Toilet Paper and Supply Chains: A Symbol of Economic Crisis?

Mar 24, 2020
toilet paper, coronavirus, bitcoin, crypto lending platform, crypto loans, crypto loan

Last week, YouHodler did a humorous take on the current toilet paper situation currently playing out in many western countries as a result of Covid-19. After a few days of social distancing and economic inspiration from Nassim Nicholas Taleb, we’ve come to realize that toilet paper is more than just the subject of a joke. Instead, it’s a symbol of the world’s over-optimized supply chain and holds the key to preventing situations like this in the future. 

The convexity of economic effects from Pandemics

The good news to this Covid-19 crisis is that eventually, we will start to see the infection rates curve, stabilize and eventually decrease. Yet, in the wake of this good news is an economic problem that is quickly taking on a life of its own. Recently, renowned author Nassim Nicholas Taleb took to twitter to describe “the convexity of economic effects from pandemics”.

In this Tweet, Taleb showed several graphics highlighting the economic impact from a pandemic like Covid-19. Many people are too focused on data regarding infections. Instead, the real issue to analyze is the economic data. As seen in the graph, the economic impact does not rise in fall parallel to the infection rate. Instead, it continues to rise well after the infection rate starts to stabilize. Why is this? The answer, of course, lies in toilet paper. 

Toilet paper shortages are the result of an over-optimized supply chain

Costs often rise in a convex (arched) way even if the infections are slowing down. This is a simple effect of supply and demand. During shortages, supply decreases and as a result, the cost goes up. That’s why we are seeing a massive surge in prices for basic needs like toilet paper, masks and hand sanitizer. Over the past 100 years, we have optimized global supply chains to the point where it is not ready for pandemics like the one we are experiencing. 

Hence, by the time the pandemic hits its peak, it’s far too late for the economy to react in a timely manner, which is why the negative impact continues to increase well after the event. There is a way to prevent this though. As Taleb stated in Twitter, “INSURANCE is cheaper than a catastrophe, which is why under convexity you act early, quickly, and ... CHEAPLY.”

How to prepare your portfolio for a recession

Given the recent events, it’s a safe bet to make that we are heading in the direction of a global recession. The good news is, the cryptocurrency market may be safe. After a recent panic selloff dropped the market dramatically, what we’ve seen in recent stays is a more stable market that is operating independently from the traditional market. Still, the future is always uncertain with all financial markets so here is a few tips to help you prepare for a potential recession:

  1. Don’t panic sell your assets. We all need cash to survive but don’t sell because the market is telling you to. Instead, use that crypto as collateral for a temporary cash loan on YouHodler. This way, you get the cash you need without losing future profits.

  2. Diversify your crypto portfolio. If you have all your investment in one or two cryptocurrencies, you are not well protected from a large drop. Hence, it’s better to research several promising cryptos and diversify your portfolio appropriately. If you have a lot of Bitcoin, you can use it as collateral on YouHodler to get instant cash to buy more crypto, hedge your portfolio and protect your self from loss.

  3. Keep the majority of your funds in safe, stable assets. The Barbell Investment Strategy (credit once again to Mr. Taleb) dictates one should keep the majority of their portfolio in safe, stable assets and use some amount for more aggressive investments. YouHodler’s stablecoin savings accounts can help users earn a guaranteed 12% APR per year on their stablecoin deposits. Meanwhile, tools like Turbocharge and MultiHODL can help users multiply a portion of their portfolio in  more assertive fashion to profit when the market recovers. 

These are just a few quick tips to help you prepare for an unfavorable economic climate. The financial impact of this crisis may be far from over but if you are well prepared, you may not feel the negative effects. In fact, you may even be setting yourself up for great profits later if your tasks are executed correctly. 

Please contact us at support@youhodler.com to ask any questions about how YouHodler can help you plan for your financial future. 

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