as critical. Last Thursday marked 100 days since the first case of COVID-19 was reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) at the start of January. The scale of the change, political intervention and business disruption that we have seen since then has been truly unprecedented. And what happens in the next 100 days will likely be just as alarming and unprecedented. Indeed, the word unprecedented is now so overused that it no longer does justice to just how rare and extreme events have been.

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No two shocks are ever the same…

Those who thought that uncertainty had peaked at the end of last year will have had cause to think again over the past seven days or so. The fact the word Brexit barely surfaced in discussions around Budget 2020 and other economic events over the past couple of weeks speaks volumes. We have moved to an entirely new crisis that has very much overshadowed the UK’s departure from the EU.

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