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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