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This may be the end of Reagan-Thatcher libertarian wave, says American economist Larry Summers

Summers said the process of easing restrictions currently in place could begin around two to three weeks after a decline in the number of cases has been firmly established.

April 03, 2020 / 05:40 PM IST
Larry Summers (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Larry Summers (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Larry Summers, former Chief Economist at World Bank, is optimistic about post-pandemic recovery prospects. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Summers said that even though the current economic scenario may be grim, the recovery may be faster than what most people expect.

Talking about how bad the current healthcare crisis looks in terms of its economic implications, Summers says, "I think the peak to trough decline is overwhelmingly likely to be worse than anything I’ve seen by a significant margin. Something like a third of the workforce is not going to be able to work during the current period of social lockdown."

This he goes on to say is a huge loss in terms of "labour input and of output".

The coronavirus outbreak which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan has breached the international border of as many as 206 countries, with nearly a million people infected worldwide. The pandemic has also claimed about 48,000 lives across the globe, leaving governments scrambling to find ways to contain the spread. Amid all this, several countries have implemented partial or complete lockdowns in a bid to control the transmission of COVID-19.

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Summers, in his interview with the magazine, said that the process of easing restrictions currently in place could begin around two to three weeks after a decline in the number of cases has been firmly established.

He added that this needs to be done gradually and in the order of priority of activities that need to be allowed to resume.

A key point that he makes towards the ends of his interview is that when the current crisis ends, people will no longer reject the idea of a community. This will mark the end of the "Reagan-Thatcher libertarian wave".

He also envisions a change in public philosophy by the time the pandemic is over.

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Moneycontrol News
first published: Apr 3, 2020 05:35 pm

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