How is the Davos World Economic Forum involved in the coronavirus pandemic?
The Davos World Economic Forum (WEF) is a premier forum for governments, global corporations and international entrepreneurs. Founded in 1971 by engineer and economist Klaus Schwab, the WEF describes its mission as “shaping global, regional and industry agendas” and “improving the state of the world”. According to its website, “moral and intellectual integrity is at the heart of everything it does.”
In an age of high energy costs and constricted supply, inflation and unemployment rose together. Forced to choose, governments and central banks decided to prioritise controlling inflation. Western governments made it harder for trade unions to strike, curtailing the ability of workers to demand higher wages. The US Federal Reserve then administered a severe monetary shock to the world economy. In driving interest rates up to exceptionally high levels, Paul Volcker, the chair of the Federal Reserve, accelerated the de-industrialisation of most Western economies.
From Security Magazine, 29 January 2020, citing the Maplecroft Civil Unrest Index.
A quarterly Civil Unrest Index reveals that over the past year 47 jurisdictions have witnessed a significant uptick in protests, which intensified during the last quarter of 2019.
This includes locations as diverse as Hong Kong, Chile, Nigeria, Sudan, Haiti and Lebanon.During this period, Chile and Hong Kong have plummeted in the ranking of 198 countries, from 91st to 6th and 117th to 26th highest risk respectively, says the Maplecroft Civil Unrest Index. Other hotspots, including Nigeria (ranked 8th), Lebanon (13th) and Bolivia (21st), have also recorded some of the biggest negative swings in the index.
In the first half of 2020, responses to the COVID-19 pandemic led to steep declines in global petroleum demand and to volatile crude oil markets. The second half of the year was characterized by relatively stable prices as demand began to recover. As petroleum demand fell and U.S. crude oil inventories increased, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil traded at negative prices on April 20, the first time the price for the WTI futures contract fell to less than zero since trading began in 1983. The next day, Brent crude oil, another global crude oil price benchmark, fell to $9.12 per barrel (b), its lowest daily price in decades.