Before any question can be put to GESAM, however, Fathom staff must calculate the parameters off-model, across a wide range of areas related to both economic and financial markets. So, the second and most crucial factor is that Fathom’s staff are trained to think critically and with imagination, in order to inform questions that sometimes have no easy answer or established precedent.
One important challenge in answering our client’s brief is to react quickly to emerging risks, and to be able to represent these risks quantitatively — each quarter can bring a novel concern. Sometimes this is relatively straightforward, involving, for example, different assumptions about the path of private consumption. Often, during the pandemic, this was more difficult, when the major variable driving economic scenarios was the disease burden from COVID-19. It was important to be able to understand pandemic dynamics and ensure that they were accurately represented in different scenarios.