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Coronavirus Pandemic eBook

Which Nations’ Financials are in Danger in the Coronavirus Pandemic

A lot of people can assume or predict the possible onset of a pandemic, but no-one can do anything to stop its march on the world. Whether it’s because of the late counter-measurements or lax approach to a major problem, it’s simply too hard to face an invisible threat head-on. Humans have been battling different pandemics since long before the dawn of civilization. Collectively speaking, humanity will survive the Coronavirus, just like it has survived much worse, but it’s the price that we have to pay that will resonate for many years to come. The question that’s on everyone’s minds is, how are we supposed to get over it? The significant dissonance that the pandemic has unleashed on the US is gradually showing its fangs. Neither over-worrying nor ignoring it will help. It requires effort and holding our breath for a while. It’s been a while since something has reunited the world against a common enemy. While the repercussions of the pandemic on the global economy won’t be easy, it’s building a lot of bridges that can be used to connect us again. The pandemic still hasn’t spread in its entirety across nations, but it can be the harbinger of a financial eclipse for many.

North America

The financial situation in the US is starting to become quite messy as unemployment rates are going downhill, with millions put out of employment. The long-sought government shutdown has put a lot of small businesses and workers out of business quickly and ruthlessly. Those who live paycheck to paycheck are deeply threatened by the sudden shutdown, with no way to make up for the loss or freeze of their jobs. The bleakness of the situation was reduced quite a bit with the new Coronavirus relief package that was approved by both the US Congress. The multi-trillion relief package will be directed to families, corporations, and local governments.

The government has learned from the 2008 crisis; the Federal Reserve is fiercely easing the pressure on bank rules. The vulnerability of the economic system is still raw even after these decisive measures were taken. People may not be panicking yet, but it’s inevitable at some point. The debt stress compiled over the years has brought on a great burden of corporate debt on the market’s shoulders. The demand is slowly decreasing, and huge businesses such as oil industries are struggling to keep up with accrued debt and interest. The political tug of war of public approval is helping neither the politician nor the citizens, especially when the Coronavirus is casting its shadow over the future of the US’s economy.

South and Central America

The government of Brazil is trying to fight an uphill battle as they push the gears of the economy forward instead of stopping it for the sake of battling the pandemic. Markets and other activities are still operational without any news of a lockdown coming soon, even though cases are appearing daily. The situation is becoming a ticking timebomb; for every day that passes without drastic measures, stopping the pandemic from spreading becomes harder. The President’s refusal to lock down economic activities is being met with harsh criticism from many governors and federal judges. The stubbornness of the highest executive force in the country is evident, as they try to glue a has-been economy to become a functional one.

Unlike Brazil, the government of Argentina is taking a very serious approach to combat the impact of the pandemic. The initial mandated quarantine was extended as Coronavirus cases have increased. The quarantine is halting a big portion of the market by restricting non-essential workers from leaving their houses. Workers are only allowed to leave their homes if they are planning to buy groceries or medicine. The significant financial hit Argentina had received was a blow to its primary grains industry. The quarantine is showing some signs of being effective as the newly discovered cases and deaths are gradually decreasing.

The political turmoil in Venezuela is causing many worries amidst the government lockdown of the country. The opposition of the ruling party is growing in numbers and fierceness, as the country has been suffering from malnutrition and gas shortages for years. A coalition emergency government is a solution to many different sections in Venezuelan society. The withdrawal of the emergency funds for the quarantine has been halted as well. The lack of medical facilities like beds, ventilators, and in some cases, running water, is a serious cause for concern amidst an economic backlash.

Australia

Australia is suffering from both direct and indirect damage. The indirect damage is caused by its significant dependency on China, which provides not only valuable exports but also a massive flux of tourists. The Bank of Australia hasn’t taken any definitive action about the major concerns of the ongoing pandemic and stuck to the growth forecast. It’s imperative that the impact on China abounds to backlash on the Australian economy. The flux of Chinese tourists greatly outweighs tourists from several other countries combined. It’s believed that universities have been dealt a bad hand because a lot of their students are from abroad, especially from China.

A considerable number of companies and factories are closing down due to government-forced restrictions. The stock exchange is facing a severe blow that will take a lot of time to heal, in addition to investors being quite nervous. The big corporations and industries aren’t the only ones who were impacted by the restrictions; small businesses are taking the brunt of the hit as they have no way to restructure their physical service mainframe to accommodate the impact of the pandemic. Businesses that offer events, food, face-to-face interaction, and many others are being forced under the water with money being sucked out of the equation. The housing crisis is making another appearance, as many citizens are unable to afford the rental prices or mortgages. Commercial rents are forcing many business owners to either choose to keep their business afloat or pay their mortgage.

