How does Europe fit in? Even before the pandemic struck, Europe was struggling to redefine its role in a world where the US is a more fickle ally and China is a more assertive challenger. In particular, Brussels has been trying to style itself as a global leader in the responsible regulation of tech companies. In some ways, the pandemic has boosted those ambitions: as governments use contact tracing apps and facial recognition to help stop the spread, Brussels regulators are paying close attention. They're also cracking down on misinformation about the coronavirus. But first the EU has a bigger challenge to address. Faced with the worst economic crisis in its history, it has to prove to a rising chorus of (euro)skeptics that it is capable of cushioning the blow, and equitably rebooting economic growth across the Union. The European Commission, fearing an economic and even political fragmentation of the bloc, has unveiled an unprecedented 750 billion euro coronavirus rescue plan -- but not all member states are in favor.
The global race is on to develop a vaccine against COVID-19. While it usually takes many years to develop and widely distribute vaccines, scientists around the world are now trying to get one ready within the next year — an unprecedented time frame. The race has generated fierce competition among countries, as everyone wants to develop a vaccine on their home turf first, not only for prestige, but also to get their citizens at the front of the line for the shots when they are available. Still, while the scientific world is now rife with geopolitical rivalries over the COVID-19 vaccine, there's also a lot of international collaboration going on behind the scenes. Here's a look at the vaccines currently in Phase II of the clinical trial process, meaning they are being tested on hundreds of people of various age groups to determine their effectiveness and safety. If they pass this stage they move to wider testing in Phase III, the final step before approval.
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Lockdowns and social distancing restrictions have brought much of the global economy to a halt over the past few months, causing unprecedented levels of joblessness and throwing international commerce into disarray. As the virus continued to spread throughout the first quarter of the year (there are now cases in at least 188 countries and territories) the IMF updated its original growth forecast for 2020, and the predictions are grim. The world's largest economies – China, the US and the Euro area – are set to experience massive year-on-year contraction. But there's a silver lining: The IMF says that there are signs of a promising economic recovery for these economic regions in 2021. Here's a look at the numbers.
Hard Numbers: Vietnam on the rise, China delays developing countries' debt, Americans wary of Chinese power, European woes
5: At a time when most national economies are reeling, one country is faring very well. After responding to the pandemic early and quickly, Vietnam, one of the fastest growing economies in the world, has recorded no deaths from COVID-19 and even is slated to grow by 5 percent this year. Meanwhile, large economies like the US, Japan, and Australia have officially entered recessions.
As a new economic and market cycle gets underway, we release our Mid-Year Outlook, 'From Fear to Prosperity: Investing in a New Economic Cycle'.
We expect a more rapid rebound than many others do. But just as the COVID-19 collapse is no ordinary recession, this will be no ordinary recovery. We believe the new cycle calls for a new approach to investing. While beaten-down bargains are less widespread, we identify markets with greater rebound potential. We also update long-term asset class return estimates and outline important allocation shifts needed to seek diversification in today's world of very low interest rates.
China and the United States — geopolitical challenger and defending champion— were on a collision course long before COVID-19 took hold. The rivalry has been building for a generation and has intensified in the past three years.
China's President Xi Jinping grabbed Washington's attention in 2017 when he announced a "new era" in which China would move "closer to [global] center stage" and offer "a new option for other countries." That is, an alternative to US leadership in the world. President Donald Trump upped the ante with a declaration of trade war on China.