Coronavirus: how to tackle the economic crisis | FT

FT economics commentator Martin Sandbu analyses the emergency fiscal and monetary measures being taken to deal with the global financial and economic fallout from coronavirus. #covid #pandemic #globalfinance #coronavirus #covid19 #financialtimes #markets #economics

The spread of the corona virus covered – 19 has been a major shock to the growth prospects of the global economy and the euro area economy the storm is upon us the cove in nineteen disease that has devastated china italy and iran is about to hit many other countries with full force but the economic damage is already here we are starting now to see the data of just

How bad the economic damage is and it doesn’t come just from the disease but from the measures governments are forced to take to stop its spread they have taken draconian measures in one country after another in order to stop people from being physically near each other and from socially interacting but this means that swathe of the economy are being shut down

And we are looking now at a downturn at least as big as in the global financial crisis and very probably quite a lot larger and deeper in response to this policymakers have taken unprecedented actions in order to try to minimize an economic hit that we know will be big they have used both monetary policy and fiscal policy in unprecedented ways monetary policy is

What central banks do fiscal policy is what governments do with their budgets yes it will be significant but that’s why we’re doing everything we’re doing we’re doing whatever it takes to get through it and things will be better in time i think we’re going to do something that gets money to them as quickly as possible that may not be an accurate way of doing it

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Because obviously simply pushing and beginning checks for $1,000 and we’ll have a pretty good idea by the end of the day what we’re going to be doing the world’s central banks have done three types of things in order to reduce the economic consequences the first is to reduce interest rates in order to make things easier for borrowers to continue to borrow and to

Have a little bit more extra cash especially the bank of england and the federal reserve the central banks of the us and the uk have put in place dramatic and very fast interest rate cuts the second thing that central banks have done is to intervene in markets but a lot of money into financial markets in order to make sure that they function properly and in order

To make it easier for banks to continue to lend into the real economy they have also reduced taken away some regulations lighten some rules again to make it easier for banks to lend and the third thing they have done is that they have gone on a buying spree central banks have put a lot of money on the line in order to buy assets such as government bonds corporate

Bonds again in order to make it easier for people to borrow and finance themselves through this crisis and that means that central bank balance sheets that were already too big after the last crisis are now setting to become even quite a lot bigger what about the fiscal policy makers governments they are also using their budgets vigorously and in unprecedented

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Quantities in order to cushion the shock okay lucas watts italian mr. oliver always could a faint oaken francaise or conference a masala tea soy sauce most governments suddenly in europe are committing to subsidizing the wages of people who are being laid off the intention is to prevent what is hopefully a short shock from the disease from destroying jobs and

Destroying companies to such an extent that when governments can lift the restrictions of movement direction there are no jobs or shops or companies to go back to this will cost a lot of money so governments are looking at increasing their debt significantly and in some cases countries that already had very large public debt burdens after the last crisis people

Are somewhat worried that they will find it difficult to borrow but that’s when we go back to the central bank action again what central banks buy government bonds in what is called qe quantitative easing or asset purchase programs they ensure that the borrowing costs for government’s are low so the intention at least is to allow governments to borrow as much as

They need to do whatever it takes to protect the economy as much as we can from the deepest shock in generations

Transcribed from video
Coronavirus: how to tackle the economic crisis | FT By Financial Times

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