The setting for Robert Harris’s thriller, “Enigma”, is wartime Britain, where everything is rationed except for the rain. It follows Tom Jericho, a young prodigy stationed at Bletchley Park, the real-life centre of code-breaking operations, who is part of a team of cryptologists trying to break the code used by Germany’s armed forces. The work has frustration built in. Any progress can be undone if the enemy changes the code—which he will if he suspects that it has been cracked.
The novel comes to mind when considering the mysteries of shifts in the economic cycle and market reactions. The mood has clearly changed for the better since the middle of last year. Fears of recession have receded. Global equity prices have rallied. Bond yields have perked up. A truce in the trade war, however fragile, has helped. But the improvement in mood coincided with signs of life in Asia’s manufacturing hubs.
Por The Economist