William Blair Investment Management Research Analyst Camilla Oxhamre Cruse, Ph.D., and Global Strategiest Olga Bitel

Part 3: COVID-19 Science and Economics

August 25, 2020 | 38:50
As the pandemic progresses, Hugo checks back in with our in-house COVID experts, William Blair Investment Management Research Analyst Camilla Oxhamre Cruse, Ph.D., and Global Strategist Olga Bitel, on why cases are rising in some areas and declining in others, where we are on a vaccine and testing, and potential risks to our base-case scenario for the global economic recovery.

Meet Our Moderator

Hugo Scott-Gall, Partner


Hugo Scott-Gall: Today I’m delighted to have with me two colleagues to discuss the ongoing COVID crisis and its economic impact. Camilla Oxhamre Cruz is our in house COVID expert, and she has a Ph.D. in infectious diseases and knows lots of scary stuff. Also, with me is Olga Bitel who is our macro strategist, and just knows lots of stuff. Let’s get going and talk about stuff.

First question to you, Camilla. You’re the most frequent appearer on the podcast so you get the first question. The question really is we kind of thought and hoped that the summer was going to see cases steadily fall. That hasn’t happened. We’ve seen cases maybe not spike, but certainly rise in key parts of the world. Why is that increase happening?

Camilla Oxhamre Cruse: A couple of things to highlight. So, what we have seen during summertime. Yes, indeed when we went into summer, we were hoping that we would see an overall decline of cases on sort of a global front. What we have seen now is that there’s been a huge variety of cases, in some areas — in some areas, we have seen a significant increase, where in other areas, we have seen a decrease, in other areas sort of more of a stable level.

So why this difference depending on different areas? So, let’s break it down sort of starting with the U.S. first. So, in the U.S., we have seen a steady increase of cases over the past couple of months, but it has been very much correlated to the standard states. To the states that opened up very early on. And maybe they opened up a bit too quickly to be honest.

Whereas in several other areas in the U.S., we have seen a decline. New York is a good example. And in yet, in other areas, sort of more a stabilization. So here in Illinois, we have seen sort of a relatively stable development.

But, of course, the situation in the southern states has been sort of quite concerning. It’s been sort of a very rapid increase in cases. And now in the last couple of weeks, we’ve also seen an increase in the death rate.

More in current weeks though, if you look over the last maybe week, it seems that we have reached some sort of a peak with both cases and death rates sort of stabilizing.

So, why did this happen? So, first of all, in the southern states, as I mentioned before, they opened up relatively early. They opened up probably a bit too early when we were in some sort of peak. And since then we’ve learned a lot more about the virus and how it spreads. Where it spreads most efficiently. We learned that indoor environments, bars, restaurants, areas where people are in very close proximity, sort of loud environments, poor ventilation, those are sort of optimal environments for the virus to spread. We know that now.

And with that knowledge, of course, going forward, we can to some extent sort of adjust our behavior. Learn from sort of what we’ve seen, particularly in these southern states.

But we should also not forget that we’ve been through this now for a couple of months. There is a level of, how should we call it, the COVID fatigue. People have been for the good part of spring and early summer, basically locked into their homes and apartments. And I believe there was maybe the need to enjoy the summer maybe a little bit too much. And with that came a somewhat more high-risk behavior.

Hugo Scott-Gall: Is that how you think the average transmission in the U.S. happens? Is that the most frequently occurring source of transmission?

Camilla Oxhamre Cruse: I would say that is indeed an optimal environment. I think also sort of in family where you are, any close proximity, of course, will facilitate the spread. So, we’ve also seen that within family the spread is pretty efficient. Meaning that in families where you have multiple generations living together, that is a problem. Where we’ve seen sort of a lot of spread to the elder generation.

But you’re right. Sort of in an environment with enclosed, poor ventilation, a lot of people in the same areas, and where we tend to sort of raise our voices. And therefore, sort of breath deeper and inhale and exhale deeper. That will facilitate the spread.

Hugo Scott-Gall: I want to bring in Olga here, because in Europe and the U.S., we’re moving into the fall and the winter. Summer’s nearly over, which is a shame, but it’s a fact. We’re going to be indoors more. So how are we not going to see an increase in infections, and therefore, how are we not going to see more of an economic hit than we’ve seen in the summer.

Because Olga, you’ve described this to me earlier as a strong recovery. But I wonder how sustainable that recovery is if we know that being indoors, in crowded places, which is sort of what you’re forced to do in the winter months, is the main likely source of transmission? So, let’s throw that to you, Olga.

