BMO Nesbitt Burns researchers put out a report covering the imapct of a flu pandemic on financial markets (here is a shorter AFP news article on the story). The paper has a good review of what we know about flu, and tries to make speciffic forecasts on what would happen to financial markets if a pandemic hit: commodity stocks and poor countries would suffer the most, and a large number of casualties may cause housing prices to drop. Some financial survival tips:
Cash, put options on volatile stocks, high-quality bonds, and high-quality dividend-paying stocks of companies with minimal exposure to the risks we have described will be the best survival packs. They will provide the survivors of the pandemic with the capital to take advantage of the wide array of cheap assets that will—however temporarily—be available after the virus has joined its predecessors in whatever resting places the world has on offer.
Hat tip to John Hill.