Once In A Lifetime

March 2020
Think Pieces

On Saturday night February 8th, I had the opportunity to attend David Byrne’s sold out Broadway show, American Utopia. Described by New York Magazine as “Total, Buoyant Joy,” the show features one of the former Talking Heads front man’s best-known songs “Once in a Lifetime.” To say the least, this now feels like a lifetime ago. The song presciently asks the question “and you may ask yourself; well how did I get here?”
The global COVID-19 pandemic is truly a once in a lifetime event. I have experienced much in my 38-year investment career: the 1987 Crash, the first Iraq War, the late 90’s Asian Crisis, the 2000 Tech Bubble bursting, 9/11, and the 2008/2009 Financial Crisis and Great Recession. We have not experienced anything like this. As Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s intrepid CEO put it, “COVID-19 is like nothing we have ever seen before. For a company that is 92 years old, that has borne witness to the great depression, World War II and many other economic and global crises, that is saying something. But here are the facts, COVID-19 is having a more severe and sudden financial impact than 9/11 and the 2009 Financial Crisis combined.

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