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Uncertainty for Europe as bailout talks fall short


Steve Ward, News Editor
8 Apr 2020, 5:59 p.m.


Talks between European nations and their financiers over a coronavirus bailout worth an estimated €540bn (£476bn) fell short yesterday, with ministers promising a return to talks on Thursday.

On Tuesday, nineteen Eurozone finance ministers had a virtual gathering with plans to mitigate a resultant economic disaster. Sharing the crisis debt equally amongst member nations through a “coronabond” or “eurobond” was an option on many minds. This though raised concerns, particularly amongst the more wealthy member nations. The concern is, that rather than promoting growth, hard won economic progress will shrivel away in a process of levelling down.

As the Eurozone seeks to put its own economic plans in place, many others around the world want a global effort that goes much further. G20 leaders at a virtual meeting on March 26th committed, “to do whatever it takes and to use all available policy tools to minimise the economic and social damage from the pandemic, restore global growth, maintain market stability and strengthen resilience”.

The United Nations is demanding a global economic response to the global pandemic. In a report on March 30th, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development sighted commodity prices which, with the exception of gold, have generally fallen during crisis. It called on advanced manufacturing nations to fuel growth by supporting emerging nations. These are often more reliant on commodity exports and may be hardest hit by the pandemic.

In the same way that the Eurozone is considering a eurobond, many in the United Nations are calling on the the International Monetary Fund to use its Special Drawing Right (SDR) reserves as a loan to support the emerging economies through this crisis.

At the current count globally there are 1,447,618 Coronavirus cases, 83,401 deaths and 309,147 recovered. The figures continue to grow and the individual pain and suffering are incalculable but despite this tragedy there are stark economic calculations governments everywhere must make.

To avoid an unprecedented economic crisis, individual governments, the Eurozone and the United Nations are advocating or actively now making more and more money available. It is hoped that a fast response will save many lives, businesses and markets, however the inevitable consequence of creating money must be a fall in the value of national fiat currencies.

This makes the case stronger for safe haven investments like gold, and with a currently supply shortage due to mine and refinery closures, the price of gold could climb much higher than the current price of $1,650.19 per ounce.

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