In a tip just received moments ago, and confirmed in subsequent anonymous conversations, a Morgan Stanley employee has been diagnosed with the coronavirus. We have yet to finalize if the cited case is an advisor or another staff member, but we do know that it is in their wealth management division – and we have been told that the individual spent time last week in both Purchase, NY and 1 Pennsylvania Plaza locations.
Our initial source said the following, “You didn’t here this from me, but last night a formal diagnosis was made and I heard about it via text. No communication has gone out from management here (at One Penn) or from corporate, but I expect they are preparing something. Late last week there were rumors of someone, or even several, cases of the virus in this location, but nothing was confirmed. This morning was told at least one case has been confirmed.”
A second source followed up, “…what you heard is real. Confirmed case and diagnosis at MS, One Penn. Stay safe out there.”
Just yesterday a confirmed case found its way to the west coast and Wells Fargo. Now we have a coronavirus case on the east coast, at Morgan Stanley, in the financial capital of the world. Here is a quick reminder of what Sequoia said in a widely read memo, about the potential effects of the coronavirus just last week:
“It will take considerable time — perhaps several quarters — before we can be confident that the virus has been contained. It will take even longer for the global economy to recover its footing. Some of you may experience softening demand; some of you may face supply challenges. While The Fed and other central banks can cut interest rates, monetary policy may prove a blunt tool in alleviating the economic ramifications of a global health crisis.”
The Fed, markets, demand, interest rates – all of it is of little interest when the person you may have shared lunch with the other day has just been diagnosed. It puts certain day-to-day issues into perspective and forces corporate policy makers to act swiftly.