Covid-19 driven collapse of global supply chains, demand and mobility will painfully spawn next great tech-led economic models
Is the world on a collision course with the financial and economic equivalent of a meteor impact with shock wave?
Nobody, anywhere, could have predicted what we are now witnessing: in a matter of only a few weeks the accumulated collapse of global supply chains, aggregate demand, consumption, investment, exports, mobility.
Nobody is betting on an L-shaped recovery anymore – not to mention a V-shaped one. Any projection of global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020 gets into falling-off-a-cliff territory.
In industrialized economies, where roughly 70% of the workforce is in services, countless businesses in myriad industries will fail in a rolling financial collapse that will eclipse the Great Depression.
That spans the whole spectrum of possibly 47 million US workers soon to be laid off – with the unemployment rate skyrocketing to 32% – all the way to Oxfam’s warning that by the time the pandemic is over half of the world’s population of 7.8 billion people could be living in poverty.According to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) most optimistic 2020 scenario – certainly to become outdated before the end of Spring – global trade would shrink by 13%. A more realistic and gloomier WTO scenario sees global trade plunging by 32%.
What we are witnessing is not only a massive globalization short circuit: it’s a cerebral shock extended to three billion hyperconnected, simultaneously confined people. Their bodies may be blocked, but they are electromagnetic beings and their brains keep working – with possible, unforeseen political and other consequences.
Soon we will be facing three major, interlocking debates: the management (in many cases appalling) of the crisis; the search for future models; and the reconfiguration of the world-system.
This is just a first approach in what should be seen as a do-or-die cognitive competition.
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