In May, Nicholas (not his real name), 27, received an email from the food and beverage (F&B) company where he was employed as a quality control officer. It was during the circuit breaker measures which saw many businesses stop operations, and he and his colleagues had gone on no-pay leave.
“We have nothing to sell besides physical touch.” The thought jarred Amber Briggle awake some nights. It kept her from eating in the first week of the Covid-19 shutdown when she lost six pounds fretting over the sudden collapse of the business she’d built up her “entire adult life.”
Over the past 30 years, Asia-Pacific megacities have become powerhouses of economic growth – centres of prosperity on which their respective countries often depend. As governments across the region look to contain the COVID-19 pandemic through lockdown measures of varying intensity, what will be the impact on these critical economic hubs?
In September 2006, Nouriel Roubini told the International Monetary Fund what it didn’t want to hear. Standing before an audience of economists at the organization’s headquarters, the New York University professor warned that the U.S. housing market would soon collapse — and, quite possibly, bring the global financial system down with it. Real-estate values had been propped up by unsustainably shady lending practices, Roubini explained. Once those prices came back to earth, millions of underwater homeowners would default on their mortgages, trillions of dollars worth of mortgage-backed securities would unravel, and hedge funds, investment banks, and lenders like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could sink into insolvency.