SLAUGHTER OF THE BUSINESS INNOCENTS
Coronavirus’s danger to businesses and employees is dramatically greater than its health risks to the public. The effects of the virus are over-hyped by click-driven media and over responded to by politicians.
Of 78,824 cases in China, a relatively insignificant 2,788 died most of who will be the aged and ready to be scythed anyway by the Grim Reaper. In Europe, the toll is 3,421 (March 18). Again, most are those who were already waiting in God’s waiting room.
If the virus does impact on your life, it is most likely to be through stopping you going to work, forcing your employer to make you redundant, or bankrupting your business. This rather than the virus is what should really be giving us sleepless nights.
The trillions of dollars wiped from financial markets will be just the beginning, if governments do not step in.
If they fail to respond as dramatically as they have to the virus, the casualties will run into the millions. We may look back on coronavirus as the moment when the threads that hold the global economy together came unstuck, and start-ups and growing businesses could end up paying the price.
Just as important as fighting the virus, if not more important, is vaccinating our economies against the incoming pandemic of panic. Human suffering can come in the form of illness and death. But it can also be experienced as not being able to pay the bills, worrying if you will have food tomorrow, or losing your home.
Small businesses in a particular struggle as supply chains dry up, leaving them without products or essential materials. Factory closures have led to a record low in the Purchasing Manager’s Index which measures manufacturing output.
China is the world’s largest exporter and is responsible for a third of global manufacturing, so China’s problem is everyone’s problem, even in the midst of a trade war between the White House and Beijing.
All this makes it even more worrying that governments continue to see this as a health crisis, not an economic one. It is time the economists took over from the doctors, before the real pandemic spreads.
It is difficult to imagine Italy not entering a recession. The world’s ninth-largest economy is now on lockdown. It is also difficult to imagine that failing to affect Europe and its largest trading partner, the United States. And it is impossible to see how any of this will not add up to a global downturn, unless governments step in faster and harder than they did 12 years ago during the last financial crisis.
The stakes are higher this time, because there seems to be a coordinated effort to economically hurt many Western countries. Although China bore the brunt of the virus’s economic and human cost, many in Beijing will see a silver lining in the weakening of the US economy, and a distraction from the NATO West’s trade wars and anti-Russian sanctions that are escalating with no end in sight.
Almost perfectly synchronized with the coronavirus, a Russia-Saudi oil war has erupted. In the short-term, both Moscow and Riyadh can afford the 30 per cent overnight drop in the oil price. But America’s gas business cannot.
The more expensive process of fracking means that much of the US oil sector will simply not exist if oil prices stay at historic lows, leading to shutdowns, job losses and perhaps even state-level recessions.
MICHAEL WALSH was a top executive for the Guild of Master Craftsmen and Federation of Master Builders quality business associations 1987 – 2007. He is the author of THE BUSINESS BOOSTER. Like this story? Share it with others.
MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, broadcaster and the author of RISE OF THE SUN WEEL, EUROPE ARISE, TROTSKY’S WHITE NEGROES, MEGACAUST, DEATH OF A CITY, WITNESS TO HISTORY, THE BUSINESS BOOSTER , THE FIFTH COLUMN VOLUME I and II, FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAK, IMMORTAL BELOVED, THE ALL LIES INVASION, INSPIRE A NATION Volume I, INSPIRE A NATION Volume II , SLAUGHTER OF A DYNASTY , REICH AND WRONG, THE RED BRIGANDS, RANSACKING THE REICH , SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: ARNO BREKER AND REICH SCULPTORS , SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: JOSEF THORAK AND REICH SCULPTORS . and The Exiled Duke Romanov Who Turned Desert Into Paradise and other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.
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