M.S. in Applied Economics Program Director (MSAE), Aleksander Tomic, moderated four leading economists in a panel discussion on October 8, 2020, to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the financial industry.

The webinar was moderated by Aleksandar (Sasha) Tomic, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Strategy, Innovation & Technology and Director of the MSAE program. Joining Dr. Tomic were Lisa Emsbo-Mattingly, Director of Research, Global Asset Allocation at Fidelity Investments and MSAE Program Advisory Board Member; Jose Fillat, Senior Economist and Policy Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, MSAE Program Professor and Advisory Board Member; Steve Lawrence, Fintech Data Science Manager at Vanguard, and MSAE Program Advisory Board Member; and Rob Bradley, Head of Bridge Research at State Street, and MSAE Program Professor. The webinar’s focus was on the many effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the financial industry today and how they will shape the future.

Here are a few takeaways these experts shared during the event:

“The monetary response was unprecedented, massive and fast. The fiscal response was the largest response we have seen in history. It was largely in the second quarter that even though we were hitting the highest unemployment rates in decades, we were also seeing wages and compensations falling at the fastest rate, but household incomes rose. The liquidity that was pushed in the system, both monetary and fiscal, was an extremely important driver of the financial recovery that we saw.” – Lisa Emsbo-Mattingly

“We initially thought there was going to be a supply problem, but then it became a supply and demand problem. This is what makes this crisis very particular because the way we have to think about inflation is a function of how fast we see the supply shock and how the supply is going to recover and the demand shock and how demand is going to recover.” – Jose Fillat

“I think that whether the markets are volatile or not, you need to be humble and understand the limits of your market. We have been focusing on what we know rather than trying to figure out what we do not know.” – Steve Lawrence

“I and a few others did research on corporate resilience and the response during COVID-19. They found that firms that have more positive sentiment around their response to COVID had less negative returns through the beginning of this year. What that says is that if you invest into your key stakeholders, the turnaround ends up paying a dividend and comes back to benefit you.” – Rob Bradley

Learn more about the effects of COVID-19 on the financial industry by viewing the full panel discussion above. If the video does not play in the player below, please click here.