The Case for Rebound Optimism

Illustration by Elizabeth Kleiner

Strong economic fundamentals could lead us into a “Y-shaped recovery”

The top branch of the Y, the first half of the economy to prosper, contains those industries on the right side of history.

This is not a bubble.

While the financial system is not as strong as it could be, at least it hasn’t been systematically weakening itself for the past seven years.

The weaknesses are evident.

People are mobilizing in good faith.

There is time to reflect before acting.

Supply chains are resilient.

The hoarding of products has masked the surprising fact that supply chains (the distribution networks that manufacturers and retailers depend on) are still functioning. This was not a foregone conclusion.

Manufacturing footprints are changing.

If factories can be reconfigured on the fly to produce inexpensive ventilators (and it’s not yet clear how many can), they can also retool on demand for other products.

Middle classes around the world are still growing.

Investment capital is still available.

The “Zoom transition” is real.

In media, the long tail is getting fatter.

Regulations could get smarter. (Could they?)

Animal spirits still matter.

It’s almost as if the economy itself is a living thing, beseiged with an infection, relying on its own immune system to bounce back.

What next?

Thoughtful business writer & editor. Wise Advocate, Age of Heretics, Who Really Matters, 5th Discipline Fieldbook, strategy+business, Whole Earth Catalog.

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