“There are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know.”
—Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense
The first quarter was both, a mix of a known unknown (a virus, which while this latest outbreak was a potential unknown, we do know that a virus can rear up and strike unexpectedly like swine flu and SARS have done in the past) and an unknown unknown (the impact and speed of a virus spreading around the globe) wreaking untold havoc on the global economy. For further clarification regarding the quote above, Donald Rumsfeld was not the person to first discuss an “unknown unknown” or as some also call a Black Swan event. Rumsfeld's famous quote is commonly cited as growing out of work done by two American psychologists in the 1950s. More recently, significant events and how they relate to economics and society were discussed extensively by Nassim Taleb in his now-famous book The Black Swan. For clarification, some points of discussion related to this topic should be made as they can frame how we look at the current crisis.