Women in France are speaking up about sexual abuses

An incredible phenomenon of liberation of speech had started to emerge in France at the end of 2019, before increasing in power and reaching its peak during the ceremony of the Cesars, France’s Oscars, on the 28th of February 2020. It was incredible, everyone was talking about it – for once, women and victims of sexual abuses were centre stage, and not for their bodies, their nice voice or their pretty smile. They had the floor. Who knows what could have happened if this French #MeToo, this liberating movement, which shook up the unsaid and broke taboos, hadn’t suddenly been stifled by a pandemic?

Adèle Haenel and Sarah Abitbol

Everything started in November 2019, when the French actress Adèle Haenel raised her voice and revealed that she had been a victim of sexual “touching” and “harassment” when she was a young teenager. She accused the French movie director Christophe Ruggia, for whom she played her first movies, when she was between twelve and fifteen years old. Her testimony was reinforced by an investigation made by the French independent journal Mediapart, which highlighted also a “systemic” characteristic of the sexual abuses in the French cinema’s industry – which would thus not escape to its own tribunal, its own #MeToo. A strong movement of support to the actress was shown at that moment, and the Society of movie directors even began a procedure of removal against Christophe Ruggia. The latter only denied those accusations, even though he admitted having “idolized” the young actress and apologized if that had been “difficult” for her. He also explained in the magazine Marianne that Adèle Haenel was “hostile” to him because he would have refused her a part in one of his movies, thus playing the usual card of the hysterical and revengeful accuser.

This bomb launched by Adèle Haenel had deeply disrupt the French cinema industry, but it also seems to have whistled the start of an emancipating race for the liberation of speech. After the cinema, it was the turn of the elitist society of French literature to explode. On December 26th, Vanessa Springora announced the publication of her book, Consent[1], in which she tells about her toxic relationship with the French writer Gabriel Matzneff, when she was only thirteen – and him, forty-nine. She describes the writer as a “predator” and a “pedophile” who had on her, the “vulnerable pray”, a very strong hold. Besides, the sexual appetite of this man of letters for young teenagers was not even a secret. But in the 70’s and 80’s, it was tolerated and above all protected by his social status and the society of “intellectuals” which surrounded him. Gabriel Matzneff persisted in denouncing “unfair attacks” and found shelter in an Italian hostel.

Weinstein, Matzneff, Ruggia, Polanski

The marathon was not over, and in January (right after the beginning of the trial in New-York City of the monster of the #MeToo scandal, Harvey Weinstein) it was the turn of the sport’s sphere to be shaken up. Simultaneously, on the 29th, the sports newspaper L’Equipe published an important investigation on sexual abuses in the world of sports, and the former professional ice skater Sarah Abitbol was interviewed in L’Obs for which she introduced her book, Such a Long Silence[2], in which she reveals that she had been a victim of several rapes committed by her ex-coach when she was only fifteen. The scandal was born and revealed that her case was not an exception. The French minister of Sports, Roxana Maracineanu, asked the President of the French Federation of Ice Sports, Didier Gailhaguet, to resign. She accused him of knowing those kind of crimes were happening and of doing nothing about it. The ‘omerta’ was revealed. After a long power struggle between Didier Gailhaguet, the minister and the media, he eventually resigned.

One could have believed that those events would have given birth to a real collective acknowledgement and that it was on the right path to finally recognise the victims. Apparently, this was hoping too much, and the fall was even more painful. On February, the 28th, during the controversial ceremony of the Césars, the Cesar of the best movie director was given to Roman Polanski. He is accused of sexual abuse and rape on a minor in the USA, from which he fled the justice in the 70’s to find shelter in France (a country which do not extradite its citizens). It was the last straw. This didn’t mean rewarding a movie, its picture nor the good acting, but it meant rewarding the movie director, the man himself – and by extension, the rapist. At that moment, Adèle Haenel left the room, screaming “Shame!” and applauding the “pedophilia” that the prestigious academy apparently wanted to reward. The next day, the feminist writer Virginie Despentes payed tribute to the actress’ actions and published in Libération a biting platform entitled “we get up and we take off!”. The actress who opened up first became a symbol for all the victim who had been reduced to silence for years. A picture of her leaving the ceremony became viral and was shared on social networks and during demonstration on the 8th of March, the International day for Women’s rights. Adèle Haenel had become a new feminist emblem.