Olga Bitel: Sure, absolutely. Throw me the hardest questions. Well, let’s start with — I want to kick off by putting a number, which is kind of a base case, at the moment, a number the summarizes a lot of what Camilla has just talked about. Which is to say that the rate of new cases in the U.S. today is running 10 times higher than the comparable rate of new cases adjusted for testing in Europe.

So, the starting point, both have seen an increase since reopening. And, of course, we can debate whether some states in the U.S. have reopened too soon, whereas the majority of European countries have waited, and certainly that has been the case in China as well. Which is also going to experience a winter that is quite similar to what you observe in the northern part of the U.S. So, the same issues apply to all three major global demand centers. The starting point is quite a bit different. So, 10 times higher, 10 times the number of new cases per million people in the U.S. today as compared to Europe.

The second point to make, to your point, Hugo, and Camilla, is that we have not yet seen a second wave. This is really just the continuation of the original epidemic unfolding in our collective and individual failure, such that it is, to contain it. The second wave really comes, and this is borrowing heavily from my extensive discussions with Camilla. So, thank you, Camilla for this. My on-the-fly gaining of epidemiological knowledge is that it’s going to come with the traditional flu season.

So, our hospitals and healthcare systems as well as our respiratory systems are going to get inundated with an ordinary flu, which spikes around October, November, together with COVID virus. And it’s really the ability of the hospital systems, the healthcare providers, to care for the case load that will really influence how much of a renewed lockdown do we really need to have.

And from everything, on a more optimistic side now, that Camilla and I have discussed and read about and shared more broadly, is that our medical community has gotten much better. We know a lot more about the virus. We know what it does and doesn’t do much more than we did in February and March of this year. And our ability to deal with cases before they show up in the hospitals as most extreme and overwhelm our regional and local healthcare centers is much greater now.

There’s a cocktail of different drugs for different levels of disease, etc. So, the idea here is that our base case, to translate this now into economics. Our base case remains that there are no significant lockdowns such as we saw in the spring of this year will be necessary. That is more at risk in the U.S., less at risk in Europe and in China. But that remains our base case across the board.

Nevertheless, the risk of lockdowns and the risk of a very significant increase in the caseloads and in rate of new infections, does raise the spectra of additional headwinds to recovery. It is quite likely to dampen economic activity as we move forward, certainly incrementally.

Against this background, though, we need to remember that retail sales volumes in Europe and the U.S. area are already growing, have already exceeded, basically, pre-crisis levels and are growing, so in positive territory on year on year terms. While industrial production, so the famed supply, so to speak, is lagging very much behind. So, there’s significant room for catchup to address current levels of demand, even before we see further acceleration in the demand.

So, the recovery does have legs, but there are significant headwinds from the virus perspective.

Hugo Scott-Gall: Just picking up on that then, I wonder how much of the recovery has been pent up demand that’s not been released. And then, you said looking like you don’t think we’re going to see lockdowns, or if we do, then they might even just be so localized. But what happens if I just don’t want to go out. So, the lockdown stops me from going out, but what happens if I just don’t want to go to a restaurant, to a movie theater, to a theater, to anything that’s indoors with lots of people. Because you can’t say it’s safe to do that. As per what Camilla just said, it isn’t necessarily safe. It’s the most likely cause of transmission.

Olga Bitel: Absolutely. So just again, to rebase here. So, in the U.S. at least, and in continental Europe, most large-scale events are still closed to the general public. So, we’ve seen the Champions League in soccer pick up to carry forward from last season. Those matches are playing to crowdless stadiums. In the U.S., theaters are not open. Concert halls, venues of that sort, remain closed. So, we’ve seen a strong reacceleration of activity post their reopening, but we’re definitely no where near the pre-crisis levels of activity.

And I’m not aware that anybody is forecasting that these venues and these large-scale gatherings will be allowed to take place even in the absence of fear factor on anything like the next three- to six-month horizon. Six months might be a little further out. There are lots of other developments that could take place. But certainly, nobody’s discussing this in the near term.

In terms of the fear factor, as you rightly pointed out, that’s there and is omnipresent and will likely increase as the number of cases skyrockets, right. And, so that will further limit and be a headwind to socializing indoors. To the small businesses like restaurants that rely on that indoor traffic, that are now able to mitigate that somewhat by having outdoor dining space, which will have to close inevitably in the next couple of months in the large parts of the U.S. and continental Europe and probably China as well.

