From The Virus To The Weather, Biz to Showbiz, This Is The Age Of The Unexpected!! — Springfields of Rejuvenation
India, this May, has been hot, wet, and cold, with “extreme” climate variations being reported across the nation. Indeed, Bengaluru, where I live, has seen hotter, wetter, and colder weather the last month, than has been the case for nearly a century. While this can be seen as reaching a climate “tipping point”, it is also a sign that perhaps we are past the “point of no return” in many ways and in many aspects of our world that the only thing certain about the future is that it would be uncertain. As the famous American sportsperson, Yogi Berra, said, “the future is what it ain’t used to be”. So, Welcome To The Age of the Unexpected.
For much of the last two and half years, t he world has been “locked down” and citizenry quarantined due to the pandemic caused by the Coronavirus. Since New Year 2020, globally, we have been treated to a steady news diet of newer variants and the many “crons” of the mutations of Covid. It is as though we are fighting a war on many fronts, with each battle being progressively harder and more difficult, given the “unknowns” that lurk beyond the horizon each passing day. To use the late Donald Rumsfeld’s (former Defense Secretary of the US) memorable characterization of the future, “ there are known unknowns. and there are unknown unknowns “. To wit, there are things beyond our understanding that shape our future.
Now, let us take the world of business and economics. A couple of days ago, India released official statistics pertaining to the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth over the last fiscal. While I am not talking about the “inevitable surprises” that accompany each of such data about our economy, nonetheless, it is worth mentioning that an economist with India’s largest bank highlighted their frustration of predicting the economy as a “forecaster’s nightmare”, mainly due to the many “revisions” of data that the Indian government indulges for the last so many years. No wonder leading business leaders throw up their hands at not being able to give “guidance” (much loved by equity analysts) beyond a few quarters, due to the near impossibility of anticipating what’s next, or the If Tomorrow Comes syndrome.