Which I imagine has come as somewhat of a blow to many of you.


From our global correspondent


Some interesting updates from our colleagues at WFII on the corona related work being carried out by OECD.


The OECD published a note Responding to the COVID-19 and pandemic protection gap in insurance. For this note click here or see attachment (we sent this note to you also by email on 2 June)


According to the OECD, the vast majority of the COVID-19 related business interruption losses are likely to be absorbed by policyholders as, unless governments (or courts) intervene, few companies have business interruption coverage that is likely to respond to these types of losses – exposing the existence of an important protection gap for some pandemic-related business interruption losses. This note provides an overview of how business interruption insurance against pandemic risk could be provided with support from governments, and some of the challenges and considerations necessary for establishing such a program.


Following the introduction of COVID-19 containment measures across the world, real gross domestic product (GDP) in the OECD area fell by 1.8% in the first quarter of 2020, the largest drop since the 2.3% contraction in the first quarter of 2009 at the height of the financial crisis, according to provisional estimates.


An OECD note discusses how SMEs are affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic, reports on early evidence and estimates about the impact, and provides a preliminary inventory of country responses to foster SME resilience. Given the rapid pace of developments, the overview of country responses is not comprehensive and in some cases includes intended policy responses that are still a work in progress, or simply at the stage  of  public  announcements. This  overview  will  be  updated  periodically.


According to the OECD, FDI flows are expected to fall by more than 30% in 2020 even under the most optimistic  scenario for the  success  of the  public health  and  economic  support policy measures taken by governments to address the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting recession.


Click here for more information.


Tea-tering on the brink


As you all know, our government is determined that the growth of global Britain once we fully leave EU will be in part based around an expansion of our special relationship with the United States.  But, as we also know, this is a relationship that is fragile even at the best of times – which these are not.  And we further are only too painfully aware that seismic downturns in our transatlantic ties tend to be prefaced by the gross mistreatment of tea.  Which is what makes this story so concerning.  I mean this woman is a tearrorist.  Cold water into the microwave, then the milk, then the teabag????  Are these people even civilised?  Where is the pot?  Loose leaf tea only please.  At least five minutes brewing time.  And china cup and saucer – never a monstrosity like that mug.  If this is the manner in which these people wish to treat our most precious national commodity I think we need to have a serious think about whether we have anything to do with them in the future at all.


Nicolai Ivanovic Lobachevsky lives


In the words of the great Tom Lehrer:


“I am never forget the day I first meet the great Lobachevsky.

In one word he told me secret of success in mathematics:




Let no one else’s work evade your eyes

Remember why the good Lord made your eyes

So don’t shade your eyes

But plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize

Only be sure always to call it please “research”


It is in this spirit therefore that I bring you this rather good article from Forbes on the pressures of home working which I lifted straight from CIAB’s own regular corona  updates.  So many thanks to Joel Wood for that – who also correctly notes that this is official confirmation that that vague blurred headed feeling that we all seem to get after a day’s video conferencing (like being drunk but without the fun bit) now has a name: Zoom Fatigue.  Expect poorly worded exclusionary endorsements into all health insurance policies in a matter of hours…


Bearing up?


On occasion in these still pretty weird days it is just good to see something in nature flourishing.  So it is nice to note the re-emergence of 24 year old bear 399 in Yellowstone National Park with four cubs – thought to be a record sized litter for a bear of her age,


It also prompts memories of my last trip to Yellowstone.  We had spent much of the afternoon in the Lamar Valley “watching” a pack of wolves that wasn’t there (a traditional Yellowstone past time).  To be fair they were sort of there because a man had the tracking device that picked up their ankle bracelets – wolves being treated like minor criminals in an attempt to understand their movement patterns – and he said they were in the woods we could see.  But they never emerged.  Anyway, after about three hours of this, someone pitched up and said there was a bear fully visible further down the valley.  So we abandoned the fake wolves and headed off to gather with another group of slightly chilly spotters.  And there it was, in the increasingly twilighted distance, a large dark mass.  We watched in awe as one of the great jewels of the animal kingdom did remarkably little until it got too dark to see.  So we retired back to our quarters with the warm glow of having had the rare privilege of seeing a real bear in its natural wild habitat.


The next day we drove past the same spot to be confronted, there in the now much better lit distance, with an unmistakeable sight.  A slightly bear shaped rock rising from the earth…



In a first I can tell you that tomorrow we may have some exciting new Axa news to bring you.  You see, we don’t just make this up on the spot…