What a month! Only a month ago we were talking in terms of tens of thousands of people infected with COVID-19, which has now ballooned out to several hundreds of thousands and quickly approaching one million. Financial markets are rattled and have become ludicrously volatile with wild swings being experienced on a regular basis. Most major central banks have taken emergency action to cut rates (some repeatedly) and increased stimulus measures.
In a TV interview, the OECD’s secretary general Angel Gurria has said the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic will be felt far beyond the immediate impact of the virus. “What you have is an economic effect now that, very clearly, is going to be prolonged beyond the period of the pandemic,” Angel Gurria said. “We’ll hopefully get rid of the pandemic in the next two or three months and then the question is how many unemployed (will there be), how many small and medium-sized enterprises will be in a very, very severe situation if not disappeared by that time,” he added. “Life, and economic activity, is not going to be normalized any time soon,” he said. “We’re going to have the impact of this crisis for a long time to come.”