China in the post-pandemic 2020s

China’s National Peoples Congress (NPC) opened today, having been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.  The NPC is China’s version of a parliament and used by the Communist party leaders to report on the state of the economy and outline their plans for the future, both domestically and globally. Prime Minister Li Keqiang announced that forContinue reading “China in the post-pandemic 2020s”

Profitability, investment and the pandemic

Last week’s speech by US Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington was truly shocking.  Powell told his audience of economists that “The scope and speed of this downturn are without modern precedent”. One shocking fact that he announced was that, according to a special Fed survey of ‘economic well-being’Continue reading “Profitability, investment and the pandemic”

The Greek tragedy: Act Three

On Thursday night, EU leaders again failed to agree on how to provide proper fiscal support for hard-hit member states to cope with the health costs of the coronavirus pandemic and collapse of their economies from the lockdowns. The EU leaders have already agreed to a €540bn package of emergency measures.  This sounds a lotContinue reading “The Greek tragedy: Act Three”

The euro’s corona crisis

This coming Thursday 23 April there is a video conference meeting of the EU leaders to discuss once again what to do about the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing lockdown of production across the area.  In particular, there is the vexed question of how to help out those EU members states like Italy and SpainContinue reading “The euro’s corona crisis”

The post-pandemic slump

The coronavirus pandemic marks the end of longest US economic expansion on record, and it will feature sharpest economic contraction since WWII. The global economy was facing the worst collapse since the second world war as coronavirus began to strike in March, well before the height of the crisis, according to the latest Brookings-FT trackingContinue reading “The post-pandemic slump”

Lives or livelihoods?

There are now two billion people across the world living under some form of lockdown as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. That’s a quarter of the world’s population. The world economy has seen nothing like this. Nearly all economic forecasts for global GDP in 2020 are for a contraction of 3-5%, as bad ifContinue reading “Lives or livelihoods?”