By debating the size of their balance sheets, central banks are showing for only the second time since 2008 that they may be worrying about our addiction to QE. QE can be credited with unblocking the system in 2009 and keeping it oiled in 2020. But, by prolonging distortions and widening disparities, it looks too-imperfect-a tool to sustain. The road to ‘policy normal’ as gauged by historical standards is likely to be cut off. The frustration for central banks remains that recoveries since 2009 have been largely output driven with insufficient demand inflation to trigger their usual reaction-functions. Maintaining the reflation trade will be predicated to a large extent on further job gains and/or stimulus, especially fiscally. But, with recoveries on track, the opposite looks more likely.
Covid-19 continues to pose challenges to health systems around the world and has impeded targets set by UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3, which seeks to promote healthy lives and wellbeing for all.
Tough new US and EU regulations, and pressures related to the cost of living and the Covid-19 pandemic, are forcing companies to scrutinise their supply chains. In the latest ESG Materiality newsletter, we look at the implications for emerging markets.