And then, on the 17th of March, France was confined due to the pandemic of Covid-19. The sky was about to fall over us, and the concerned changed. Women’s wrath is smothered and shut, by necessity. But the pandemic is only a pause for the fights – all of them. When this will be over, they will start again. Surely, the world which implicitly let all that violence happen and which, above all, let them unpunished, will not change from one day to the other. But we can use wisely that time of pause to think about it. To extend our thinking, to ask ourselves why there is still such a taboo concerning the gender-based violence. Why women are never fully being listened to. Why they are always forced to swallow their pride and to fall into a painful silence. The title of Sarah Abitbol’s book, Such a Long Silence, is revealing of that silent pain into which women are forced to stay. It also reveals how lonely this is for the victims, because they are not listened to, or not believed – and if they are, it is only at the price of a public humiliation (“how did she find herself into that man’s bed? What kind of clothes was she wearing that day? But wasn’t she trying to obtain something from him? Etc…). And yet, they are not alone, on the contrary. As women open up, their army grows, thanks to those women who used their fame and their visibility to loosen their tongues and reveal to all the other victims  that they were not alone, and above all that they had the right to talk – if they want to. Adèle Haenel actually spoke to them in her interview for Mediapart : “I want to tell them that they are right to feel bad, and to think that it is abnormal to endure that; but that they are not alone, and that we can survive. We are not sentenced to a double punishment of victim.”[3]

Name and phone number, I also have some pics of her naked, it’s my ex. I exchange them (with others)

The struggles must pause for a while, but violence keeps going. Coincidence of fate, while I am writing this article, I receive a notification from the media France Inter which reminds me of it: “Reports of violence against women are shooting up everywhere in the world”[4]. Meanwhile, in Italy, a huge network of “revenge porn” has been disclosed those past few days. Pictures published without the consent of the women involved, child pornography… We do not learn. Not yet. But thanks to the movement of liberation of speech, we may be moving toward a society which would recognise those abuses and thus their victims; towards a society that would not tolerate them anymore. We can only hope that, slowly, justice will react and will listen to the victims, whether they accuse a famous and wealthy actor or the local craftsman. In fact, whereas the French cinema industry was rewarding Roman Polanski, Paris’ public prosecutor’s department launched an investigation about rape on minors of less than fifteen years old against Gabriel Matzneff, another about rape and assault on minors against Gilles Beyer (Sarah Abitbol’s former coach) ; and Christophe Ruggia was remanded in custody and placed under formal investigation about sexual abuses on minor of less than fifteen years old. Some of those stories are unfortunately over prescription according to French justice, but the aim of those investigations is to identify all the other possible victims of those men, in order to give them the floor, the credibility and and the dignity they deserve. Those small positive actions may be the first step towards a more advanced society. We may learn lessons from this movement – lessons we should have learned a long time ago – and finally grow up, as a society. It may be the proof that talking is important, liberating, if not purifying. In her essay entitled Witches[5], Mona Chollet begin her conclusion with those words: “What the appointed expression ‘liberation of speech’ pointed out almost had the effect of a spell, of magic words raging thunderstorms, sounding the death knell in our familiar universe […] I lived this collapsing as a liberation, a decisive breakthrough, like a transfiguration of our social world. We had the feeling that a new image of the world was struggling to come out.”[6] The victims opened up, and it turns out that words have a real impact on reality, that they can engender action. Little by little, the omerta and the taboos may finally disappear, for good.

written by Laura Poiret

Sources and articles to be read:

[1] Le Consentement, personal translation.

[2] Un Si Long Silence, personal translation.

[3] « Je veux leur dire qu’elles ont raison de se sentir mal, de penser que ce n’est pas normal de subir cela, mais qu’elles ne sont pas toutes seules, et qu’on peut survivre. On n’est pas condamné à une double peine de victime. »., personal translation.

[4] « Les signalements liés aux violences contre les femmes explosent un peu partout dans le monde », personal translation.

[5] Sorcières. La puissance invaincue des femmes, Mona Chollet, Zones, 2018. Personal translation.

[6] Ibid. « Ce que l’on désignait par la formule convenue de ‘libération de la parole’ avait presque l’effet d’un sort, d’une formule magique déchaînant orages et tempêtes, sonnant le chaos dans notre univers familier […] je vivais cet effondrement comme une libération, une percée décisive, comme une transfiguration de l’univers social. On avait le sentiment qu’une nouvelle image du monde luttait pour advenir. » Personal translation.

Are financial markets discounting the coronavirus effects?

In the current environment of protracted uncertainty, the global economic growth outlook has significantly changed due to the COVID-19 effects. The whole economy is facing a series of fundamental macroeconomic and structural challenges which are leading to an impressive slowdown: the health crisis has quickly become an economic crisis and it is gradually turning into a financial crisis.

