Lenders as Monitors of Risk Devolution


Martin Lockman


8th edition (2020/2021)


Debt / Credit / Risks

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In March 2020, during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, my fiancée worked as a trainee doctor in New York’s public hospital system. When the severity of the pandemic became clear and the city began to lock down around us, we decided to isolate in our separate apartments. Our only meetings during that first month were my weekly walks across Manhattan to bring her groceries.

One grey evening in mid-April, torrential rain forced me to break from this ritual and hail a ride through an app. As I climbed into the van, the driver thanked me – although he had been driving since 6:00 a.m., I was one of the few passengers he had found. Eager, I am ashamed to say, to change the subject, I complimented him on the plastic barrier between the front and back seats that he had clearly installed himself. “Oh, I’m being very careful,” he told me. “I can’t afford to be sick!”

The rest of the ride passed in silence. I exited the car on 1st Avenue, next to Bellevue Hospital. Across the street, travelling nurses brought into New York City on temporary contracts to bolster the overwhelmed medical staff assembled refrigerated morgue tents in the gardens.

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