The COVID Diaries: nonbank financial-institution borrower 3
The following interview is with an Australian-based funding executive at a nonbank financial institution. It was conducted on 8 April 2020.
We are now into the second month of home working. Is cabin fever starting to set in? Do you think we can continue doing business in this fashion for three to six months?
The way in which technology has enabled business continuity has been one of the few good outcomes. There have been some hiccups but the transition to a full work from home model has been quite good.
Our treasury team is quite accustomed to working from home, whether that is outside of business hours or over the weekend – so it hasn’t been a big stretch. For the broader business, particularly the service and operation areas, it has been a psychological change.
Has your view of the crisis and the nature of the challenges it presents changed? It seems Australia has prioritised public health over the economy, at least in the medium term. How are you thinking about that trade off?
As it is, I think there is a sophisticated and entirely appropriate approach being adopted by federal and state governments. They have modelling of the spread of the virus and I would like to think there is a point at which they can start to relax some of the containment measures in order to get parts of the economy operating again.
In line with that, financial markets recovery is probably going to be a lot slower – particularly in the credit markets. There will still be an impact on the real economy and it will spill over.
“Since the financial crisis, and particularly over the past few years, markets have been able to understand and price disruptions and major event risk. But this is really the big daddy of them all.”
Are you more or less optimistic about the crisis than you were during the early acceleration period of moving to home working and adding social distancing measures?
How do you think things will be different when we get back to normal? What changes can you see to work practices, social changes and the economy?
For markets, I would like to think that they will be more resilient. Since the financial crisis, and particularly over the past few years, markets have been able to understand and price disruptions and major event risk. But this is really the big daddy of them all.
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