The recent stock market crash is probably just the beginning of a series of unfortunate events. The partial recovery experienced by the markets in the last weeks is only a small detour from the negative path undertaken since the beginning of the crisis. Intraday volatility, up-and-down price oscillation within the trading session, can be a proxy for the uncertainty of the investors about the future financial performances of an asset or the whole financial market. Recently this indicator has reached extreme levels. An additional proof of the investors’ concerns is given by the volatility index (VIX), typical measure for the market sentiment. The VIX touched the incredible bound of 82 on the 16th of March[1]. In the last 5 years the highest value of VIX has been 30, with an average of 15. Observing its time series, we notice that the value was even higher than the severe crisis in 2008.


VIX trend since 2007

Undeniably, the first quarter in 2020 was one of the worst in the history and, for severity, can be only compared with the one of the financial crisis in 1929. Nonetheless, we do have elements to believe that the coronavirus effects are still not fully embedded in the stock prices. There are two crucial factors to consider.

Firstly, before the coronavirus, analysts were expecting a market correction. It was estimated that financial markets were deeply overvalued (market value was extremely higher than the fundamental value). For example, the S&P500 intrinsic value was evaluated to be around 20% lower than its market price and, as of the 7th of April, the American index has left around 18% on the floor from the beginning of the crisis.

s&P500 trend since January 2020

The second factor concerns the oil price war between the UAE and Russia which has dramatically contributed to a further decrease in the stock market. To face the drastic reduction in oil consumption (demand) due to the global lockdown, oil producers should have cut their production (offer) to support the price. Unfortunately, because of political issues, the two countries did the opposite, started to produce more barrels per day, generating turbulence while uncertainty mounted. The inevitable consequence was a critical drop in the oil price, which has more than halved in just a few weeks. Last Thursday (2nd of April), Trump’s tweet concerning the agreement between the UAE and Russia drove the oil price rally and future[2] prices gained around 30% in just a few days. In any case, the crucial meeting was the OPEC+ where, exceptionally, were invited Texas and Canada and it was signed an agreement to cut the oil production of 10 million barrel per day. Despite that, according to Rystad Energy[3] (a valuable independent energy research company), the global Capital Expenditures (CapEx) – measure of the amount invested by a firm in renovating or maintaining its properties, buildings, industrial plants, technologies or equipment – for exploration and production firms is expected to drop by up to $100 billion this year, around 17% versus 2019 levels. In 2021 the drop could be subjected to a further intensification since many companies (i.e. Eni) have already announced that the CapEx reduction will increase to 30-35%[4]. The oil crisis has already characterized some troubles: McDermott, one of the main firms in the industry, announced that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, canceling all shares of common stock.After these considerations, we should wonder whether the market value is currently offering a discounted price. Nowadays the answer is very uncertain, but as we have explained, it is very likely that the coronavirus effects have not been discounted in the stock prices. In addition, the results of the first quarter of 2020 have not been released yet. Together with the probable negative outcomes, the outlook for most of the companies and the recent downgrades given by the rating agencies, make reasonable to believe that the market is still expensive, probably more than before the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The equity market is not the only one that is suffering the crisis. The shock provoked by the coronavirus generated what the Financial Times has defined as “the seeds of the next debt crisis”. According to the Institute of International Finance[5], the ratio of total debt over Global Domestic Product reached 322% in the third quarter of 2019. During the last ten years, companies have gorged on cheap borrowings, but rating agencies’ estimations demonstrate how a global health crisis may push to an immediate reassessment of the credit risk, arising doubts about companies’ quality: stability and ability to generate cash flow in the short and medium-term. Also, in the debt market, the oil price war has led most of the oil and energy companies’ bonds to the distressed area[6].

Notwithstanding, financially speaking, every cloud has a silver lining. Indeed, this period will open the window to many M&A – Mergers and Acquisitions – opportunities. Discounted equity prices and a worsened debt structure may create occasions for companies with strong fundamentals. Solid companies with strong cash generation capacity may exploit the favorable environment to target businesses with a long-term positive outlook but with current solvency and liquidity problems.

Finally, the comprehension of gold price movements during the tumultuous period is of great importance. Gold is defined as a safe haven asset or defensive asset since it should outperform during recession periods and limit the downward pressure. Despite that, at the first glance, it seems that the metal has disappointed expectations. The recent sell-off has negatively characterized the gold performance which has undergone a contradictory result. However, the gold price changes are coherent with the history in periods of extreme volatility. It is very common that fund managers look for liquidity when markets are very volatile in order to fulfill margin calls of the riskiest assets. During the financial crisis in 2008, the gold price has decreased by almost 20% before climbing back to a value of 170% higher in 2011[7]. The gold price declined at the beginning because of liquidity restrictions, but, after the liquidity injection from central banks in the financial systems, it moved up in the traditional way. We can expect similar behavior in the forthcoming months.