China

Both praised and cursed; China is the focal point of the pandemic. The proactive and aggressive approach to halting the pandemic has yielded interesting results in a very short period of time, but it’s still wishful assessment to think that it has eradicated the virus. China’s economy has seen a sharp decline in its growth rate, in addition to contraction and manufacturing activity. China is trying to think ahead to find a way to reduce the gloomy recession that comes after eradicating the Coronavirus while figuring out a way to eradicate it efficiently. Leading global value chains are trying to absorb the impact to the best of their ability, but to no avail. Retail sales inside China are declining at a very alarming rate, putting a lot of people under the shadowy presence of poverty.

The dip in demand for a country like China can mean a profound plunge that’s hard to get out of. With most imports banned, China finds itself with an excess supply that will implode. The situation gets worse as more cases break after the release of China’s iron grip. Relief packages of measures are being rolled out, similar to the US relief packages, to ease the burden on their citizens. The main issue was avoiding over-liquidating the market with currency to avoid the inevitable rise in prices. Instead, they lowered tax burdens, interests, provided very cheap loans to banks, and allowed the banks to reduce the reserve cash.

The massive stimulus injections are still not close to the one released during the financial crisis back in the global crisis in 2008. This was mainly because China’s debt wasn’t as big as it is today. The inflation and the decline of the foreign exchange reserves are putting China between a rock and a hard place. China is still eager to restart the economy because time is far from being on its side. The losses that China has endured since the beginning of the pandemic are almost irreparable. Even though a lockdown is still in its citizens’ best interest, waiting for the virus to completely disappear can roll back their economy to great lengths.

Italy and Spain

Italy is bearing one of the heaviest burdens in all of Europe, with death tolls in the thousands due to the pandemic, only similar to the Second World War lockdowns. The government-imposed lockdown is the second most drastic measure that was taken after China; Italians are to stay at home at all times except for emergencies or absolutely essential jobs. Everything from bars to food shops was closed until further notice, in addition to advising people to stay at least one meter apart from each other, whether they’re outside or inside their homes. Italy’s economy is in one of the tightest spots it has ever been; the number of people working in retail and wholesale sectors is simply too large to detach from the economy. The majority of small businesses and family-owned businesses cannot handle the tough conditions of the nation’s quarantine.

With tourism, restaurants, and the service industries out of the picture, the Italian economy is bound to fall into one of the worst recessions ever. The problem comes not merely from the postponing of the services, but it’s semi-closure that’s expected to go on for a long time. Popular car plants are shutting down their factories, in addition to minimizing the number of employees in other plants that are still operational. The manufacturing process itself is in quite the predicament as both governments and businesses are focused on keeping the contagion away, no matter how hard of a toll it is on the manufacturing process. The European Union is still trying to find a viable way to streamline money into Italy, but the conclusion of these meetings is still not clear.

Spain’s ordeal comes right after Italy’s in regard to the Coronavirus pandemic. Human lives, businesses, banks, and many financial institutions are losing their balance at a very alarming rate. The lockdown of Spain came a week after Italy’s. The seriousness of the pandemic was not taken to its full extent by the government, which only led to exponential growth that is now crippling the economy of the country. The lockdown went down similarly to Italy’s, bare necessities and emergencies only. The Spanish government tried its best to ease the financial burden on its people by pumping relief packages worth billions of dollars into the economic stream. But the relief packages are not even close to covering the losses of tourism, which is a major injector of GDP.

United Kingdom

The news of the infection of the UK’s Prime Minister came as a shock to the whole world, especially after the initially confident approach to the Coronavirus pandemic. UK’s initial solution fell like a house of cards, taking them to the most popular stage of coronavirus-riddled countries, a lockdown. Airlines, hospitality, and many other fields and industries were all shot down point-blank, not to mention that the sterling was already swaying. New agreements with oil exporters had temporarily boosted stock markets until Coronavirus showed its true fangs. Stocks are now tanking drastically as investors started realizing the true gravity of the situation. UK’s wage relief plan is proving to be one of the most effective coronavirus economic countermeasures with almost complete coverage of worker’s wages.

Conclusion

The coronavirus pandemic isn’t a situation where people should leave everything up to chance. While most of the responsibility befalls on governments, understanding the dangers of Coronavirus on economies can help people prepare for the worst. The strongest and wealthiest countries in the world are in a race against time to find a cure or a vaccine, not to reverse the damage that has already been done, but to stop the economy from crushing itself to the point of no return. The economic damage is directly linked to the spread of the pandemic, and how the government of each country tackles it. Ignoring its destructive effects to reroll the wheel of the economy seems to be the worst plan of reviving it at all.