Photo credit unsplash/Timon Studler

The macro economy

The challenges of post-pandemic economic reconstruction will dwarf anything the world has seen since the Depression. Despite unparalleled levels of government support for businesses around the world, it is likely that tens of millions of people will have lost their jobs and uncounted firms will have been pushed into bankruptcy, destroying valuable productive capital. In the advanced countries, public debt will often exceed the value of annual GDP. Developing countries will be reeling from the combined effects of the virus, lower commodity prices, blocked supply chains, lost income from tourism and remittances, and massive capital outflows. What policies will restore growth and employment in this scorched-earth scenario? How can debt be managed in the long term, taking into consideration trade-offs like retirement age, pension funds and taxation?