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The World Trade Organization’s chief said on Wednesday that projections show the economic downturn and job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic would be worse than the 2008 recession.

This pandemic will inevitably have an enormous impact on the economy…” director-general Roberto Azevedo said in a video message filmed from his home and posted on the website of the body that creates rules for global commerce.

Recent projections predict an economic downturn and job losses that are worse than the global financial crisis a dozen years ago,” he added.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-trade/coronavirus-downturn-will-be-worse-than-2008-wto-says-idUSKBN21C3B0


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“This, more or less, is the catastrophic “domino effect” that real-estate investor Tom Barrack, chief executive officer of Colony Capital Inc., warned about this week.

Simply put, if commercial tenants don’t pay rent because of a lack of cash, then property owners might be squeezed and default on their mortgage payments. The same goes for homeowners.”

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/rent-wipeout-could-ignite-mortgage-100018722.html


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The amount of distressed debt in the U.S. has quadrupled in less than a week to nearly $1 trillion, reaching levels not seen since 2008 as the collapse of oil prices and fallout from the coronavirus shutters entire industries worldwide.

“The total is probably even higher, because the calculation excludes debt of small- to medium-sized companies whose loans trade rarely, if at all.”

https://www.pionline.com/markets/distressed-debt-balloons-almost-1-trillion-nears-2008-peak


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Singapore’s economy, a bellwether for trade-reliant Asian countries, suffered its worst contraction since the global financial crisis in the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic escalated, official data showed Thursday.

“The trading hub’s GDP shrank 2.2 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, according to advance estimates by the trade ministry. Compared with the previous quarter, GDP fell by 10.6 percent.”

https://www.deccanherald.com/business/economy-business/singapore-gdp-shrinks-most-since-financial-crisis-amid-pandemic-817760.html


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South Africa is one of the nation that looks particularly vulnerable to the economic fall-out from this virus:

“South Africa emerged from the 2008 global financial crisis in strong position thanks to robust economic growth and a budget surplus when the downswing came. A rapid deterioration in public finances over the past decade means the opposite is likely after the coronavirus pandemic.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-26/south-africa-s-economic-firepower-now-vs-2008-crisis-in-charts


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Pakistan is another:

“While Pakistan’s economy is already on ventilator, the coronavirus which is bringing the world economy to a standstill, can destroy our economy like it destroys human body’s immune system and similarly this monster will hit adversely and make irreversible damage and all at once.”

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/634499-pak-economy-under-dark-shadow-of-coronavirus-vs-deep-chronic-economic-crisis


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Mexico and Brazil are also vulnerable, which is no doubt why their presidents are so resistant to lock-downs:

“The presidents of Brazil and Mexico, who govern more than half of Latin America’s population — Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil and, to a lesser degree, his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador — have… scoffed at calls to shut down business and sharply limit public transportation, calling such measures far more devastating to people’s welfare than the virus.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/25/world/americas/coronavirus-brasil-mexico.html


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Western governments are being told to suspend the collection of debt interest from developing nations to prevent a new debt crisis for the world’s poorest countries as the coronavirus outbreak escalates.

“The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank called on governments that lend to poorer nations to agree to requests for forbearance from poorer nations and to delay taking debt payment, allowing time for assessment of the crisis.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/mar/25/western-governments-told-to-suspend-debt-interest-amid-covid-19


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“…an absolute collapse in confidence with a slump in oil prices down to the $10-to-‘teens’ range remains a strong likelihood.

“That’s because the reality of the physical market glut for the second quarter of 2020 will begin to bite and will reflect in futures prices… Should there be a shock price plunge below $20, few [oil producing nations] will be sitting pretty, including Saudi Arabia and Russia, despite their public bravado.”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/gauravsharma/2020/03/25/oil-slump-below-20-will-wipe-over-10-off-many-exporting-countries-gdp/#46ebe683368a


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The world’s biggest oil and gas companies are slashing spending this year following a collapse in oil prices driven by a slump in demand because of coronavirus and a price war between the top exporters Saudi Arabia and Russia.”

https://www.investing.com/news/commodities-news/oil-majors-slash-2020-spending-18-after-prices-slump-2120953


The world’s biggest oil and gas firms should break an industry taboo and consider cutting dividends, rather than taking on any more debt to maintain payouts as they weather the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, investors say.”

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1647556/business-economy


“During the 2008 financial crisis, many observers predicted the imminent collapse of the European currency project. They were wrong. The euro held together. Yet what the last crisis did not do, Covid-19 might yet bring about: the breakup of the eurozone.”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/25/shock-coronavirus-split-europe-nations-share-burden


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Gordon Brown has urged world leaders to create a temporary form of global government to tackle the twin medical and economic crises caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/mar/26/gordon-brown-calls-for-global-government-to-tackle-coronavirus


Read the previous ‘Economic’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here.