Gold price path since 2007

Beyond any doubts, the coronavirus has highlighted how our lives are interconnected. The pandemic has caused a global lockdown and half of the world population is in quarantine. People are changing their lifestyle, changing how they work, socialize, play, talk and learn. The health crisis will inevitably influence economically and financially entire industries, affecting the world permanently. Some sectors, such as tourism, automotive, airlines, will suffer the most from the global instability, facing the hardest challenge. Despite that, nowadays, we are still not fully aware of the effects that the coronavirus will bring to the market but a substantial effect on both demand and supply are expected in the upcoming months. Thus, it is reasonable to forecast an additional discount on the market in the future.

written by Gianlorenzo Zeccolella

[1] https://www.investing.com/indices/volatility-s-p-500

[2] Futures are contracts which allow two counterparties to agree on exchanging a certain stock – or other financial asset – on a certain future date for a price fixed at the agreement date. The value of a future can be determined from the comparison between the strike price, fixed at the agreement, and the actual value on the market of the underlying asset at the settlement date. Future contracts are the main instruments traded for the oil

[3] https://www.rystadenergy.com

[4] https://www.eni.com/en-IT/media/press-release/2020/03/eni-covid-19-update-2020-2021-business-plan-revision.html

[5] https://www.iif.com

[6] Financial distress is a situation in which a firm is not able to meet its financial obligations. In these conditions, it might unable to payback its debt or just a portion of it.

[7] https://www.investing.com/commodities/gold

Et elles brisèrent l’omerta sur les violences sexuelles

Un phénomène incroyable de libération de la parole avait commencé à prendre forme en France à la fin de l’année 2019, avant de monter en puissance et d’atteindre son apogée lors de la Cérémonie des Césars le 28 février dernier. C’était incroyable, on ne parlait que de ça – pour une fois, les femmes, les victimes d’agressions sexuelles étaient sous le feu des projecteurs, et pas pour leur corps, leur jolie voix ou leur beau sourire. Elles avaient la parole. Qui sait ce qui aurait pu arriver par la suite, si ce #MeToo à la française, ce mouvement libérateur, bousculeur de non-dits et briseur de tabous n’avait pas été soudainement étouffé par une pandémie ?

Adèle Haenel et Sarah Abitbol

Tout commençait en novembre 2019, lorsque l’actrice française Adèle Haenel élevait tout à coup la voix, révélant qu’elle avait été victime d’ « attouchements » et de « harcèlement » sexuels lorsqu’elle était une jeune adolescente. Elle mettait en cause le réalisateur Christophe Ruggia, pour qui elle avait tourné ses premiers films, lorsqu’elle avait entre douze et quinze ans. Son témoignage avait été accompagné d’une enquête menée par le journal indépendant Mediapart, qui avait mis en avant, de manière plus générale, le caractère « systémique » des violences sexuelles au sein du cinéma français – qui n’allait donc pas échapper à son propre tribunal, son #MeToo à lui. D’ailleurs, les réactions de soutien à l’actrice fusèrent, et la Société des Réalisateurs de Films a même entamé une procédure de radiation à l’encontre de Christophe Ruggia. Lequel n’a fait que nier les propos de l’actrice, admettant toutefois l’avoir « adulée », et s’excusant si cela a pu être « pénible » pour elle. Du reste, il expliquait dans Marianne qu’Adèle Haenel lui était « hostile » parce qu’il lui aurait refusé un rôle dans un de ses films, jouant donc l’habituelle carte de l’accusatrice hystérique et vengeresse.

Cette bombe lancée par Adèle Haenel a bouleversé l’ensemble du cinéma français, mais semble avoir aussi avoir sifflé le départ d’une course émancipatrice à la libération de la parole. Cette fois, c’est au tour du cercle élitiste de la littérature française d’en subir les frais. En effet, le 26 décembre suivant, Vanessa Springora annonçait la publication de son livre, Le Consentement, dans lequel elle relate sa relation toxique avec l’écrivain français Gabriel Matzneff, lorsqu’elle était âgée de treize ans – et lui, quarante-neuf. Elle décrit l’écrivain comme un « prédateur », un « pédophile », qui a eu sur elle, une « proie vulnérable », une très forte emprise. Du reste, l’appétit sexuel de cet homme de lettres pour les jeunes adolescents n’était même pas un secret. Mais dans les années 70/80, il était toléré et surtout protégé par sa position sociale et par le cercle d’ « intellectuels » qui l’entourait. Gabriel Matzneff s’entêta à dénoncer des « attaques injustes » et courut se réfugier dans un hôtel en Italie.

