Is this the 'end of the beginning'? Part 2

We are emerging from this global crisis, of that there is no doubt.

Economies around the world are beginning to take the padlocks off and opening the doors of business again.

Sooner or later, of course, global and national economies will recover, because they have to. So will the people, i.e. us, who fuel those economies by earning, paying our taxes, spending and investing our money. Because we have to.

Many mistakes are yet to be made but we’ll get there. Ronald Reagan, when President of the US as it emerged from a damaging recession in 1984, made a promise to America’s children as the economy began to recover and recover fast.

“You ain’t seen nothin’ yet,” he said. Those children are now the parents and grandparents who will oversee the coming recovery which will have to be the biggest in the history of money, ever.

But what will it look like? What will be the shape of this New Normal?

My guess is as good as yours but I have no doubt the ‘family’ will be both the bedrock and the spearhead of the long road to recovery.

There is a great deal of gloom out there and rightfully so. Businesses great and small – some of them household names – are deeply if not irreversibly in trouble.

And therein lies the key to it for me.

What have we learned from this maelstrom of stats and from our own experiences?

We know in the future there will be more working from home, more bicycle commuting, more remote servicing. There will be fewer business trips, both domestic and international and thus urban landscapes will change as cities are forced to redesign themselves to accommodate this new dynamic.

The definition of what we view as an ‘essential worker’ will also change dramatically.

On the upside, this means families will spend more time with each other because there will be more flexibility from and in the workplace.

On the downside, this is probably very bad news indeed for the commercial property sector. If no-one needs big expensive offices anymore, the price will fall below sustainable and there will be casualties in big property ownership.

In turn, because we live in a property-based economy, this will affect our private pensions, our savings even, because the BIG MACHINE of institutional investment -ie the insurance and pension companies – will be forced to reinvest in new sectors.

The way the stats are shaping up now, as they have been gradually for a few years, is that these new sectors will represent a paradigm shift in the flow of money towards goals which will be good for the planet. Sustainable products and renewable energies, if they weren’t a battleground for big money before, most certainly are now and will be going forward.

Public spending, again in my view, will follow through.

And this is good for all of us.

The needs, desires and demands our families hasn’t changed one iota in this turbulent time.

We still want reliable savings and innovative and solid ways of getting our young ones on the housing ladder as financially efficiently as possible.

You can be assured the Family Building Society will be there for you whatever you need – because the clue is in the name.

Written by Steve McDowell

The content of this blog is Steve McDowell’s personal opinion and comment, and views expressed here are his and unless specifically stated, are not those of Family Building Society. The content on this page is not intended to be advice in any circumstances.