The head of the World Bank has called for a more ambitious debt relief plan for poor countries after warning that the Covid-19 recession is turning into a depression in the most challenged parts of the globe.“
“In an interview with the Guardian, David Malpass raised the prospect of the first systematic write-off of debts since the 2005 Gleneagles agreement as he said fresh Bank figures due out next month would show an extra 100 million people had been pushed into poverty by the crisis.
“Poor countries had been worse hit by the economic fallout from Covid-19, Malpass added, and a growing debt crisis meant it was necessary to go beyond the repayment holidays offered by rich countries earlier this year.
““This is worse than the financial crisis of 2008 and for Latin America worse than the debt crisis of the 1980s,” the World Bank president said.”
The S&P 500 closed at a record high on Tuesday, rebounding from huge losses triggered by the coronavirus pandemic and crowning one of the most dramatic recoveries in the index’s history.“
“Trillions of dollars in fiscal and monetary stimulus have made Wall Street flush with cash, pushing yield-seeking investors into equities.”
Millions of Americans are hurtling into a period of unemployment that often carries more financial risk. Economists generally consider long-term unemployment as a period of joblessness that lasts longer than 26 weeks, or six months.“
“From a financial perspective, this benchmark is important for a few reasons.”
“Congress should authorise another round of stimulus cheques, similar to the funds deployed in the spring, make them recurring until the end of this crisis and, most importantly, put them on autopilot so they are triggered during the next recession…
“Congress should… set direct cash payments in stone as a permanent policy triggered whenever unemployment rises quickly.”
US Consumer sentiment has held up better through the coronavirus crisis than in previous downturns, but it may take much longer for sentiment to recover than many analysts may realize, not least because the economy has lost a crucial tailwind…“
“Sentiment remained near a pandemic-era low in early August, the University of Michigan said last Friday. Its closely watched index was at 72.8, barely any higher than the low of 72.5 touched in July.”
““Every time I deliver a parcel, I wonder why I went to university, worked for three blue-chip companies then ran my own successful business only to be crushed by Covid,” said Ade Smith, who is now working as a delivery driver in his 50s…
“Mr Smith is one of thousands from comfortable, white-collar managerial backgrounds facing an uncertain future as the UK enters its worst recession on record.”
Spanish public debt rose to a record high of 1.29 trillion euros (1.53 trillion U.S. dollars) in June, mainly lifted by spending linked to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, data from the Bank of Spain showed on Tuesday.“
“The total debt rose by 32 billion euros from the preceding month, pushing the debt-to-GDP ratio to 110% according to Reuters calculations…”
Former European Central Bank chief, Mario Draghi, called on European governments on Tuesday (18 August) to ensure the colossal amounts of debt countries are running up in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic are invested in upgrading their economies so that future generations can benefit.“
““The debt created by the pandemic is unprecedented and will have to be repaid mainly by those who are young today,” Draghi warned…”
More than 360 billion euros ($425 billion) of loans at Europe’s biggest banks have been subject to payment breaks or other coronavirus relief measures but the big question is whether borrowers will be able to resume payments when support ends.”“
Thailand plans more stimulus measures for economy in deep slump… “
“Thailand will introduce more stimulus measures to support tourism, jobs and domestic consumption hit by the coronavirus pandemic, a deputy prime minister said on Wednesday.”
China’s real estate sector may have peaked and will likely become a drag on growth during economic shocks such as the current pandemic…“
“The decades-long housing boom has causes both prices and supply to be misaligned and the market may have hit “a potentially precarious peak”, according to the working paper by Harvard University’s Kenneth Rogoff and Yang Yuanchen of Tsinghua University in Beijing.”
Japan’s exports extended their double-digit slump into a fifth month in July as the coronavirus pandemic took a heavy toll on auto shipments to the United States, dashing hopes for a trade-led recovery from the deep recession.“
“Meanwhile, core machinery orders, a leading indicator of business spending, unexpectedly fell to a seven-year low in June, dashing hopes domestic demand would make up for some of the slack from sluggish global growth.”
South Africa Struggles to Contain Coronavirus While the Economy Crumbles… “
“South Africa’s Covid-19 crisis collided with its ailing economy and dysfunctional politics. The country didn’t have the financial resources to extend many elements of its lockdown any longer than the initial five weeks, as the number of unemployed and hungry surged.”
Equatorial Guinea, like most countries in the world, is facing an unprecedented economic crisis, the extent of which is still unknown given the uncertainty about the evolution and duration of the pandemic. “
“In fact, since March of this year, our economy has been severely hit by the double crisis, on the one hand, the appearance of Covid-19, and, on the other hand, the sharp fall in international oil prices…”
Mutinying soldiers in Mali have arrested embattled President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse, a dramatic escalation in the country’s months-long political crisis…“
“The developments follow a weeks-long political crisis that has seen opposition protesters taking to the streets to demand the departure of Keita, accusing him of allowing the country’s economy to collapse…
“Remember the ridiculous and quaint charade around the “Debt Ceiling” in Congress and the White House? Me neither. But those were the Good Times.
“So what we now have is the Pandemic Economy with the Incredibly Spiking US Gross National Debt, which spiked incredibly by $4.45 trillion over the past 12 months, to $26.5 trillion.
“WHOOSH go the trillions, flying by.”
“The rapid bounce in stock markets helps to give the impression that everything is under control and the economic crisis is drawing to a close… This might be true for the high net-wealth individuals invested in hedge funds. For almost everybody else, it is nonsense on stilts…
“The risk is that a still unfolding economic crisis will be made worse by a financial crash… ““The global economy has essentially become a giant tinderbox, susceptible to any spark that may come its way.” The world is not exactly short of potential sparks.”
The coming surprise may be a counter-attack by the forces of deflation…“
We are at a crunch point where fiscal fatigue is setting in across the West but the virus is still with us, and will remain with us through the next winter.”
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