Trump has created a bizarre absence of information channels from people who know things to the Oval Office. Just look at the coronavirus. People were trying to tell him this was a problem in early January. And on the rare occasions anybody who knows something gets through to him, he doesn’t want to hear it. That’s his temperament. He doesn’t want you to give him the bad news. And if you give him the bad news, you’re fired.
That’s exactly the opposite of the temperament you want in somebody who’s managing risk. People are already reluctant to give you bad news or bad information or tell you about risky situations because it’s an inherently unpleasant thing to do. If you disincentivize them even further, you’re just not going to find out what you need to know.
But there’s a third aspect to him that I find is almost the key to everything. So far, we’ve been talking about Trump as if he cares about risk and he wants to manage it well. I don’t think that’s true.
I think that his whole life is about doing whatever his impulses tell him to do. And then, after the fact, telling a story that renders him the hero of the story — the person who saved the day. He’s always done this, no matter the facts.
The coronavirus crisis is a tragedy still in its first act; the full breadth and depth of its carnage are as yet unknowable. What is clear is that COVID-19 will cast a long shadow over the world. In the coming months, someone or some country will define the international order for years, perhaps decades, to come. While others may want only to look inward, the United States must lead the world through this grim future to the other side of the pandemic.
First, there are worrying trends to overcome. Global institutions already have absorbed damage from which it will be difficult to recover. The European Union, or EU, has taken a body blow. With the organization unable to generate a coordinated response, member countries are taking their own paths and some will be crushed by debt.
The U.S. government’s massive effort to nurse the economy through the coronavirus crisis was billed as a send-money-and-don’t-sweat-the-details flood of cash to people and businesses in a $22 trillion system that has ground to a halt.
So far, the checks are not in the mail.
From technological glitches to confusion over the fine points of policy, the delays are mounting. The federal government’s muddled response risks deepening and lengthening a recession already historic for the speed of its onset.
CARRIE LAM REIGNITES DYING HONG KONG TINDER. The world’s second-best paid political executive can’t seem to let an opportunity to alienate people pass. Despite admitting her attempt to ram through an extradition bill that set off months of violent protests was “inexcusable”, she is ignoring the example set by executives taking voluntary pay cuts to show solidarity.
Much the opposite: ignoring calls from legislators from both sides of the aisle for her to freeze her $660,000 salary, Hong Kong’s most unpopular chief executive ever intends to keep her raise.
China’s central bank will ramp up its policy easing to support the coronavirus-ravaged economy but debt worries and property risks will prevent it from following the U.S. Federal Reserve’s steep rate cuts or quantitative easing moves, policy sources said.
China’s leaders have pledged to combat the impact from the pandemic that looks to have tipped the world’s second-largest economy into its first quarterly contraction in at least 30 years, as mounting job losses pose a threat to social stability.
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) will boost credit and lower funding costs, especially for small firms seen as vital for growth and jobs, and accommodate increased fiscal spending, according to three sources involved in internal policy discussions.
The central Chinese city of Wuhan began allowing people to leave on Wednesday for the first time since it was locked down 76 days ago to contain the novel coronavirus, despite fears of a second wave of infection if such restrictions are eased too soon.
China sealed off the city of 11 million people on Jan. 23 after it became clear that the flu-like virus that had emerged there late last year was highly contagious and potentially deadly.
The first train to carry departing passengers out of the city left at 00:50 a.m. (1650 GMT), and outbound highways were opened to vehicular traffic around the same time.
These travel restrictions have neither stopped the spread of this novel coronavirus nor prevented it from becoming a pandemic. Early research and scenario analysis, however, suggest the combination of travel restrictions within China and international travel restrictions against China may have delayed the spread of COVID-19, but more so in nations that also use that time to reduce community spread of the virus. Many nations, however, may not have done so.
The Chinese government first reported “cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology” to the World Health Organization on Dec. 31, 2019. A week later, the new virus responsible for the disease outbreak was identified. Less than 100 days later, we no longer live in the world we woke up to on New Year’s Day.
We have now reached a critical period in the response to the coronavirus pandemic that has unfolded around the world in that short period. Most governments seem to be constantly lagging a few weeks behind the curve in their reactions to the crisis. Few can take much pride in how they have handled it so far.
As a result, public confidence is suffering, with trust and goodwill beginning to vanish before our eyes.
The political and economic measures taken to revive our economy following the Corona crisis need to ensure long-term resilience of the system. Strengthening local communities will be the key to achieving this objective, says Dirk Vansintjan.
Over the coming weeks, EU leaders will be working on a plan to help rebuild the economy after the crisis brought about by the Corona virus. In a meeting among Heads of State last week, European Council President Charles Michel emphasized the need to “come up with a proposal to ensure we are able to cope with this crisis and to ensure the stability of the EU”.
The current situation is putting our society to a vital test: Are we equipped to develop responses to this crisis that will ensure the long-term stability of our societies?