Why the Coronavirus Pandemic Wasn’t a Black Swan Event — and Why We Must Prepare for More Outbreaks

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Barron’s: What are the big investment opportunities coming out of this pandemic?

Adam Tooze: The only thing we know, coming out of this, is the tech story: Without the marvels of the [tech] platforms, it’s unclear how we could have coped with this. The question is whether the power conveyed by the sheer obviousness of that fact triggers a backlash in terms of antitrust and regulation. We have seen this in Europe and China already. https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

What should be the main priorities of the incoming Biden administration?

There are so many. The most evident one is to control the epidemic and then secure an exit from the enormous economic hit that the U.S. has suffered. It’s the only thing that the Biden administration in the short run has to get a grip on. But after that, if the coronavirus is a consequence of the crisis of the Anthropocene [unofficially, the current geological age, in which human activity has most affected the climate and geology], then we need to consider that climate change and dealing with that should be a top priority. What that entails depends on the political circumstances after January. It could be regulation, international diplomacy, and investment. I’m tempted to say that the main problems facing the U.S. are actually problems of the political system rather than policy challenges. Most governments outside the U.S. think that the U.S. is no longer a credible actor.

Read the full interview at Barron’s

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World War I and the Reconstruction of the Global Order with Huang Yanjie ‘The Paper’

亚当·图兹谈第一次世界大战与全球秩序的重建 一百年前,一个新的世界秩序在第一次世界大战的废墟上艰难地建立起来,然后很快就在纷至沓来的金融危机、法西斯运动和二次世界大战中分崩离析。多年来,我们对于一战后秩序重建的历史认识一直受制于二战的后见之明:冥顽不灵的克列孟梭、理想主义的威尔逊和料事如神的凯恩斯。亚当·图兹(Adam Tooze)正是要挑战这一常识。他认为,一战后的欧洲政治精英对时事的判断远超威尔逊和凯恩斯,但后者比前者更能代表历史的长期趋势。他告诫他的欧洲史同行,认识一战及其以后的秩序首先要注意美国的兴起,正如理解当代史必须留意中国崛起。从外部看,美国似乎已经是一个巨人。一战使美国成为全球政治和金融执牛耳者,而美国经济已然成为世界各国必须面对的挑战。从内部看,美国只是一个少年。美国内战的伤痕尚未愈合,而国家政权建设方兴未艾,无力进行全球扩张。面对一战前后才出现的全球治理挑战,美国在理想与现实中徘徊,直到二战彻底打破旧世界,才得以用凯恩斯主义重构内外秩序。亚当·图兹教授的《滔天洪水:第一次世界大战与全球秩序的重建》仿佛让我们回到一战后期与战后的历史现场,在结构性的力量与历史人物之间、在偶然事件和历史趋势之间,发现上世纪中期世界战争与革命的根源。 Read the full interview with Huang Yanjie at The Paper.

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