Coronavirus, aftermath and possible change of regimes-III


Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

“So far, it appears that the U.S. isn’t threatened by a fundamental fissure that will crack and wrack the economy for years to come, like the housing bubble that caused the Great Recession. “This doesn’t seem to be another Great Depression or Great Recession,” economist and Nobel laureate Robert Shiller told Fortune. “The story isn’t the same. It seems to be a virus story and a stock market story, not like the housing story of 2008.”

“But in some ways, this crisis is more serious than 2008. That’s because the early devastation hit much faster, and caused far more damage, than in 2008. To prevent an economic contagion that parallels the virus’s rampage, the federal government needs to provide emergency funding for beleaguered businesses at a speed, and size, never before achieved. The paramount threat isn’t the kind of ticking time bomb—the subprime mortgage crash—that caused 2008. It’s the danger that America’s credit markets, already under severe stress, freeze up, sending cash-strapped companies into bankruptcy and causing cascading layoffs that deprive workers of cash, triggering more failures and layoffs. If the Fed, Treasury, and Congress don’t deliver a gigantic package within days making the government the lender of last resort, America could experience another Great Recession even in the absence of a ticking time bomb like the subprime craze”.

Political impact of the Coronavirus

Geoeconomics and country risk experts have insisted on the potential erosion of political and economic sovereignty that may affect some already enfeebled countries like Italy: Edward Luttwak has called it “the virus of truth” (interview with La7 TV aired on March 10, 2020). M. Nicolas Firzli, director of the World Pensions Council (WPC) and advisory board member at the World Bank Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF), refers to it as “the Greater Financial Crisis”, that will “bring to the surface pent-up financial and geopolitical dysfunctions … [many] national economies will suffer as a result, and their political sovereignty itself may be severely eroded.

The Iranian regime is already under tremendous pressure following the massive spread of coronavirus, while dozens of members of the Iranian legislature and judiciary, as well as hundreds of the members of the Revolutionary Guard and an unknown number of former top government officials and influential clerics have died from the disease. The spread of coronavirus has already generated massive anger within the people, which has resulted in questions about the future survival of the regime.

According to a number of reports, the Iranian regime has been hiding the exact figure of the affected and dead people.

A similar situation is prevailing in Pakistan and India. According to Indian media reports, more than 30 percent of the total population in India has become unemployed ever-since a lockdown was enforced in the country, and the unemployment rate will further be increased unless the Indian government can effectively contain and finally eliminate this pandemic.

India is going to enter into a massive recession followed by famine during or immediately after the coronavirus pandemic, which would totally crash its economic backbone. Experts say, for a country like India, any such situation would ultimately lead towards revolts within its states, and finally may lead towards splitting of the country and emergence of newer republics from within the states.

With the law income group heading towards acute financial crisis, social crimes would reach to an alarming level through India, which will hamper its tourism industry.

The Indonesian economy, like all economies throughout the world, suddenly finds itself in a precarious position. Even once the COVID-19 pandemic has been contained, GDP growth is obviously going to grind to a halt. Millions of people will likely have to make their way back into the workforce. Businesses will face a long road to recovery after having been starved of revenue for an as yet unknown period of time. Indonesian manufacturers will find a very soft global market in which to export their goods and services.

But, according to economic experts, despite the prediction of a massive economic recession in most of the countries in the world, Chinese economy is going to witness a tremendous boom during the post-coronavirus era. Similar advantageous situation will emerge for countries like Bangladesh. This pandemic will rattle the economy of the western nations and for the next many years, people in the United States, the European Union and Britain will not have enough resources for buying luxury items. Most of these countries will look for cheaper goods, which can only be available from China. On the other hand, Bangladesh can find unimagineable export opportunity for its readymade garments and textile items, medicine, ceramic, and agricultural products.

However, most Covid-19 patients in Bangladesh are concentrated in Capital Dhaka and its neighboring city Narayanganj. Most countries, like China, have taken measures to minimize the spread of the disease in the Capital to minimize economic damage in the aftermath of the pandemic. However, for Bangladesh the epicenter of the pandemic is its Capital. In the first few days after the first cases were detected in Bangladesh, most people, especially returnees from countries badly affected by the virus, did not maintain any form of social distancing or self-isolation which enabled the disease to spread rapidly in Dhaka.

Even now, many in Dhaka and Narayanganj are not obeying the city lockdowns. The unawareness of people in Italy when the country had still not entered level 4 transmission stage made it possible for the virus to spread rapidly there. According to WHO, more than 2 million people could die from the coronavirus in Bangladesh. The situation in Bangladesh demands that the Capital and its neighboring Narayanganj be immediately isolated from the rest of the country – like China did with Wuhan. The President of the Philippines has ordered shooting of anyone who disobeys lockdown regulations. Bangladesh might also need to take such extreme measures against people who are still not obeying government-enforced lockdowns for the sake of her 180 million people. If immediate actions are not taken, the situation in Bangladesh might turn out to be worse than what the WHO has predicted.

When this coronavirus pandemic will end?

The United Kingdom has already declared that this pandemic will not be gone before 2021. However, China has already controlled the spread of the pandemic within 4 months since the first case was detected. Death and infection rates are at decline in Italy, France and Spain. The infection curve might soon level out in these three countries. The infection rate in USA seems to have reached its peak and might soon hit the decline phase. Measures of strict regulations on intercountry movement and a total ban on international travel taken by many countries are now proving to be effective. If these restrictions can be maintained, statistical models suggest, the coronavirus could be gone from the world by as early as May 2020.

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is an internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning journalist and editor of Blitz


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