The United States has been devastated by COVID-19, enduring more deaths from the virus than any other country. Domestic markets have suffered sporadically, but surprisingly, not all of them. After a brief pause in early spring 2020, the real-estate market has soared and broken 15-year sales records. The main factors propelling these high home prices are low interest rates and short supply, creating a sellers’ market even during a pandemic.
Crises bring out the best in humans, and that has certainly been evident during the COVID-crisis, especially with banking, which has risen to the challenge more successfully than many expected. Sustaining the momentum post-pandemic will be critical, as economies struggle to recover. To remain robust and profitable, banks will need to pay particular attention to key areas such as transforming costs and reimagining customer relations, aided by talent and innovations.
As calamitous as the pandemic’s effect has been on economies worldwide, in many cases, it has only fueled concerning issues that pre-dated it. COVID-19 will eventually be consigned to our past, but its effects will linger on for decades. What are the four questions we need to ask ourselves now to shape the best plan of action toward economic healing, sustained recovery, innovation, cooperation and prosperity while avoiding potential landmines?
2020 wasn’t a good year for shareholders scheduled to receive bank dividends. Regulators swiftly put a halt to dividend payments from banks to ward off a pandemic-induced crisis, requiring lenders to conserve capital and distribute it as needed to consumers and businesses. The dividend pipeline is slowly reopening as confidence grows in the banks’ stability, but it may be a while before shareholders receive their fair shares of the profits.
“For the first time since the pandemic began, there is now hope for a brighter future.” That was the assessment given by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) on December 1 following the news of progress being made with coronavirus vaccines.
Is the current cure, in the form of lockdowns, for the COVID-19 plague worse than the pernicious virus itself? This hotly debated question has vocal supporters on both sides, as the pandemic continues to attack lives and livelihoods worldwide. Many believe that preserving human health and economic health need not be at odds but can both be achieved in the short term until a permanent solution for the virus arrives.
The COVID-19 crisis has engulfed all continents, but Latin America and the Caribbean has suffered more than most, coping with the high toll of lost human life and bankrupt businesses that once thrived. Banks cannot escape the inevitable collateral damage to their balance sheets, especially when government supports end. To avoid a financial crisis and ensure a return to economic health, good policies are needed to promote financial stability and recovery.
The global economy is caught up in a vicious spiral of worsening financial conditions spawned by the pandemic. Many developing economies were lumbered with high debt loads before COVID-19, but the crisis has greatly aggravated their crippling debt situations. As millions of people teeter on the brink of extreme poverty levels, what are the three weakest gaps in the international debt architecture, and how can they best be patched up?
The Covid crisis has shown that the reform of international financial regulation in recent years has not corrected the procyclicality of the financial system. On the contrary, this problem has worsened as a result of the new accounting standards. This article explores the reasons for this and possible policy measures to address the problem, including a more rules-based approach to macroprudential policies and a rebalancing between countercyclical and structural buffers in favor of the former.
The last decade or so has seen concerns grow significantly over the long-term health of the dollar. Those concerns have only grown in urgency since the coronavirus arrived on the shores of the United States in February, triggering a nationwide shutdown of the world’s biggest economy.