March 20, 2020 By TheNewYorkNews
Rich nations pump money aid into battered economy as coronavirus outbreak spreads worldwide
With over 236,000 infections and more than 9,700 deaths, the epidemic has stunned the world and drawn comparisons with painful periods such as World War Two, the 2008 financial crisis and the 1918 Spanish flu.
U.N. chief Antonio Guterres warned that a global recession, “perhaps of record dimensions”, was a near certainty.
“This is a moment that demands coordinated, decisive, and innovative policy action from the world’s leading economies,” Guterres told reporters via a video conference. “We are in an unprecedented situation and the normal rules no longer apply.”
The world’s richest nations poured unprecedented aid into the global economy on Thursday as coronavirus cases ballooned in the new epicenter Europe, with the number of deaths in Italy outstripping those in mainland China, where the virus originated.
Tourism and airlines have been particularly battered, as the world’s citizens hunker down to minimize contact and curb the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 respiratory illness. But few sectors have been spared by a crisis threatening a lengthy global recession.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he expected closure of the United States-Canada border to come into effect overnight on Friday. The U.S. State Department is expected to urge Americans not to travel abroad at all.
Markets have suffered routs unseen since the 2008 financial debacle, with investors rushing to the U.S. dollar as a safe haven. Wall Street tried to bounce back on Thursday. The benchmark S&P 500 swung into positive territory after falling as much as 3.3% and was up about 1%. U.S. oil prices rose 20%.
Policymakers in the United States, Europe and Asia have slashed interest rates and opened liquidity taps to try to stabilize economies hit by quarantined consumers, broken supply chains, disrupted transport and paralyzed businesses.