Financial markets are, right now, intensely dull. That is bad news if, say, you are a journalist newly tasked with writing a weekly column on the subject. Just for the sake of argument.

For most other people, however, it is a blessed relief. In March 2020, when the pandemic really hit and markets were in meltdown, people outside of the tight financial community were much more focused on keeping themselves and their families safe, and procuring tinned food, than fretting about equity valuations.

But that volatility has a real-world impact, as the Bank of England recently reminded us in a blog post. “Financial markets reflect changes in the economy. But sometimes they amplify them too,” the central bank said. In other words, markets can make bad situations worse, jacking up costs of financing for anyone trying to raise new debt or equity. 

To illustrate the point, the blog casts us back to the events of spring last…

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