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In today’s video, we’re going to present you the insight of some of the most powerful leaders, economists, executives, financers and even policymakers on what is coming next for this period of great uncertainty, in addition to the challenges we are still going to face, the possible resolutions for the issues that were created by this crisis, with possibilities that go from potential global economic reset to the prospect of a New Cold War.
Bloomberg interviewed a number of front line professionals on how the economic state of affairs will develop after the health emergency is controlled and the lockdown is lifted. Each of them gave their best guess on how our lives will be dramatically reshaped and how the economy will react to the new status quo.
Some analysts have been saying that we are on the verge of the greatest economic recession since the Great Depression. Only a few of them are expecting the economy to quickly recover so that things can come back from where they were left off, but many have been alerting for us to be prepared for a massive debt relief, heightened tensions between China and the US, more government intervention, and also more women in the workforce.
At least, that’s what Chief Japan equity strategist at Goldman Sachs Group, Kathy Matsui, has been saying, affirming that this current outbreak has proved the extent to which we can still be effective and create value away from our office desks, as she states that for a country like Japan, where there is still a tendency to measure performance by hours spent at the office, she believes there could be important implications for gender diversity in the workplace. Matsui argues that if Japan embraces greater flexibility in working styles, and if the unprecedented amount of time some Japanese men are currently spending at home encourages them to take on a greater share of housework, then she hopes to see more women being liberated to pursue full-time careers. These are big conditions, but she maintains that the economic boost could be substantial; at Goldman Sachs, it is estimated that closing the gender employment gap could lift Japan’s GDP by 10%, and in a “blue-sky scenario” where the ratio of female vs. male working hours rises to the OECD average, the GDP increase could expand further to 15%.
In a bolder note, Chen Zhiwu, the Director of the Asia Global Institute, economics professor at the University of Hong Kong, and a former adviser to China’s cabinet, proclaimed that once this outbreak is stabilized, the New Cold War will be more visible between China and the US – and it will led by the West. “The blame game has already started,” he says as he points out that once the economic hardship – sped up by the sanitary crisis – materializes in the coming months or years, China will be further decoupled from the developed West, shifting even deeper into its Communist roots and the Maoist era in terms of worldview and policy mindset.
Furthermore, Jim Chanos, Founder of Kynikos Associates, upholds that the biggest change will be how businesses look at the supply-chain issue. ”That’s the 1,000-pound gorilla,” Chanos proclaims, as he interrogates if companies that are dependent upon China for essential parts for their businesses will move production out of China or at least to second-source out of the country. He reiterates that this is going to come back to the fore as businesses and people in the financial markets try to figure out how much exposure should they have to the Chinese economy.
Also regarding the huge debt bubble that is being created to soften the impacts of the situation, Professor of government at the University of Texas, James Galbraith sustains that there will be a vast tangle of unpaid debts that cannot be cleared and, differently from 2008 and 2009, the model of foreclosures, evictions, and repossessions are going to be absolutely unacceptable to deal with. He defends that people sheltering at home without income are in no way responsible for their circumstances and will refuse to accept the terms of those contracts. So the contracts will have to be suspended, and the debts cleared away, or there will be a confrontation on a vast scale. The professor attests that the right model is the same used for the treatment of inter-allied war debts after World War II: They were canceled, because dealing with the common enemy was a common effort. This means the whole financial system will have to be reset, reaffirming that this isn’t an ideological point but a practical necessity for reestablishing a functioning economic system.
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