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IPFS News Link • Energy

COVID Is Dead. Energy Is The New Crisis

•, by Bill Blain

Markets are welcoming victory versus COVID, but the next crisis is upon us: Energy instability. The consequences could be dramatic..

Back to the grindstone with a vengeance today – holidays are over and the Christmas decorations are back in their boxes. Time to get serious about 2022. Time to buy or time to sell?

I am unconvinced many market participants understand just how much the ground has shifted over the last quarter – particularly in relation to Energy pricing. The first few months of 2022 are going to be about the market learning what the new landscape looks like, and how it adapts to a new and changing economic reality. This new year is going to be fundamentally different and more challenging in terms of how to invest "smart" in a new and utterly changed financial market environment.

On the plus side, the outlook for 2022 has rosy overtones: Increasingly it looks like the back of Coronavirus has been broken. Infections of the new Omicron might be running out of control around the globe, but new variant hospitalisations and deaths are way down. The crisis is now coloured by issues such as the number of workers off sick – or more likely isolating at home with positive test results and minor symptoms. Official UK vaccine numbers (rather than dubious source material from the University of Facebook) show booster shots are 88% effective against Omicron, and the hospitalisation risk of the new variant is 1/3rd of the previous Delta.

Hallelujah! Ding-Dong! Yippee…

The market bulls are predicting a massive economic boost from the global economy reopening. We'll see that confirmed by a host of new supply chain blockages, rising job vacancy numbers, short-term pressure on wages and increasing consumer confidence as the pandemic scales down from end-of-the-world contagion to a bad flu. That is the way viruses evolve and mutate – we learn to co-exist.