Weinstein, Matzneff, Ruggia, Polanski



Le marathon ne s’est pas arrêté là et en janvier, juste après le début du procès à New-York de l’ogre de l’affaire #MeToo, Harvey Weinstein, c’est au tour du milieu du sport français d’être ébranlé. Simultanément, le 29 janvier, le journal L’Equipe publiait une grande enquête sur les agressions sexuelles dans la sphère du sport et l’ancienne grande patineuse Sarah Abitbol s’exprimait dans L’Obs et présentait son livre, Un Si Long Silence, dans lesquels elle raconte les viols commis par son entraîneur qu’elle a subis alors qu’elle n’avait que quinze ans. Le scandale prend forme et n’en finit pas, révélant au passage que le cas de la patineuse n’est pas isolé. La ministre des Sports, Roxana Maracineanu, demande au président de la Fédération Française des Sports de Glace, Didier Gailhaguet, de démissionner, l’accusant d’avoir su et de n’avoir rien fait. L’omerta est révélée. Au terme d’un long bras de fer entre ce dernier, la ministre et les médias, il finit effectivement par céder et par démissionner.

On aurait pu croire que tous ces événements avaient donné naissance à une prise de conscience collective et qu’ils faisaient leur petit bonhomme de chemin vers la reconnaissance des victimes. C’était visiblement trop espérer – la chute n’en fut que plus douloureuse. Le 28 février 2020, lors de la controversée Cérémonie des Césars, le prix du meilleur réalisateur de l’année est remis à Roman Polanski. Celui-ci est accusé d’abus sexuels et de viol sur mineure, et a fui la justice américaine dans les années 70 pour se réfugier en France (pays qui refuse l’extradition de ses citoyens). Ce fut le coup de trop. On ne récompensait pas là le film, l’image ni le jeu des acteurs, mais bien le réalisateur, l’homme lui-même – et donc, par extension, le violeur. Adèle Haenel a alors quitté la salle, criant « la honte ! », et applaudissant « la pédophilie » que semblait vouloir récompenser la prestigieuse académie. Le lendemain, l’écrivaine féministe Virginie Despentes saluait le geste de l’actrice et publiait dans Libération une tribune cinglante intitulée « On se lève et on se barre ! ». L’actrice qui avait brisé le silence en premier devint un symbole pour toutes ces victimes à qui on impose le silence depuis des années. Nouvel emblème féministe, une photo d’elle quittant la salle de Césars est relayée sur les réseaux sociaux et lors des manifestations qui ont lieu peu après, le 8 mars, pour la journée internationale des droits des femmes.

Et puis, le 17 mars, la France se retrouve confinée. Le ciel est sur le point de nous tomber sur la tête, et les préoccupations changent. Le coup de tonnerre des femmes et des victimes est essoufflé, tut, par nécessité. Mais la pandémie n’est en réalité qu’un temps de pause dans les combats, tous, quels qu’ils soient. Ils reprendront aussitôt que tout cela sera terminé. La lutte continuera. Le monde qui a implicitement laissé toutes ces violences sexuelles avoir lieu, mais surtout, qui les a laissées impunies, ne va pas changer du jour au lendemain. Mais nous pouvons profiter de ce temps de pause pour réfléchir à tout ce qui vient de se passer. Pour pousser la réflexion encore plus loin. Se demander pourquoi il y a encore un tel tabou sur les violences faites aux femmes. Pourquoi on ne les écoute toujours qu’à moitié. Pourquoi on les force sans cesse à ravaler leur dignité, et à se morfondre dans un silence douloureux. Le titre du livre de Sarah Abitbol, Un Si Long Silence, est révélateur de cette douleur silencieuse auxquelles sont contraintes tant de femmes. Il est aussi révélateur de la solitude dans laquelle on les oblige à s’enfermer, parce qu’elles ne seront pas écoutées, pas crues – ou seulement au prix d’une humiliation en place publique (comment s’est-elle retrouvée dans le lit de cet homme ? Quels vêtements portait-elle ce jour-là ? Mais ne cherchait-elle pas à obtenir quelque chose de lui ? etc…). Et pourtant, elles ne sont pas seules, bien au contraire. Au fur et à mesure que la parole se délie, leur armée s’agrandit. Le tout grâce à ces femmes qui, parce qu’elles sont célèbres, ont voulu utiliser leur visibilité pour délier les langues et se révéler aux yeux de toutes les autres, afin de leur montrer qu’elles ne sont pas seules, mais surtout qu’elles ont le droit de parler, si elles le souhaitent. Adèle Haenel s’adressait à elles dans son interview à Mediapart : « Je veux leur dire qu’elles ont raison de se sentir mal, de penser que ce n’est pas normal de subir cela, mais qu’elles ne sont pas toutes seules, et qu’on peut survivre. On n’est pas condamné à une double peine de victime. ».

