With this first series of articles, CoVstat_IT opens its new economic research column. The final objective is to outline and implement a dedicated statistical dashboard similar to the epidemiological one, providing a comprehensible model and offering simplified interpretations accessible to the large public.
Since december 2019, the coronavirus epidemics has hit the heart of world manufacturing, China, and further expanded in the richest countries of the Far East, Europe and the American continent.
This spatial development of the pandemics is all but novel or surprising: history teaches us that frequent economic, social and cultural exchanges are typical vectors for pathogens.
Furthermore, geographers know very well that the temperate climate zones are the most subject to the development of infectious diseases, because of the same biological potential that helped their economic development in the first place.
Such a consideration leaves room for hope about the health state of the poorest equatorial and tropical regions, but also implies that, by hitting the richest world economies, COVID-19 will have a profound and somehow novel impact on global growth.
Domestic demand and domestic supply will be disrupted by the biologic damage of the virus and by the quarantine measures, whereas international demand and international supply will be disrupted by the interruption of global supply chains and by the reduction of logistic flows.
We could have used the term “depressed” in place of “disrupted”, in order to echo the 1929 crisis. However, in the last two decades, the term disruption has gained a specific technical, historical and economical nuance.
We believe that disruption represents the keyword to understand how the next great economic crisis, triggered by a health emergency, is going to be onthologically different from the Great Depression of the 1930s and from the oil crisis of the 1970s.
In reality, we will argue, the Great COVID-19 Lockdown sinks its deep roots in the Great Recession of 2007-2009.
Just a few years ago, the black swan could have been an ugly duckling; now, in the rubble, the n-th liquidity injection will not manage to instil a confidence largely lost since a long time.
What we need is a new Marshall Plan for a new economy.
We do not need more money and more debt to oil the wheels of a broken machine, we need instead to replace the cogs and fix the screws of the system: tested medicines, high-quality protective gear, advanced medical equipment, trained physicians, qualified laboratory scientists, certified food stocks, abundant energy reserves, next-generation technologies, accessible digital services, passionate administrative personnel with readily available technical, statistical and ecological know-how, etc.
We need everything money cannot buy right now in order to reboot the economy in virus-safe mode as soon as possible.
We urgently need to do it now for Europe in particular, and especially for Italy.