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Coronavirus (Covid-19 ) Second Wave Inflicts Further Destruction on the Global Economy

October 5th, 2020 Comments off

A resurgence, in effect the predicted second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, is in full motion, striking at both advanced economies as well as large developed economies, such as India and Brazil. The confirmed worldwide death toll has now passed one million, a number both large and yet most probably a severe undercount of the actual number of fatalities generated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The toll in human misery is staggering. More than 35 million persons have been infected with Covid-19. It spares no one; the commoner and the elite are all at risk, as the recent news of President Trump contracting coronavirus¬† indicates. However, the damage inflicted on the world’s economy¬† is as severe as that incurred on public health.

The enforced lockdowns imposed by sovereigns as the only currently available means of halting the spread of coronavirus resulted in unprecedented demand destruction in Q2 of 2020. Optimists predicted a V-shaped recovery as a quick end to lockdowns would lead to a rapid “snap-back” in economic demand. That, and unprecedented deficit spending by governments and money-printing by central banks, temporarily reversed the massive fall in equity prices ¬†and induced unwarranted optimism. Now that governments are again imposing draconian lockdowns throughout the world, the evidence mounts that the severe recession created by the pandemic will eventually morph into a full-blown economic depression.

Even once buoyant economists are grasping at straws, praying that quick development and production of an effective vaccine will save the global economy as well as preserve lives. However, even in a best case scenario, a safe and effective vaccine is unlikely to be widely available until the latter half of 2021. The likelihood is that the world will experience, along with the public health consequences, another 6-months of demand destruction and self-imposed economic suicide. Yet, governments, politicians and economists have yet to grasp the full measure of the Global Economic Crisis that is now upon us.