“Nom et numéro en message privé, j’ai des photos de ma ex nue aussi, je les échange”

Les combats doivent prendre une pause, mais la violence, elle continue. Coïncidence du hasard, à l’heure où j’écris cet article, je reçois une notification de France Inter qui me le rappelle bien : « les signalements liés aux violences contre les femmes explosent un peu partout dans le monde ». En parallèle, en Italie, un vaste réseau de « porno de vengeance » a été découvert ces derniers jours. Photos publiées sans le consentement des concernées, pédopornographie… On n’apprend pas. Pas encore. Mais grâce à ces mouvements d’élévation des voix, peut-être que nous avançons enfin vers une société qui reconnaîtra l’existence de ces violences et donc de leurs victimes, et ne les acceptera plus. On peut espérer que, pas à pas, la justice réagira enfin et se mettra à écouter les victimes – que leurs accusations concernent l’acteur riche et célèbre comme l’artisan du coin. En effet, pendant que le cinéma français récompensait Roman Polanski, le parquet de Paris ouvrait une enquête pour viols sur mineurs de moins de quinze ans à l’encontre de Gabriel Matzneff, et une autre pour viols et agressions sur mineurs contre Gilles Beyer (l’ex-entraîneur de Sarah Abitbol) ; Christophe Ruggia était placé en garde à vue et mis en examen pour agressions sexuelles sur mineur de moins de quinze ans. Certains de ces récits sont malheureusement prescrits selon la justice française, mais le but de ces enquêtes est d’identifier toutes les autres victimes potentielles de ces hommes. Leur donner la parole, et surtout, leur apporter enfin la crédibilité et la dignité qu’elles méritent. Ce mince rayon d’espoir est peut-être la preuve que nous, en tant que société, allons enfin évoluer, tirer les leçons que nous aurions dû avoir tiré depuis longtemps déjà, et enfin, grandir. C’est peut-être la preuve que parler est important, libérateur, voire purificateur. Dans son essai intitulé Sorcières, Mona Chollet amorce sa conclusion sur ces mots : « Ce que l’on désignait par la formule convenue de ‘libération de la parole’ avait presque l’effet d’un sort, d’une formule magique déchaînant orages et tempêtes, sonnant le chaos dans notre univers familier […] je vivais cet effondrement comme une libération, une percée décisive, comme une transfiguration de l’univers social. On avait le sentiment qu’une nouvelle image du monde luttait pour advenir. » Les langues se sont déliées, et elles révèlent avoir une véritable portée d’action sur le réel. Parler peut faire changer les choses. Petit à petit, l’omerta cessera peut-être enfin, et nous parviendrons à faire exploser tous les tabous, définitivement.

de Laura Poiret

Sources et articles à lire : 

I mercati finanziari hanno già scontato gli effetti del coronavirus?


Nell’attuale contesto di prolungata incertezza, le prospettive di crescita economica globale sono cambiate in modo significativo a causa degli effetti del COVID-19. L’intera economia sta affrontando una serie di sfide macroeconomiche e strutturali fondamentali, che stanno portando a un notevole rallentamento della crescita. La crisi sanitaria è rapidamente diventata una crisi economica e si sta gradualmente trasformando in una crisi finanziaria.

Il recente crollo del mercato azionario è probabilmente solo l’inizio di una serie di sfortunati eventi. La parziale ripresa tentata dai mercati nelle ultime settimane è solo una piccola deviazione rispetto al percorso negativo intrapreso dall’inizio della crisi. L’intraday volatility, l’oscillazione dei prezzi al rialzo e al ribasso durante la sessione di negoziazione, può rappresentare una prova dell’incertezza degli investitori in merito alle performance finanziarie future di un asset o dell’intero mercato finanziario. Recentemente questo indicatore ha raggiunto livelli estremi. Un’ulteriore prova delle preoccupazioni degli investitori è data dall’indice di volatilità (VIX[1]), misura tipica del sentiment del mercato. Il VIX ha toccato l’incredibile limite di 82 il 16 marzo, a testimonianza della grandissima incertezza generata sui mercati dalla pandemia basti pensare che negli ultimi 5 anni il suo valore più alto registrato di era stato di 30 e il valore medio per lo stesso periodo è stato di 15[2]. Osservando la serie storica, notiamo che il valore raggiunto è stato persino superiore alla grave crisi del 2008.

