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The Economist Continental Europe Edition

The Economist Continental Europe Edition March 28, 2020

The Economist is the premier source for the analysis of world business and current affairs, providing authoritative insight and opinion on international news, world politics, business, finance, science and technology, as well as overviews of cultural trends and regular Special reports on industries and countries.

Land:
United Kingdom
Sprache:
English
Verlag:
The Economist Newspaper Limited - Europe
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1 Min.
coronavirus briefs

In America, some senators and congressmen were accused of having used intelligence information on the covid-19 outbreak to sell stock before markets crashed. New York’s governor warned about the “astronomical numbers” of infections in the state, but also said that social distancing seemed to be working. Amid a wave of panic-buying, the British government urged shoppers to behave responsibly. Hoarders are thought to have £1bn-worth ($1.2bn) of extra food in their kitchens that they have not eaten. Mississippi followed Texas and Ohio in classifying abortions as non-essential medical procedures during the crisis. Among those testing positive for covid-19 were Prince Charles and Rand Paul, a Republican senator. Angela Merkel went into self isolation after her doctor tested positive. For our latest coverage of the virus and its consequences please visit economist.com/ coronavirus or download the…

7 Min.
the world this week

Politics More countries rolled out wartime-like emergency measures to fight covid-19. In Britain people were told to leave home only in limited circumstances; gatherings of more than two people were banned. All non-essential businesses, pubs and restaurants were ordered to shut. The government announced an unprecedented aid package, including paying up to 80% of workers’ wages. The American Congress prepared a $2trn economic-rescue bill, the biggest in modern history, which provides relief to business and direct payments to workers. Germany tore up its strict fiscal rules and launched a raft of emergency measures totalling €750bn ($810bn). In America more states went into lockdown, but the message to stay indoors was somewhat undermined by Donald Trump’s insistence that some restrictions should be relaxed so that the economy can get working again by Easter. India’s…

5 Min.
the next calamity

THE NEW coronavirus is causing havoc in rich countries. Often overlooked is the damage it will cause in poor ones, which could be even worse. Official data do not begin to tell the story. As of March 25th Africa had reported only 2,800 infections so far; India, only 650. But the virus is in nearly every country and will surely spread. There is no vaccine. There is no cure. A very rough guess is that, without a campaign of social distancing, between 25% and 80% of a typical population will be infected. Of these, perhaps 4.4% will be seriously sick and a third of those will need intensive care. For poor places, this implies calamity. Social distancing is practically impossible if you live in a crowded slum. Hand-washing is hard if…

5 Min.
everything’s under control

IN JUST A few weeks a virus a ten-thousandth of a millimetre in diameter has transformed Western democracies. States have shut down businesses and sealed people indoors. They have promised trillions of dollars to keep the economy on life support. If South Korea and Singapore are a guide, medical and electronic privacy are about to be cast aside. It is the most dramatic extension of state power since the second world war. One taboo after another has been broken. Not just in the threat of fines or prison for ordinary people doing ordinary things, but also in the size and scope of the government’s role in the economy. In America Congress is poised to pass a package worth almost $2trn, 10% of GDP, twice what was promised in 2007-09. Credit guarantees…

3 Min.
mixed medicine

NO TEXTBOOK WAS ever written to tell economists what to do in the face of the extraordinary economic hiatus caused by covid-19. Yet as they consider the deserted malls, abandoned offices and billions of lives on hold, the overarching responsibilities of economic policymakers are clear. First, they must protect the incomes of those who cannot work during lockdowns through no fault of their own. Second, they must make sure that growth bounces back fast when daily life resumes. The enormous emergency spending bill due to be passed by America’s Congress—which will cost the taxpayer about $2trn (10% of GDP) up front and support much more in new lending—goes some way to discharging both duties. It beefs up unemployment benefits, provides emergency loans and grants to small businesses, and gives $1,200 unconditionally…

3 Min.
get serious

AS COVID-19 BEGAN spreading across Iran in February, the regime held a rigged election. Weeks later, when nearly 10% of Iranian MPs were infected and it was clear the country had a problem, the ruling clerics refused to close crowded holy spots. Even as it dug mass graves, the government hushed up the scale of the epidemic. Now its leaders are propounding conspiracy theories, such as that covid-19 is an American bioweapon. Rejecting an offer of American aid, Iran’s supreme leader said: “Possibly your medicine is a way to spread the virus more.” Officially, Iran has suffered over 27,000 cases and 2,000 deaths. All countries undercount, but Iran wilfully minimised the numbers at the outset. Hundreds of thousands have been infected and many will die. That is partly because American sanctions…