1Q 2020 Market Commentary

In 1697, Willem de Vlamingh led a team of Dutch explorers to Western Australia. It was there that the weathered old sea captain encountered a black swan. This was a significant discovery, because, until then, westerners had thought that black swans didn’t exist. Upon seeing the swan, de Vlamingh had an epiphany. “Of course,” he thought. “Other animals come
in a variety of colors and shapes and sizes, so clearly swans must too.” Hence, the term “black swan” became a metaphor for any unprecedented or unexpected historical event that, in retrospect, seems obvious and bound to have happened. The 2008 financial crisis was a significant black swan event, for example.

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