The Covid-19 crisis has brought out the best in some people, who have displayed acts of generosity and kindness.
And then there is Solomon Lew.
Australia's biggest retail tenant is not a man to waste a business opportunity. So, when Covid-19 presented the billionaire retailer with the chance to force a better deal with shopping centre landlords, he seized it.
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While the rest of us were adjusting to the new reality with uncertainty, Lew moved quickly.
In the final week of March, before the federal government announced a nationwide shutdown, Lew shuttered the 1250 shops owned by his share market-listed Premier Investments, including Smiggle, Portmans, Peter Alexander and Just Jeans.
What's more, he declared he wouldn't be paying rent. No discussion, just a unilateral declaration.
While other retail and residential tenants negotiated with their landlords, Lew used his market dominance to get his own way after several years of scrapping with shopping centre owners.
There's no doubt Premier, like other retailers, has been hit hard by the shutdown – it suffered a 74 per cent slide in sales in the six weeks to May 6.
But where other retailers are going out of business, Premier is in a relatively strong position. It hasn't paid rent or wages since March; it has access to the A$750 ($810) a week JobKeeper subsidy for most of its 9000 employees; and it has A$256m cash with access to a loan facility of A$92m.
Shopping centres are unlikely to get the back rent owed them by Premier. Even with many non-essential shops having reopened last Friday things won't improve. Lew has taken it upon himself to decide that he will pay reduced rent, in proportion to the reduction in sales his stores suffer as the crisis winds on.
Lew has long argued that shopping centres should charge less rent. He wants them to acknowledge the havoc being wreaked by online shopping by charging a percentage of a retailer's turnover rather than a fixed amount (with annual increases).
Now that shopping centres are vulnerable, he's gone in for the kill.
If other retailers follow suit or if the rental model becomes a permanent feature of the property landscape, it will severely damage the valuations and dividends of the real estate investment trusts that investors and retirees rely on for income, such as Scentre, which owns the Westfield malls in Australia and New Zealand.
Lew, whose fortune was estimated at A$2.9b in last year's Australian Financial Review Rich List, has ensured that his own share of the economic pain we are all suffering from Covid-19 is as small as possible.
A nation of share market speculators
The Covid-19 crisis has spawned a nation of share market speculators in Australia.
Far from deterring mum and dad investors, the wild gyrations in share prices has prompted more Australians to jump into the stock market.
Data collated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission reveals more than 140,000 new share trading accounts were created between February 24 and April 3. Additionally, about the same number of previously dormant accounts started trading again.
During this time, the ASX-200 index plunged from 7139 points to a low of 4546 points on March 23, before recovering to 5068.
Not only were more Australians trading, they were also trading more.
During the period analysed by ASIC, investors traded a single stock an average of once a day, compared with once every 4.5 days in the six months previous. The average time between trades in any stock by the same investor has decreased from 2.5 days to less than one day.
All of this is concerning to ASIC, which warns investors risk making losses. "Short-term trading and poor market timing can be a major risk for investors in volatile markets," it states in a report from earlier this month.
Indeed, the regulator's data on day-after price movements suggests investors are mistiming the market.
On more than two-thirds of days when retail investors were net buyers, their share prices declined the following day. On more than half of days when retail investors were net sellers, their share prices increased the next day.
Usually, these wouldn't matter, becoming insignificant if an investor holds a stock for months or years. But the frequency with which investors trade suggests they are making losses.
The investors all seem to have taken to heart the Warren Buffet dictum that the time to be greedy is when everyone else is fearful. The problem is that markets are a more complex problem than can be solved with pithy aphorisms.
What should be done to protect these investors?
Nothing at all. Investing is about balancing risks against potential and likely rewards – if we remove the risk then we also take away much of the potential reward.
Ultimately it is up to individual investors to calculate their own risks and potential rewards. Some of them will be in for a very painful lesson.