But that activity that is relying on large gatherings has largely been absent even in the summer months.

Hugo Scott-Gall: Okay. So, I definitely want to get onto where we are with vaccines and treatments. But before that, something you just touched on there, Olga, and this is a question for both of you is behavioral changes. At the start of this crisis we were maybe hopeful that by the summer things would feel quite normal, and they don’t. The longer things don’t feel quite normal, the more likely it is, I think that some behavioral changes might become semi-permanent.

So, what do you think about that? Camilla, in the next two to three years, do you think we are going to see some psychological impacts and some sort of permanent behavioral changes and some lost habits? So, I guess, Camilla, I’ll ask you first. And this is not a scientific question. It’s very permissive and judgmental. I know you’re a scientist and you always like evidence and proof. But what’s your feeling on that. And then, Olga, as an economist and a behaviorist, I’ll ask you.

Camilla Oxhamre Cruse: Of course, there will be some behavioral changes. The question is how sustainable those changes will be and how quickly it will go. But all those sorts of behavioral changes don’t necessarily have to be sort of evil. Sort of interacting today at William Blair, we do everything online. And while I don’t disagree with the importance of in-person interaction, to some extent the situation we have today is working and it’s working fine.

And, I think that sort of more and more people will realize that certain things we had the technology before, but we didn’t really do it because it wasn’t really in our culture. I think that those culture changes, where we already have the technology available but because of more behavioral or culture aspects we haven’t really fully utilized those.

I think that could very well change and maybe sort of see the pendulum go a little bit more extreme now during the height of the pandemic. And after the pandemic, post-COVID, sort of remain, to some extent swing back. But it doesn’t necessarily have to swing back to exactly where we were pre-COVID.

The same goes for some other trends in the healthcare arena for example. With telemedicine, now we’re getting more comfortable interacting with our doctor and physicians online. That technology was available before, but we have not necessarily felt comfortable. It hasn’t been really in our culture necessarily to use it to its full extent.

I think that we are getting more comfortable exploring aspects of particularly using technological tools to a better and fuller extent. And like I said, now during the height of the pandemic sort of that may be a little bit more to an extreme. But I do think that there will be sustainable changes to our behavior that will change how we interact with others. How we interact with for example physicians or pharmacies, etc. etc. So, of course, there will be changes.

Olga Bitel: On the first point, on the social interaction point, we humans are social animals. So, when we’re forced to be by ourselves, when we’re forced to be indoors, when we’re forced to not interact in large groups for period of times, we may or may not comply willingly. And some of us are more introverted than others so it’s easier for some than others. But by and large, I don’t think a pandemic, however long it lasts, whether it lasts a year or two years, which is on average how long pandemics generally last, is going to disrupt hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years of evolution.

So, I think the social aspect of our interactions will not likely persist. We’ve seen this time and time again in previous pandemics, in 1918. In the more recent ones from the 1950s. In the late ‘50s, believe it or not, there was another flu-like pandemic. And people reverted back to the normal social interactions with a vengeance, I may add.

And so, I expect something similar to happen this time, when we’re finally rid of this for good. As long as it seems like from now.

The second point, and I really want to echo Camilla’s point on this, is that this pandemic has forced a change in the pace of adoption of new technologies. So, it’s true that technologies that are available today were not available in previous pandemics. And so, a lot of the technology enabled social interaction and frankly, consumerism, purchasing electronically online with digital payments, etc., was not available 50 years ago.

And so, to the extent that people, many people, large groups, especially in southern Europe, in Germany, on the payment system were forced overnight to drop the use of cash and in person shopping and resort to shopping online with cards or digital payments of different forms. That has brought forward the adoption, the massive, large-scale, and increased pace of adoption of new technologies. And that part will likely stay. The convenience, the cheapness, the safety that has now been proven, I think is likely to stay.

The same thing on the working remotely part. Especially for high-end services firms. So, accountants, asset managers, architects, etc. It doesn’t mean that we’ll never go back to the office and we’ll never see our colleagues in person again. There are tremendous values to be had in personal interactions. But it may mean the pandemic has forced us or at least some of us to rethink the quality of our daily interactions. Such that perhaps we may end up going to the office three times a week and have more targeted and more focused set of meetings, interactions, etc., rather than five days a week.

