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Quotes and takeaways from very broad based pieces in The Times and Economist
https://apple.news/ArPlIk4-8QhucrP_pgYuRAA

Charles Parton, a former British diplomat, now at Rusi, a British think tank, called China’s efforts “a deep propaganda campaign” intended “to obscure the fact it caused the virus in the first place”.

Emergencies “fast-forward historical processes”, says the historian and philosopher Yuval Noah Harari. “Decisions that in normal times could take years of deliberation are passed in a matter of hours.”

The author Robert Kaplan adds: “Crises like wars put history on fast forward. And history is now on fast forward.” So just weeks into the pandemic, are we witnessing the shape of the world to come?

The pandemic, warns Robin Niblett, of Chatham House in London, could be “the straw that breaks the back of economic globalisation”. Stephen Walt, of Harvard University, fears that it will bring about a world that is “less open, less prosperous and less free”.

Malcolm Chalmers, of the Royal United Services Institute, counsels that the pandemic is so changing the “foreign policy baseline”

“This is not a minor moment in international security. It’s comparable to 9/11 as a shock to the international system, in some ways bigger, but it’s going to have some very big impact on our thinking. It will generate a new debate about whether we are giving enough priority to homeland security,” he notes, which could even include new consideration of the diversity of our supply chains and a greater need for national self-reliance.

Takeways
– increased Balkanization and countries going it alone at expense of Globalisation and International institutions (Hungary, US, EU failure)
– Security considerations and underlying threat to deploy military exists
– devolved groups are losing control to national institutions (e.g. UK Health)
– a bigger national state will become a new normal
– technology has become an assumed goto solution at expense of earlier concerns on privacy and security of information
– use of cash is dropping – touchless payments are rapidly becoming normal
– the utility of old people is discounted against the legacy of debt young people will inherit
– working from home efficiencies supported by technology will create a rethink about how information work is resourced and deployed
– Universal Basic Income is being discussed again (Spain)

There is initial talk in Europe of CoronaBonds as a means to fund the costs of supporting the Pandemic and deferring payment into the future. This idea has merit.

Canada is talking about invoking Emergency Powers Act.

China is ahead because of forward planning with SARS/ H1N1 and integrated automation with WeChat and AliPay.

Written by Colin Henderson

April 10, 2020 at 10:29

Posted in Uncategorized

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