The Pandemic Depression

The Pandemic Depression

The Global Economy Will Never Be the Same




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Coronavirus has turned the world upside down, ravaging economies and challenging fiscal and monetary officials as never before. Noted economists Carmen Reinhart and Vincent Reinhart posit that the aftermath of this global crisis will be long and hard, reshaping society’s long-held convictions and expectations. Their sobering assessment, which comes with few remedies, offers executives and analysts a steely-eyed look at what the future could hold.


COVID-19 is shrinking global economic growth precipitously.

Global growth is down sharply; the World Bank expects a 5.2% decline in 2020. Monthly unemployment numbers in the United States are the worst they have ever been in the history of the country’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The story is similarly grim in the United Kingdom, which suffered the steepest drop in output in more than three centuries.

The disease has left economic decline in its wake. As some areas rebound, however, policy makers should not conflate any business resurgence with an economic recovery.

Recovery from the pandemic will be slow and uneven.

Three aspects...

About the Authors

Carmen Reinhart is chief economist at the World Bank. Vincent Reinhart is BNY Mellon’s chief economist and macrostrategist.

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