And on that, again, there have been some studies done, especially in places that have lagged in productivity gains such as Japan, where Microsoft went to a four day week instead of five over a long period of time, and saw a sustained increase in productivity among virtually all cohorts of employees. And these studies have been repeated in New Zealand and in some other places.

So, the point I’m trying to highlight is not all of the experiences associated with COVID will be bad. And many of the good ones will definitely stay.

Hugo Scott-Gall: So, I want to get to Camilla on vaccine development. But before I get there, I guess I want to ask you both again, are we getting this the wrong way around? So, we’re all very focused on a vaccine and it sounds like we’re going to get one of some reasonable efficacies at some point quite soon. But is that the wrong way around. The vaccine’s a silver bullet. But actually if we got really good at testing. Had a really frictionless way of testing, that could be just as good a way of actually managing infection risk. Or maybe not as good a way, but still very effective.

So is this one of those questions where the medical scientist will always say let’s find a vaccine. But the engineer might say actually, look at the problem the other way around and there’s much more — we can solve this by a local, frictionless, testing regime. So, I’m keen to hear both of your thoughts on that. So, Camilla, you go first and once you’re done Olga, we’ll go back to where we are in the vaccine. Because that’s obviously front and center in importance.

Camilla Oxhamre Cruse: So, I would complicate the situation by saying that we unfortunately need both. We need both good testing and eventually we will need a vaccine. And we will get a vaccine, the question is how long it will take not only to develop a reasonably good vaccine for the different patient population cohorts, because we are not all equal in terms of our immunological response. But then we have also the roll out phase. How long it will take before everyone can get a vaccine.

So, we’re probably looking at a broad mass distribution of vaccine likely to happen maybe fall 2021. That’s over a year from now. So, what are we going to do during this period of time? We have to get on with life. We sort of have to get on with our economy. And during that period of time, we need to get on top of our testing. Testing has been something that has been surprisingly poor, particularly in the U.S. where we seem to struggle with the logistics of the testing distribution.

Because we do have the technology. We do have the know-how. But we don’t have the scale and we don’t have the logistics. If we talk about scale, it’s sort of over the last couple of months, we have scaled up testing. It has more than doubled. But over the same period of time, the viral spread in the country has quadrupled. Just sort of giving you an idea of how far behind we are in testing.

And what can testing do for us? If we sort of get it up to the level that we need, will testing put eyes on the pandemic? At the moment we are fighting an invisible virus. We don’t know where it is. We don’t know where it’s spreading. We don’t know when our sort of next outbreak will occur. The only way we can get control over the pandemic is to put eyes on it and that means testing.

And we need to test not only those with symptoms, we need to test those that are called the asymptomatic. Those people that have been infected but don’t know that they’re infected because they don’t have any symptoms. More and more studies are showing that also these asymptomatic persons, they can spread the virus. We don’t know exactly to what extent they spread it. But they do spread it.

So, we cannot without getting eyes on the pandemic, we can never control it. And if we cannot control it, we cannot safely open up schools. We cannot safely open up the economy. So, I would say it’s highly crucial that we build up the infrastructure around testing and get the logistic to work in the entire country. It doesn’t help if one area in the country gets control over the virus when the neighboring area does not because the virus doesn’t really know borders. So, we need to synchronize the testing.

We are, whether we like it or not, we are in this together and that’s the only way we can solve this. By synchronizing but getting control over the logistics. We have the technology, but we don’t have the logistics in place.

And then during that time we will continue to work on the vaccines. We have made great progress. We can talk about that later. But it will take, before we have a massive rollout of vaccines, it will most likely take more than a year from today.

Olga Bitel: This is not a problem of molecular biology, right. This is a problem of industrial organization. And specifically, one that has been uniquely poorly handled in the U.S. as compared to Europe and in China. And this is a problem that is — while we’re great believers in free-market economies and the capitalist systems of industrial organization, the problem with this pandemic and specifically within pandemic testing and rapidly scaling testing, is really not well suited for markets. It requires a central coordinated, and organized, and even mandated response.

And here’s what I mean by that. If you’re asking a company to buildout a large scale manufacturing testing facility, whose success is really predicated on it being closed within a year or 18 months, it’s really hard to get private sector investment to scale up very quickly for that aim. Because most private sector investment is geared toward longer time payouts with more durable asset basis and business models.

