As the virus situation worsens, the impact on companies is becoming more severe. SIA freezed hiring, staff may be asked to volunteer for no-pay leave and they are cutting flights to reduce capacity. Temasek freezed staff salaries (including promotion increases) and senior management is taking a partial cut in bonuses.

This is a bad sign. I get worried about a crisis when it actually reduces consumer and corporate spending in a wide range of industries. Because how well an economy does is in direct relation to general consumer and corporate spending. And that’s how banks make profits – by acting as intermediaries to facilitate such transactions.

When you start to see private sector firms from different industries and even governments & their companies take precautionary measures, this means it’s a widespread problem. Which has the worst impact to the local and global economy as it spreads. Before finally hitting the banks’ profits severely. And who knows how long general consumer and corporate spending confidence takes to recover.