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  • Writer's pictureJohn Foulis

Newsletter 17th May 2020

Updated: May 18, 2020

A selection of the finest stories from the week



I thought you said it was over?


Rockstars



Just as in WWII some were said to have had a good war, some people are having a good crisis. Amongst them are the health minister of Kerala State in India, and the Peruvian finance minister.



Your granny was right...



...when she told you it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good. Upsides of the corona virus include schadenfreude at the agonies of the seriously wealthy, and the opportunity to troll the French. Let's face it, no matter how serious the crisis, that should never be passed up.


Meanwhile we can all be envious of the (ex-)director general of the WTO. Instead of conscientiously hanging on to see out his term in a thankless role, he's admitted he's not up to it and it would be better if someone else had a go. I don't think he's going to let the door hit him on his way out.



Courting disaster



The German Constitutional Court threw a spanner in the ECB's work, which may be yet another threat to the euro itself.


Meanwhile the markets reckon the Fed will be unable to avoid doing what Trump wants, again. Like he's an economics genius. Or something.


It's almost as if rather than being the solid and eternal guardians of the financial system, central banks are contingent and fragile. Adam Tooze reckons we need to recast the system once more. And he's been building up to this idea.


In the least surprising news of the week, free money makes people feel better.



Where did I put that email?



You might not have given Nigeria much thought recently but it's not having a good time. It's highly dependent on the currently volatile oil price, still has a serious insurgency in the north of the country, and now it's running out of dollars.


The importance of being Jair



Whenever somebody loses two things, Oscar Wilde gets an outing. Well this week Bolsonaro was careless with another health minister.


Not that he probably cares anyway. As far as he's concerned, his own policies are a hoax.



Born Vlad



Another bad week for mastermind Putin's attempts at world domination. The US is going to do all it can to ensure he can't wash his hands of demented madman Assad. He's getting blocked in the 21st century trade route that climate change is gifting him. To make himself feel better he's decided he's just not having the corona virus and will wish it away.



Never say you don't know



You know how it is. Some news agency phones you up asking for your informed view on what the future will be like. You don't have any more idea than anyone else so you cobble together some thoughts and hope they'll do. But seriously, you could get better than this in your local pub. Well not now obviously, but you know what I mean.


Of course those that have been peddling social analysis find that lockdown on proves how right they were.


What things might really be like is taking shape in Asia.



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