And here, we have the opposite problem. We want lots and lots of testing over a very short period of time. Such that hopefully in two years’ time, all of that testing infrastructure will be unnecessary and obsolete. So that is the essence of why the response in the testing scaling up in the U.S. has been so incredibly slow. It’s not that there haven’t been tests developed, to Camilla’s point. But the rolling out of the testing, the infrastructure that is necessary to support the testing in the millions per day, which is what the experts are talking about, is just not there.

And the willingness of the private sector to invest in a duplicative and non-coordinated manner is simply not there. Because the payouts to individual companies are not there, are highly uncertain.

This is an example of where the country needs to come together and mobilize really from the top down and organize this a bit better. Which is exactly what we saw in Europe, basically take place. In places like Germany, in smaller countries, but also increasingly in France and Italy and everywhere else.

Hugo Scott-Gall: So, Camilla, back to you on the vaccine. To the layperson, lots of potential vaccines are in the works. The numbers sound impressive, but really that is not great a predictor of success. How would you rate your confidence in a reasonably effective vaccine coming to market in the next six to nine months, versus what you saw three or six months ago?

Camilla Oxhamre Cruse: Well, we have a lot more data now than what we had three to six months ago. I must say that I’m quite confident that we will have a reasonably good vaccine — and I’ll get back to what I mean by reasonably good. But I’m quite confident that we will have a reasonably good vaccine being approved by early next year. We will have data from the leading vaccine candidate that will start coming out. We’re talking October, November timeframe. So, then we will have real-world data from the vaccine trials.

And, they are sort of sizable trials of 30,000 patients. Different sort of population cohorts. So, we will be able to compare how the vaccine works in the younger population versus the older population, etc. because that’s something that is very important to keep in mind.

And, why I’m so confident, yes, the number of vaccines that are in development, but also, they’re coming from a different technological background. And that also brings me to the sort of issue of some vaccines may work better in some populations versus others may work better in other populations. Because as I mentioned before, we don’t have the same immunological background. The elderly population we know, for example, has a weaker immunological system, and therefore the sort of vaccine in general does not work as well in the elderly population as it does in the younger population.

The problem is that with COVID, it’s primarily the elderly generation that are at risk of developing critically ill symptoms. So, with a reasonably good vaccine — and I think that it’s very important to keep in mind here that we do not necessarily need a the perfect vaccine. Sort of right out of the gate. We need a vaccine that is reasonably good in stopping infection. And the FDA has said about 50% better as compared to a placebo in reducing infection but also reducing the likelihood of developing severe disease.

Because what we need — what we want to accomplish now is of course to minimize the spread of the virus. But should you become infected, it’s also important that you don’t develop critically ill symptoms. So, therefore, we don’t need the perfect vaccine. That we can develop in sort of the second or third generation of the vaccine down the line. What we need now is a reasonably good vaccine that at a reasonable level stops the infection. But should you get infected, that the vaccine prevents the development of critical symptoms. And, I’m, like I said, quite confident that we will be able to achieve that and that we will have a vaccine on the market by early next year.

Hugo Scott-Gall: Obviously it’s too soon to say that there are lingering health effects from this because it hasn’t been very long. But there are those making the argument that there are some ongoing negative health consequences for people who have had this.

You with your sort of deeply scientific hat on, what do you make of that? Is this sort of different in its sort of ongoing effects on the body, different organs, etc.?

Camilla Oxhamre Cruse: So, yes. When we talk about the pandemic, we tend to focus a lot on the cases. We tend to focus a lot on the death rate. But we seem to forget or underestimate what is called the morbidity of the virus. So, there’s a difference with the mortality, the death rate. The morbidity is sort of the impact on the body.

And yes, we have seen that in patients that become critically ill. Not necessarily that lead to death, but become critically ill, they survive it. It’s a long way back to anything that can be called sort of pre-infection or sort of a normal life. Because we have learned that this virus is not just a respiratory virus. It has a systemic impact on the entire body. It induces a very potent immunological response in the patient. And that sort of over reaction, in the immunological response has a very detrimental effect on the entire body.

On different organs we’ve seen a neurological effect, cardiovascular effect, on top of the respiratory effect. So yes, in patients that do become critically ill, we have seen a detrimental impact on the entire body due to the systemic overreaction of the immune system.

Hugo Scott-Gall: We’re going to wrap up now with one tricky but important question to Olga. So, as we’re speaking, the S&P 500 is back at it’s all-time high. Which it was, correct me if wrong, Olga, because you usually do. I think back at the levels it was in February.

So, here’s a fiendishly difficult but simple question. Why?

