May 7, 2020 infosol

Undercurrent 15: Questions to Ponder & Think About Together

19 Undercurrents with Ramifications That Go Beyond Twenty 20

Some Roaming Questions from the Past Few Days for a Change…

 1. Prostitution & Human Trafficking

Will the pandemic have a positive impact and hopefully curtail human trafficking? What is happening to prostitutes? Will they be forgotten and what will happen to the very vulnerable beings that have been marginalized & abused in the 1st place? Don’t forget some countries tried to add the prostitution to the GDP’s statistical data not that far ago. Are they eligible for a furlough? It is worth mentioning that politics is the second oldest profession in the world. You guessed it right!

2. Run on the Banks

Working from home office and security breaches are inevitable, with many companies opting for permanent remote working policies, what are the complexities for the banks and financial institutions in running their businesses from kitchens and living rooms? Is the bank heist by hackers and intruders easier? What will happen to pensions, investments and balance sheets in days of portfolio management from the porch? Is there a vaccine for an embezzled bank? Will there be higher rates of financial crime in waiting?

3. PPE: Personal Plastic Emissions

Lately on many walks I see disposable gloves all over and many masks on the streets. So with a massive surge in using these items, have we progressed in minimizing our plastic footprint? Or simply changed our plastic straws at Starbucks with plastic gloves, visors which will soon be at nail salons, fast food chains and even supermarkets and many more. Are we treating nature better or since it’s a pandemic plastic are O.K and all is good! What is our net Personal Plastic Emissions as a result in coming years?

4. Black Friday Retail Sales

By the time we come out of the current lockdown and a bit of normality kicks in its time for a new Black Friday. Will customers behave differently? Will they drop that LCD and run away if someone is too close, and closer than Two Meters, or will we continue to see the barbaric behavior of some consumer and a new series fights and push & pull in major big box retailers over a bargain?

5. Meetings to be Held Under 15 Minutes

The government’s post lockdown guidelines indicate that company meetings are acceptable only if they are conducted within 15 minutes. One wonders, if the Mandarins themselves abide by this rule, either we will have an uber-efficient government machine or we can expect major mess-ups as a result of hasty decision-makings. Could this hasten the Brexit negotiations?

6. Africa in Pandemic

The reports have it that Africa’s response to containing the pandemic has been positive. In more ways than one and despite the many shortcomings in resources, and void of any infrastructure, fiscal or tech parity with other countries around the world the continent has had a very low mortality rate so far. Even if we consider an under-reporting of cases and multiply the number of casualties standing at 1,800 by a factor of 10 across the continent of 1.3bn people, it’s still very impressive. So my view is why not acknowledging this positive outcome with a minute of international applaud for the African Continent? Why should we have moment of silence for casualties only, but not moments of global encouragement and salute for broader family of humanity and a continent that historically has got many things wrong? If you are clapping and doing so in a group please keep it under 15 minutes!                   


Ali Borhani is the Managing Director of 3Sixty Strategic Advisors Ltd. It is the readers’ responsibility to verify their own
facts. The views and opinions expressed in this article/commentary are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other individual, agency, organization, employer or company.