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US prepares for a more resilient Treasury market – leading macroeconomic influencers

Economists believe that no financial system could have withstood the pandemic shock without the extraordinary actions taken by the US Fed. However, making the Treasury market more resilient would reduce the damage to the financial system caused by future shocks.

John Ashcroft

John Ashcroft, a specialist in economics, corporate strategy and financial markets and a former US attorney general, shared an article on Covid-19 having fuelled a Treasury market meltdown in March 2020. While extreme stress maybe unavoidable, a report suggests ways to avoid more frequent dysfunction.

A group of former central bankers have warned that failing to address key market fragilities revealed by any crisis such as Covid-19 could weaken the trust in the market for US Treasuries, which is assumed to be the global risk-free asset.

The Group of 30 released an analysis of the problems that plagued the Treasury market in March 2020, along with ten recommendations for the Fed to avoid making similar interventions in future crises.

Ludovic Subran

Ludovic Subran, chief economist at Allianz, retweeted an article on Europe’s GDP to increase at its fastest rate in two decades, but there are fears of governments tightening fiscal policy too early. Senior economists like Katharina Utermöhl believe that the bloc has learnt from its mistakes after government spending cushioned the blow of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Dutch government’s decision to disallow live public events to take place in summer and the ensuing legal battle between the event organisers and the government reflect Europe’s improving outlook being held back by the recent resurgence of the virus. As the Delta variant gradually takes hold over the region, it accounts for about 90% of all of Europe’s new coronavirus infections.

Economists believe that the resurgence of the virus, coupled with factors such as supply chain bottlenecks, and the danger of governments cutting fiscal support too soon, are killing off the bloc’s recovery. Additionally, the post-pandemic boom will subside next year when people would have spent their pent-up incomes, but the governments would have reduced fiscal spending by then.

Matt Grudnoff

Matt Grudnoff, senior economist at the Australia Institute, retweeted an article on Australia’s emergency management minister Bridget McKenzie’s comments being rejected after stating that she would rather be on welfare in Australia than anywhere else in the world during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The minister has been called out after the federal government ramped up support for individuals affected by Greater Sydney’s extended Covid-19 lockdown, including extending support to some welfare recipients.

Consequently, individuals usually working 20 hours or more will get $750 per week and those working less will get $450. Meanwhile, welfare recipients who have lost eight hours of work a week or more because of the Covid restrictions will get a $200 top-up on their regular payments.

Senator McKenzie defended the exclusion of unemployed welfare recipients from disaster payments. She stated that the scheme was designed to support working people and argued that everyone else could access a strong and supportive welfare system instead.

Economists such as Grudnoff on the other hand maintain that Australia has had one of the least generous unemployment benefits in the developed world, ranking last among about 37 countries.

 

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