Browsing: Michael Roberts


The ’emerging’ market slump

by michael roberts Forecasts of a global slump in the rest of 2020 are coming in droves from mainstream economists – it’s now the consensus that there will be a contraction in global real GDP in at least two consecutive quarters (Q1 and Q2), in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic and the ‘lock down’ in response. The International Institute of Finance (IIF), the research body of international banks, now reckons that the US will contract by annualised 10% by end-June and Europe by 18%. Deutsche Bank economists reckon that the first half of 2020 will experience the worst slump since…


The Budget – first thoughts.

Michael Roberts on the Budget Too little too late Rishi Sunak, the ex-hedge fund UK Chancellor, has presented the first budget of the Johnson government.  The first thing is that the government is increasing spending by £30bn this fiscal year (of which £12bn is for handling the coronavirus outbreak) and plans to spend £175bn more than previously in this parliament. The government’s policy decisions increase the budget deficit by 0.9 per cent of GDP on average over the next five years and add £125 billion (4.6 per cent of GDP) to public sector net debt by 2024-25.  All this borrowing…


Coronavirus and capitalism

Michael Roberts on the implications for the world economy of the Coronavirus epidemic Disease, debt and depression As I write the coronavirus epidemic (not yet declared pandemic) continues to spread.  Now there are more new cases outside China than within, with a particular acceleration in South Korea, Japan and Iran.  Up to now more than 80,000 people infected in China alone, where the outbreak originated. The number of people who have been confirmed to have died as a result of the virus has now surpassed 3,200. As I said in my first post on the outbreak, “this infection is characterized by human-to-human…