In March 2020 as Europe and the US were overwhelmed by the prospect of the COVID-19 pandemic, investors panicked. Had it not been for spectacular intervention by the US Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the ECB, we would be facing not only the ravages of COVID-19 and the disastrous social and economic consequences of the lockdown, but a financial heart attack as well. As it is, we are left with a shockwave of credit contraction. Production and employment are shrinking before our eyes. Huge programs of government spending have been set in motion not to create new jobs but to sustain the economy on life support. And this is more than merely a technical challenge. This is a global crisis that is hitting virtually every community on the planet. In the process has exposed stark differences between major economic blocs that make it more unclear than ever how the thing that we call the world economy actually fits together.
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