Olga Bitel: From my vantage point, a couple of reasons. Both cyclical to an extent. The first reason is equity market multiples are a function of the prevailing interest rates in the fixed-income markets. And current level of interest rates, and we can debate whether this is warranted or not and what the path forward is, but that’s a secondary question, or rather a different question.

The fact of the matter is that interest rates today are just a fraction of what they were at the end of 2019 and even in February of 2020. So, for example, the U.S. 10-year was around two percent or so, just a touch above. And today, we’re looking at a rate of .6%. So, if you use that as your denominator and nothing else changes, you expect equity market multiples to be more than double their levels of prevailing levels of February 2020.

Now I’m not arguing, nor I think is anybody that that would be a reasonable course of action. I’m simply pointing out the mathematical fallacy so to speak of just looking at the mathematical S&P levels and comparing them to a prior period without thinking of the denominator which is the interest rate.

The second point and it’s also somewhat cyclical is where we are in the recovery. So quite specifically, in the early stages of economic recovery, and this has been true the best I can tell most of the recoveries we’ve experienced in the post-World War II period. Valuations in the equity space adjust first. And that’s because of the forward-looking nature, as of the recovery. The sequential improvement in economic activity is already evident long before it shows up in year on year changes in corporate earnings.

So specifically, actual reported corporate earnings improvement lags orders and sales improvement by about three quarters or so. And that relationship, as best we can tell, remains stable for now. Which means in the early stages of the recovery, it’s all about being more expensive. So, the stock prices are bid up on the expectations of better year earnings, which are currently very depressed, and which will then materialize with some delay.

So that part of what we’re seeing so far is not that unusual. Given the extreme levels of recession, obviously the dynamic is starker this time. But the actual sequential forces both in the market and in the real economy are actually surprisingly low following the cyclical recovery playbook.

So, let me stop here.

Hugo Scott-Gall: I said it’s the final question, but I guess I can’t leave it there. Which is what’s priced is very difficult to say, but back where we started, if we see a slowing in rates of change of economic recovery because we all want to stay indoors in small groups not large groups, would that present a risk to equity markets, you think, versus what’s priced in?

Because you said this is a very strong recovery and probably has exceeded expectations. Is there some risk to that? Disappointing expectations as we go into the winter in the world’s largest economy, the U.S.?

Olga Bitel: I think the risks as I see them currently are two-fold. The first one is exactly what you just outlined, that the recovery is somehow aborted or at least minimized by the prevailing pandemic headwinds such that everybody suffers. So that would be the scenario that we experienced in March of this year, with at least the threat of lockdowns if not outright lockdowns themselves. But certainly, much reduced levels of activity both on the spending side and the production side. So that’s a non-negligible risk to be sure.

Another risk, which I think is quite as powerful, although perhaps a little bit more subtle. Is that the actual gains, the equity market gains at the headline levels are more muted moving forward into the sort of subsequent stages of recovery. But the leadership transition underneath the headline numbers is quite stark.

And what I mean is so far the companies with the best earnings growth visibility have been disproportionately rewarded and rightly so. In recessions, that’s where you tend to go. It also helps that these have been the biggest earnings growers and cashflow generators. And of course, I’m speaking about quasi-technology/digital consumer stocks as well as select portions of the healthcare universe that Camilla knows about all too well.

And as we move into the economic recovery, what is already apparent in the macro data will start to filter through bottom-up earnings revisions and expectations for repricing more of the cyclical components of the market such as the higher quality industrials, technical equipment, industrial commodities, higher end chemicals, things like that. Things and sectors and industries and companies that benefit disproportionately more in an industrial recovery such as the one we’re seeing.

And so underneath the index gains, we’re going to see a more pronounced rotation in the leadership in the market. So, both of those two risks are equally important to keep in mind moving forward from my perspective.

Hugo Scott-Gall: Great. Well, look, I think that is a nice cliff hanger. I can feel another podcast coming on. So, I think we will return more centrally to those issues. And also, I think we’ll also return to the idea of the notion of rising inflation set against a backdrop of decades of disinflation. But those are all for another time.

So, what I want to do is say thank you to you both again. It’s always good to have you on the show, Camilla. You’re pretty much always on the show. We’re going to be retiring your microphone soon. But thank you both very much. And that’s it. Thank you.

Camilla Oxhamre Cruse: Thank you.

Olga Bitel: Thank you.

Meet Our Moderator

Hugo Scott-Gall, Partner

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