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Not 2008 perhaps, though worse for a time with silver linings

14 0 0
28.03.2020

For better and for worse, this is not quite 2008.

For the world economy, the current crisis looks set to be deeper but shorter than the financial crisis of 12 years ago, while rescue efforts may need to be bigger, faster and break even more policy taboos.

For financial markets, whose potential malfunctioning could easily take on a life of its own, it's too early to tell. But experts accept a proverbial "kitchen sink" of remedies is at last being thrown at the economic and financial shock of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, just like the last crisis.

Despite the innovative detail in the global economic rescue over a decade ago, governments eventually grasped that the sheer scale of coordinated action had to be so impressive as to overwhelm markets and the economic crisis at hand, and needed to be repeated as necessary until it succeeded.

No half measures would do.

On size alone, and with increasing speed after a hesitant start, governments' response to the 2020 pandemic is matching up.

Trillions of dollars of monetary and fiscal support of virtually all varieties for banks and businesses, including direct handouts to workers, are already pledged or underway.

Yet this has not yet overwhelmed nervous investors.

The main reason is that the root cause of the crisis is not financial or within the banks as it was 12 years ago. Rather, it’s a health care crisis that requires measures to both shut down the economy and limit the damage while doing so.

Markets haven't responded to this medicine yet because they are still trying to figure out the disease - or........

© Japan Today