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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Wharton on Global Economic Impact of Coronavirus

Considerable piece here from Wharton.  Notable for other implications for epidemics and their influence on economic systems.  The embedding of uncertainty in large scale effects.  Notable the mention of SARS example now two decades ago.

Containing the Coronavirus: What’s the Risk to the Global Economy?

On Monday, February 24, stock indices tumbled, spooked by reports that the coronavirus outbreak that emerged in China is spreading to countries including Italy, Iran and South Korea. A day later, trading in stocks across world markets remained choppy, reflecting hope that the economic fallout might be manageable — just as damage from the SARS epidemic was some two decades ago — but also fear that the economic impact could be significant and linger longer.

The markets’ movements mirror the uncertainty that prevails and persists not just in the U.S. but all over the world. Several weeks into the coronavirus outbreak that has brought the world’s second largest economy to its knees, some of the most basic aspects of the virus remain unknown. It’s not yet clear how widely beyond China COVID-19 will spread; this week, numbers of infected individuals have surged outside China. Still, exactly how it is transmitted, how easily, and how lethal it might be are aspects of this coronavirus that remain to be uncovered, according to University of Pennsylvania scientists.

As the human toll mounts, so does the economic damage. The business realm, of course, tends to shudder in the face of uncertainty, and right now, with reports on the seriousness of the coronavirus evolving each day if not each hour, the eyes of commerce are on epidemiology.  ... " 

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