InvestNow News – 27th Mar – Morphic – COVID-19: There are no monetarists in foxholes

The US forces stationed in the Philippines in 1942, faced an impossible task. The Japanese Imperial army had taken control of most of South East Asia and there would be no more relief supplies. General MacArthur focused his remaining troops into the Bataan Peninsula where they fought for their life for three months, to distract and delay the Japanese forces from taking the rest of Asia and ultimately Australia. After 30,000 were killed or wounded, 76,000 ended up surrendering with many dying on the Bataan death march.

Their deaths were necessary, in today’s terminology, to “flatten the curve”.

And it was in that setting that U.S. military chaplain William Thomas Cummings uttered the phrase “there are no atheists in foxholes” in a sermon, being the title of this blog.

We use this story for a few reasons. At the highest level, the word “war” is being used a lot this month. Perhaps the statistics above give us some perspective on what those before us have done to “flatten the curve”, and remind us that what we face today with requests to self-isolate are not on the same level of the sacrifice.

On a secondary level, relating to markets, it turns out that right wing governments, when faced with a crisis, as they should, turn to Keynesian stimulus (more on that later).

So where does one start with, this last month? We won’t start with the virus. There’s enough written on that already.

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