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Insights to help navigate market volatility and economic impact
amid the COVID-19 pandemic

"This is an extraordinary period, both a health and an
economic crisis that is unprecedented in financial history."

SKL Circle

"The key point, given the uncertainty of the economic path, is portfolio construction has to be built on a solid foundation. You want to make sure that the number-one building block of your portfolio are securities that can endure a sustained period of economic weakness, should it become the case, but can also benefit should you get a recovery in a shorter period of time."

–Western Asset CIO Ken Leech

Market Impact of COVID-19

Both the US and global economies entered the crisis with strong fundamentals.

The US economy is well positioned to weather a temporary economic slowdown, especially considering the Fed’s swift policy response and the $2 trillion fiscal stimulus under the CARES Act that authorizes payments to individuals beginning in mid-April 2020.

A resumption of economic activity could come swiftly.

This experience is not the same as the global financial crisis (GFC); while the timing of the voluntary business shutdown is still unknown, we believe the global growth shortfall will be transitory. Currently, we see a U-shaped recovery with the resumption of economic activity commencing in late 2Q20 and 3Q20, then picking up steam in 4Q20. We hope to be back to trend-line growth as we enter 2021.

Public safety will be balanced with economic pain.

While business closures and social distancing are intended to save precious lives, the near-term economic impact may be very painful. The massive efforts already seen by governments and central banks to provide fiscal and monetary stimulus should help mitigate some of the economic damage.

Coronavirus Task Force

Highlighted Article
In January 2020, as COVID-19 spread in China, Western Asset assembled a cross-disciplinary task force to analyze the virus and its threat to the global economy.

Shocks & Bonds Blogs Posts

October 07, 2020
By Chia-Liang Lian
By most accounts, the macro shock emanating from the effects of COVID-19 has been profoundly acute across EM countries. During Q2, real GDP in non-China EM shrank at a staggering rate of 40% QoQ annualized.

October 02, 2020
By Robert O. Abad
September 24, 2020
By Michael J. Bazdarich, PhD

September 17, 2020
By Harris A. Trifon

September 09, 2020
By James J. So
September 03, 2020
By Richard A. Booth

August 25, 2020
By Robert E. Amodeo, Sam Weitzman

August 03, 2020
By Harris A. Trifon

July 07, 2020
By Sam Weitzman, Robert E. Amodeo

June 05, 2020
By Michael J. Bazdarich, PhD

June 03, 2020
By Michael J. Bazdarich, PhD

May 27, 2020
By Quentin Lafosse, Wilfred Wong
May 26, 2020
By Harris A. Trifon

May 26, 2020
By Dean French
May 21, 2020
By Judith Ewald, Thea Okin

May 14, 2020
By Andreas Billmeier, PhD, Richard A. Booth
May 13, 2020
By Bonnie M. Wongtrakool

May 12, 2020
By Andreas Billmeier, PhD, Richard A. Booth
May 08, 2020
By Michael J. Bazdarich, PhD

April 30, 2020
By Andreas Billmeier, PhD
April 30, 2020
By Sebastian Angerer, Ivor Schucking

April 29, 2020
By Michael J. Bazdarich, PhD

April 27, 2020
By Richard A. Booth
April 23, 2020
By Alan Nadel, Alex Warren

April 22, 2020
By Michael Linko
April 16, 2020
By J. Gibson Cooper, René Ledis

April 15, 2020
By Chia-Liang Lian, Kevin X. Zhang
April 14, 2020
By Kevin J. Ritter, Mark Hughes

March 31, 2020
By John L. Bellows, PhD
March 26, 2020
By Paulo Clini, Adauto Lima

March 19, 2020
By Sebastian Angerer, Ivor Schucking
March 18, 2020
By Anthony Kirkham

March 18, 2020
By Greg Handler, Ion Dan
March 17, 2020
By J. Gibson Cooper, René Ledis

March 05, 2020
By Andreas Billmeier, PhD
March 04, 2020
By Porntawee Nantamanasikarn, PhD

March 03, 2020
By John L. Bellows, PhD
February 27, 2020
By Walter E. Kilcullen

February 26, 2020
By Chia-Liang Lian, Kevin X. Zhang

Shocks & Bonds Webcast Series

March 18, 2020

March 18, 2020

March 13, 2020

March 12, 2020

Additional Resources

Global Outlook Thumbnail
Third Quarter 2020
Summary of the key drivers behind our global outlook, how we’re positioned in broad market portfolios and a more detailed description of where we see value in today’s markets.
Global Credit Monitor Thumbnail
Third Quarter 2020
Check out our latest holistic assessments of fixed-income trends, technicals and relative value across the entirety of the global credit market.
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