While Donald Trump and Xi Jinping trade charges and counter-charges, announcing and then canceling tariffs in the seemingly never-ending trade dispute between the United States and China, it is a mistake to view the trade dispute as simply a spat between the two, and that it will end with Joseph Biden’s presidency. It is not a Trump-Xi fight, or even mainly a U.S.-China one.
2021 approaches; Europe is filled with hope. Vaccines and medicines will help us fight our way out of the pandemic. Unprecedented rescue and recovery packages serve to soften the painful impacts of the Covid-19 crisis and the related lockdowns. After a very tough 2020 with all of its losses and set-backs, relief is in sight.
We are experiencing unprecedented times. Less than one year ago the pandemic triggered the worst economic and financial crisis ever. At the end of 2020, the world is in an extremely indebted position. My understanding of debt issues is based on my personal experience.
Inequality fosters instability. This is especially true when it overlaps with a growing sense of injustice, expanding corruption, and declining distrust in political leaders, parties, and institutions.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the measures associated with its containment have negatively impacted economic growth, capital inflows, and productivity across the world. The ripple effects have hit hardest the most vulnerable in our societies.
The Covid crisis did not affect every country in the same manner. We have long known that symmetric shocks almost always have asymmetric consequences. While there are marked differences even within homogeneous areas (such as the Eurozone), the differences between macro-regions are particularly striking. In October of this year, the IMF’s World Economic Outlook projected a 5.8% decline in GDP for advanced countries in 2020 (with an 8.3% decline for the Eurozone and a 4.3% decline for the United States).
We enter 2021 with stark reminders of how a pandemic can wreck a global economy and destabilize nations. After almost twenty years of steady poverty reduction through the Global Goals, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) sent more than 100 million people back to extreme poverty, and simultaneously collapsed oil markets, the airlines, and other industries.
The Food Coalition has been launched. It is a big opportunity for the international community to rally as one to the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown in the path of the Sustainable Development Agenda and the drive to zero hunger.
Sustainable bonds' participation in global capital markets is on the rise, but time is ripe to go farther. Labeled finance has prospered and gone into greater detail. It is not only Green bonds anymore. Specialization helps issuers and investors to tailor projects and portfolios to their needs, but it is not sufficient. Sustainability has to go from a piecemeal approach to fully embedded in mainstream finance. And a revamped finance approach cannot be expected to lead the overall sustainability agenda, but the other way round.
The coronavirus shock is threatening the eurozone on several fronts, not only from a purely economic perspective. And while there will be a further integration, the outbreak’s diverse impacts and the uneven eurozone fiscal response will result in further divergences this year, erasing the marginal improvements in GDP per capita convergence that occurred during the 2014-2019 recovery. Over the medium term, however, a very gradual level of convergence will resume.
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments all over the world are enacting major stimulus packages to confront the health crisis, one of the biggest challenges since the end of the Second World War. But when the pandemic crisis has been tamed, bigger challenges will be waiting, since the major imperative would be to immediately re-launch the global economy.
International natural gas markets are, thanks to technological progress and the emergence of new major global players, undergoing a major shift from regional to global markets. Part of these tectonic shifts are due to the dramatic US shale gas revolution which started about a decade ago, but it is also due to the strong development of LNG (liquified natural gas) markets.
The ongoing tariff war between China and the United States has brought a dose of anarchy into international trade. The World Trade Organization, which monitors and regulates its development, will keep existing, but it certainly won’t thrive.