Central banks are exploring new monetary policies. Unconventional ones, of course. The Bank of England (BoE) has recently announced one of such attempts. Although the main concern remains how to manage a negative-interest-rates environment, BoE Chief Economist A. Haldane most interestingly mentions the expansion of the scope of the bank’s asset-purchase plan to include risky securities.
Last February, this website hosted an article titled «The unintended consequences of coronavirus». At the time the article was published, the situation was not at all dramatic in Europe. For example, the official Covid-19 figures in Italy and Germany mentioned very limited number of cases. Governments were confident that everything would be under control, as witnessed by the fact that on February 15, two tons of medical equipment were shipped to China.
The damages caused to individuals and businesses by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic are so vast that it will be almost impossible to make an accurate estimate of them. However, if those who contributed to such destruction can be called to account for it, by way of civil liability, the injured parties will obtain justice, and the damaging economic consequences will fall on those responsible. Instead, if internalizing the damage proves impossible, the deadweight loss will remain in the hands of entirely blameless victims.
In a new IREF Working Paper, David Stadelmann (Bayreuth University and IREF) and his co-authors discuss how the corona epidemic can be made less burdensome. They focus on the role of those who are immune after recovering from the illness and do not pose any health risks to others. The authors point to corona immunity as a resource that should be searched, found, produced, certified, and finally employed to ease the way out of the lockdown.
While all of the former socialist economies have liberalised and strengthened their markets over the past two decades, they have failed to strengthen the rule of law (see Table 1). Under socialism, legal systems are not designed to protect the rights of individuals. Instead, they serve the interests of the political elite. To that end, judges, prosecutors, and other judicial officials are trained and expected to cater to those interests. Most worrisome, some of the former socialist economies have even seen the weakening of the rule of law in the last few years.
Paris has decided to recall its ambassador from Rome, further deepening one of the worst crises between the two neighbouring countries in recent European history. The dramatic (some say theatrical)…