Speakers Series Turns to Economic Impact of COVID-19

Jonathan Kelly ’81, portfolio manager at Fidelity Management & Research, shared his professional observations about the global financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic during a webinar presentation hosted by Loomis Chaffee on Wednesday, May 6.

More than 170 viewers tuned in to the webinar, “Financial and Global Ramifications of COVID-19,” the fourth of a six-part Loomis Chaffee series addressing the COVID-19 crisis.

With a caveat that “the data on the ground is rapidly changing,” Jonathan’s presentation pointed to the magnitude of the impact of the global health crisis on the economic security of both developed and emerging nations. He discussed ways that fiscal policymakers are trying to mitigate the financial damage to individuals as well as large and small businesses and highly affected sectors such as the service industry.

“Spoiler alert: Compared to the 2008–09 recession, this will be worse, in my opinion,” Jonathan said before presenting his data analysis. He added that he was “cautiously optimistic” that the economic distress would not be as long-lasting or damaging to society as the Great Depression.  

Noting the importance of taking a multidisciplinary approach to examining the impact of a pandemic such as COVID-19, including consideration from historical and the social science perspectives, Jonathan gave an overview of domestic and global economic indicators from past recessions, then compared and contrasted what happened in the past to current economic and societal trends.

At the end of the presentation, he shared additional thoughts about the effectiveness of private business bailouts, the impact of the crisis on geopolitical and trade relationships, and the effect on globalization in the long term.

After his presentation, Jonathan answered viewer-submitted questions in a session moderated by Loomis economics teacher Mat DeNunzio.

Jonathan is a portfolio manager at Fidelity Management & Research in Boston, where he specializes in emerging markets. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a master’s in business administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Loomis Chaffee Board of Trustees.

Connect to a recording of Jonathan’s webinar.

The next webinar in the COVID-19 Speakers Series will take place on Wednesday, May 13, at 1:15 p.m. Eastern Time. RuthAnne Visnauskas '92 will present “Social Inequality and COVID-19.” RuthAnne serves as commissioner/CEO for New York State Homes and Community Renewal, the umbrella entity that includes New York State’s Division of Housing and Community Renewal, Housing Finance Agency, Mortgage Agency, and Affordable Housing Corporation. Loomis Dean of Diversity Equity & Inclusion Elizabeth Parada will moderate the question-and-answer session.

To learn more about the upcoming presentations and register for the webinars, connect to the COVID-19 Speakers Series webpage.