Crash on the levee

As many venture investors will tell you, the idea is a nice start and all, the execution is everything. The pandemic and its economic consequences have been compared by some to a state of war, effectively, requiring a wartime response. This is to say, a disciplined, energetic and reprioritized execution at all levels.

That’s the idea in any case, and the execution of it remains to be seen. Early indications however have not been impressive. This commentary is limited to finance, markets, and the economic battles.

News about unpreparedness and bottlenecks in the response system have started to multiply – for mortgage relief, for business loans, for unemployment benefits, to name a few examples among many – and that isn’t a small issue in this crisis.

The idea of a $2.2 trillion rescue package, whether the magnitude of it is sufficient or not (it probably isn’t), was a wartime idea. The implementation of it, however, is a peacetime implementation so far – driven by and through peacetimes systems and protocols, built on a large base of peacetime generated channels.

The markets, which sooner or later reflect all economic things, haven’t yet started to reflect this discrepancy, I don’t think. In wartime, when the risk of unintended consequences is escalated, controllable actions (i.e., execution) are that much more important. Any venture investor and startup entrepreneur can tell you that.

Down in the flood

Just print the money, officers, and load the helicopters. This is no time for dillydallying and sandwich meetings to discuss.