Serie storica dell’indice VIX dal 2007 ad aprile 2020.

Innegabilmente, il primo trimestre del 2020 è stato uno dei peggiori della storia e, per gravità e velocità, può essere paragonato solo a quello della crisi finanziaria del 1929. Tuttavia, abbiamo elementi per ritenere che gli effetti del coronavirus non siano ancora completamente integrati nei prezzi delle azioni. Ci sono due fattori cruciali da considerare.

In primo luogo, prima del coronavirus, gli analisti si aspettavano una correzione del mercato. Era stato stimato che i mercati finanziari fossero fortemente sopravvalutati (il valore di mercato era estremamente superiore al valore fondamentale). Ad esempio, il valore intrinseco dell’S&P 500 era stato valutato di circa il 18% inferiore rispetto al suo prezzo di mercato e, al 7 di Aprile, l’indice americano aveva lasciato circa il 20% sul terreno dall’inizio della crisi.

Andamento dell’indice S&P500 da gennaio 2020 ad Aprile 2020.

Il secondo fattore riguarda la guerra dei prezzi del petrolio tra Emirati Arabi e Russia, che ha notevolmente contribuito a un ulteriore calo del mercato azionario. Per far fronte alla drastica riduzione del consumo di petrolio (domanda) dovuta al lockdown globale, i produttori di petrolio avrebbero dovuto tagliare la propria produzione (offerta) per sostenere il prezzo. Sfortunatamente, a causa di problemi politici, i due paesi hanno fatto il contrario, iniziando a produrre più barili al giorno, generando turbolenze e aumentando l’incertezza. L’inevitabile conseguenza è stata un calo drastico del prezzo del petrolio, il quale si è più che dimezzato in poche settimane. Giovedì 02 Aprile, il tweet di Trump sull’accordo tra Emirati Arabi e Russia ha condotto la ripresa dei prezzi del petrolio e il prezzo dei future[3] ha guadagnato circa il 30% in pochi giorni. In ogni caso, l’incontro cruciale è stato l’OPEC+ dove, eccezionalmente, sono stati invitati Texas e Canada ed è stato firmato un accordo per tagliare la produzione di petrolio di 10 milioni di barili al giorno. Nonostante ciò, secondo Rystad Energy[4] (una società indipendente di ricerca energetica), le spese di capitale globali (CapEx) – misura dell’importo investito da un’azienda nel rinnovamento o nel mantenimento di proprietà, edifici, impianti industriali, tecnologie o attrezzature – per esplorazione e le aziende di produzione dovrebbero scendere fino a 100 miliardi di dollari quest’anno, circa il 17% in meno rispetto ai livelli del 2019. Nel 2021 il calo potrebbe essere soggetto a un’ulteriore intensificazione poiché molte società (ad esempio Eni) hanno già annunciato che la riduzione del CapEx aumenterà fino al 30-35%[5]. La crisi petrolifera ha già causato alcuni problemi: McDermott, una delle principali aziende del settore, ha annunciato di aver presentato istanza di fallimento (chapter 11[6]), annullando tutte le azioni di common stock[7].

Dopo queste considerazioni, dovremmo chiederci se il valore di mercato offra attualmente un prezzo scontato. Ad oggi, la risposta è molto incerta, ma come abbiamo spiegato, è molto probabile che gli effetti del coronavirus non siano stati scontati nei prezzi delle azioni. Inoltre, i risultati del primo trimestre 2020 non sono stati ancora resi noti. Insieme ai probabili esiti negativi, le prospettive per la maggior parte delle aziende e i recenti downgrade delle agenzie di rating, rendono ragionevole credere che il mercato sia ancora costoso, probabilmente anche più di prima dell’esplosione del coronavirus.

