Pandemic economics

I joined Richard Baldwin and George Papaconstantinou for a webinar on pandemic economics this morning. In it we covered:

What will be the likely economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe and the world?

What are the factors determining the length and depth of the crisis and the shape of the recovery?

What are governments doing to mitigate the economic costs of the health crisis, protect jobs and incomes, and ensure economies recover when the worst of the pandemic is over?

Is the $US2 trillion package in the US the right policy instrument? Is it appropriately targeted?

In Europe, is the 750 billion euro Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme of the European Central Bank sufficient in the current circumstances?

Is there a need for the use of the European Stability Mechanism resources or the creation of a corona-bond?

What will our economies look like once the pandemic is over and the economic recovery is under way?

Please find the recording here.

Monetary Policy Strategy Reviews a Disappointment

In my latest column in the Financial Times, I argue that the policy framework reviews under way at the Federal Reserve and now the European Central Bank are the monetary equivalent of swimming upstream: a lot of energy will be expended, but they won’t really get anywhere. To the extent that these reviews continue to focus on tweaking inflation targets as a strategy, they will be largely pointless. I offer up some alternative tools and strategies that might be more useful.

Inequality–Up or Down?

Here’s a link to a segment I did on CNBC Squawk Box–see if you can spot the scowl on my face as the presenter laid out his argument that inequality has decreased under the so-called “Trump economy,” so the Democrat candidates shouldn’t bother focusing on the issue in their campaigns. I hadn’t realized there was general confusion about this…stay tuned for some writing on this topic!