Category Archives: Economics

COVID-19 Latest: New Contagion Spreads Faster Than Old One! #Unemployment

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Citric Bite: Could the Srna Doctrine Have Rendered Lockdown Unnecessary?

With much of the previously locked-down planet emerging from some of the most stringent restrictions on movement, employment and enjoyment in recorded peacetime history, the process of totting up the bill for this hitherto inconceivable policy will soon begin in earnest – and it’s unlikely to make for pretty reading. The seismic economic consequences of more than three months of drastically curtailed global economic activity are likely to be immensely far-reaching, and prompt an obvious question: was there a better way to combat COVID-19?

The models of Sweden, Belarus and Taiwan – nations which chose not to grind to a shuddering halt in the face of a virus with an asymptomatic case rate of 50-80% – have been extensively cited, if not yet copied. But largely lost in the discourse has been any serious discussion of diet – inarguably one of the great arbiters of human health – and it is here that the humanitarian example of Darijo Srna could prove enormously instructive.

Back in the infinitely less complex times of Q4/2014, Srna – the iconic captain of the Croatia national football team – purchased no fewer than 20 tonnes of mandarins from suppliers in his hometown of Metković, a small city on the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. He then arranged for this fruit shipped to Ukraine – the country where he was employed by UEFA Cup 2009 winners Shakhtar Donetsk – and distributed to more than 20,000 needy schoolchildren; a greetings card was given to every child as part of this initiative.

The right-back’s rationale for such an act was simple: with war raging in eastern Ukraine, the empathetic Srna – who himself grew up in a country fragmented by suicidal ultranationalism – recognised the importance of nutrient-rich food in both preventing and fighting disease, a realisation which has yet to fully dawn on far too many administrations in the context of coronavirus.

While it is probably too soon to draw at least some definitive conclusions from the COVID-19 data, it is no secret that high-inequality developed countries such as the United States and United Kingdom have fared exceptionally badly during this crisis. Governments in these polities must give serious thought to policies such as strategic food subsidies – with an emphasis on natural, organic produce – and refrain from pursuing media-driven measures that are more apposite to the world of video games.

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Going Deeper Underground: Latest Japan Tourism Numbers ‘Signal Economic Catastrophe’!

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Filed under Culture, Economics, Finance, Political Science

National Suicide Latest: Once-Great Currency ‘Now One Amongst Others’! #Sterling #Brexit

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Crude Joke: Oil Now Cheaper than Water! #OilPrice

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Light at the End of the Tunnel: Bundesliga Pencils in May Restart! #COVID-19

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Pressing Super Cancel: Is Coronavirus Capitulation Counterproductive?

The predictable postponement of the 22nd Summer Olympic Games – following on from the rescheduling of the pan-continental Euro 2020 finals – is a sure sign that SARS-CoV-2, something barely in the global public consciousness a matter of weeks ago, has already made a sensational impression on how the world perceives itself. It has had the effect of making the unthinkable – the shuttering of airports, panic buying in times of undisrupted supply chains, and the general abrogation of normal life as we know it – all-too-real.

The cancellation of practically everything of note, however, has some serious implications which do not appear to have been addressed in the media coverage of the pandemic to date; as ever, it seems up to this blog to at least point them out:

  1. Collective psychology. Placing vital markers of time such as soccer and Olympic tournaments in the deep freeze is some move given that these sporting festivals have only previously been pulled from the schedules for one reason: the Second World War. Even as recently as the early 1990s, the insanely bloody disintegration of one of the participating countries (Yugoslavia) and the ending of another (USSR) did not engender the collapse of Euro 92. The enormous levels of uncertainty and angst these administrative decisions will trigger is likely to have economic spillover effects far beyond the initial €2.14bn/US$2.17bn tab to be picked up by the organisers.
  2. Weimar, 2.0. Talking of economic spillover effects, kicking event after event into the long grass risks creating a structure in which only a truly dysfunctional economy can take shape. It does not take a genius to see that in an economic shutdown scenario, millions of people who count themselves as middle class may experience serious fiscal pressures because of lost earnings; savings will haemorrhage, while serious social instability and possible currency devaluations seem almost inevitable. The wave of human suffering this could unleash risks making the coronavirus crisis – as urgent as it indubitably is, and which merited decisive (and ignored) preventative measures – appear to be, by comparison, nothing more than a blip.

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Filed under Economics, Psychology, Urban Life

Eco-Warriors: West Africa Launches New Single Currency! #Eco #Africa

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Filed under Economic Development, Economics, Finance, Political Science

Oil Be Blowed: International Investors Have Second Thoughts on Saudi Aramco!

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Filed under Business, Economics, Environment

Poison Ivy: Places at Top US Colleges ‘Now Beyond Scarce’! #IvyLeague

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Filed under Economics, Education, Parenting