Il mercato azionario non è l’unico a soffrire la crisi. Lo shock provocato dal coronavirus ha generato ciò che il Financial Times ha definito come “i semi della prossima crisi del debito”. Secondo l’Institute of International Finance[8], il rapporto tra il debito totale e il Prodotto interno globale ha raggiunto il 322% nel terzo trimestre del 2019. Negli ultimi dieci anni, le aziende si sono adagiate su prestiti a basso costo, ma le stime delle agenzie di rating dimostrano come una crisi sanitaria globale possa spingere verso una rivalutazione immediata del rischio di credito, sollevando dubbi sulla qualità delle imprese: stabilità e capacità di generare flussi di cassa a breve e medio termine. Inoltre, nel mercato del debito, la guerra sui prezzi del petrolio ha portato la maggior parte delle obbligazioni delle compagnie petrolifere ed energetiche nella distressed area[9].

Nonostante ciò, finanziariamente parlando, non tutti i mali vengono per nuocere. In effetti, questo creerà molte opportunità di fusioni e acquisizioni. Prezzi azionari scontati e una peggiore struttura del debito possono creare occasioni per società con fondamentali solidi. Le società solide con una forte capacità di generare cassa possono sfruttare l’ambiente favorevole per indirizzare le imprese con prospettive positive a lungo termine ma con attuali problemi di solvibilità e liquidità.

Infine, la comprensione dei movimenti dei prezzi dell’oro durante il periodo tumultuoso è di grande importanza. L’oro è definito come un bene rifugio o un’attività difensiva in quanto dovrebbe avere prestazioni migliori durante i periodi di recessione e limitare la pressione al ribasso. Nonostante ciò, con una prima analisi sembra che il metallo prezioso abbia deluso le aspettative. Il recente sell-off ha caratterizzato negativamente la performance dell’oro che è stata oggetto di un risultato contraddittorio. Tuttavia, le variazioni del prezzo dell’oro sembrano essere coerenti con la storia, in periodi di estrema volatilità. È molto comune che i gestori di fondi cerchino liquidità quando i mercati sono molto volatili al fine di soddisfare le richieste di margine delle attività più rischiose. Durante la crisi finanziaria del 2008, il prezzo dell’oro è diminuito di quasi il 20% prima di risalire a un valore del 170% superiore nel 2011[10]. Inizialmente si è ridotto a causa delle restrizioni di liquidità, ma, successivamente, dopo l’immissione di liquidità da parte delle banche centrali nei sistemi finanziari, il prezzo è salito nel modo tradizionale. Possiamo aspettarci un comportamento simile anche nei prossimi mesi.

Prezzo dell’oro dal 2007

Al di là di ogni dubbio, il coronavirus ha evidenziato come le nostre vite sono interconnesse. La pandemia ha causato un blocco globale e metà della popolazione mondiale è in quarantena. Le persone stanno cambiando il loro stile di vita, cambiando il loro modo di lavorare, socializzare, giocare, parlare e imparare. La crisi sanitaria influenzerà inevitabilmente intere industrie dal punto di vista economico e finanziario, colpendo permanentemente il mondo. Alcuni settori, come il turismo, l’automobilistico, le compagnie aeree, risentiranno maggiormente dell’instabilità globale, affrontando la sfida più ardua. Nonostante ciò, al giorno d’oggi, non siamo ancora pienamente consapevoli degli effetti che il coronavirus porterà sul mercato ma si può prevedere un sostanziale effetto sia sulla domanda che sull’offerta nei prossimi mesi. Pertanto, è ragionevole prevedere un ulteriore abbassamento del prezzo delle azioni e un andamento negativo del mercato in futuro.

scritto da Gianlorenzo Zeccolella

[1] Il VIX (Chicago Board Options Exchange’s Volatility Index) è un indice che rappresenta la volatilità implicita nel prezzo di mercato delle opzioni basate sul S&P500.

[2] https://www.investing.com/indices/volatility-s-p-500

[3] I future sono strumenti finanziari derivati, che permettono di effettuare l’acquisto o la vendita di un’azione – o un altro strumento finanziario – stabilendo il prezzo nella data di accordo ed effettuando lo scambio in una data futura. Il valore dell’operazione si può valutare comparando il prezzo per il quale ci si era accordati alla data iniziale e il valore di mercato dello strumento finanziario alla data di scambio. I contratti future sono lo strumento principale commerciato per il petrolio.

[4] https://www.rystadenergy.com


[6] Chapter 11 è un tipo di bancarotta che prevede la riorganizzazione del debito, degli assets e delle attività del debitore secondo il diritto fallimentare statunitense. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/chapter11.asp

[7] https://www.mcdermott.com/Restructuring

[8] https://www.iif.com

[9] Financial distress è una situazione nella quale la società non riesce ad adempiere le proprie obbligazioni finanziarie, potrebbe essere incapace di ripagare i propri debiti o una parte di essi

[10] https://www.investing.com/commodities/gold




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