kaletsky71_ALBERTO PIZZOLIAFP via Getty Images_spaincoronavirus Alberto Pizzoli/AFP via Getty Images

Averting Economic Disaster Is the Easy Part

Based on China’s experience with COVID-19, the fiscal cost of comprehensive compensation for lost income could reach 10% of annual GDP, and as much as 25% of GDP in the US and Europe if the epidemic turns out to be worse there, which now looks likely. These may seem like mind-boggling sums, but they can be financed in several ways.

LONDON – Contrary to my initial expectations, the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus around the world is not following the relatively benign trajectories experienced in China outside of Wuhan and Hubei province, and in South Korea, Singapore, and the rest of Asia. Instead, across Europe – and very likely in the United States, too – the spread of the virus increasingly resembles the path it took in Hubei.