Covid-19 testing is a major public good

TO TRACK the presence of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, the United States is relying heavily on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) live virus testing at massive scale. In the most common version of this approach, samples - nasal swabs or saliva - are sent to relatively large...

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A Waze to show where viruses are, and where they're heading

COVID-19 infection rates are rising in much of the United States. Even if the US can prevent outbreaks in the South and Southwest from worsening during the summer, experience with other coronaviruses counsels preparation for a potentially major onslaught during the fall. We know what to expect...

Saving most vulnerable people from Covid-19

IN MASSACHUSETTS, which has a population of close to seven million, over 6,000 people have died from Covid-19 since the beginning of March. But one relatively small group - including about 38,000 people, or 0.5 per cent of the state's population - accounts for 60 per cent of these deaths. This...

From lockdown to lock-in

AT FIRST glance, Covid-19 seemed to be a shared global experience, in terms of both the incidence of the disease and how countries responded. But now it has become clear that countries are diverging significantly in terms of strategy and outcomes. This means that as the world exits from...

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Welcome to the post-virus world

WE LIVE now in the post-virus world. For the United States, passage into this world came suddenly, less than a month ago. The world as we knew it before the arrival of Covid-19 has gone. It is never coming back.

PERSPECTIVE

Robust R&D, healthcare systems paramount in virus fight

THE emergence of Covid-19, a new coronavirus, is a tragic public-health emergency. The disease, one hopes, will be brought under control quickly, but the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is already warning that economic growth in China may slow.

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Inequality and economic growth can no longer be separated

IN PREVIOUS eras, top economic decision-makers considered inequality to be distinct from the main concerns of macroeconomic policy. Since the Industrial Revolution, the general view has been that, on average, people want higher incomes and a larger number of good jobs - and that the best way to...

How much longer can billionaires decide political outcomes?

THREE primary factors determine economic prosperity: human capital (the population's education and skills); physical capital (the amount and quality of physical infrastructure, including machines, buildings, energy and transport); and technology (scientific knowledge and its application).

US billionaire problem worsening

OUR billionaire problem is getting worse. Any market-oriented economy creates opportunities for new fortunes to be built, including through innovation. More innovation is likely to take place where fewer rules encumber entrepreneurial creativity. Some of this creativity may lead to processes and...

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Is the global dollar at risk of being sidelined?

SINCE the end of World War II, the United States dollar has been at the heart of international finance and trade. Over the decades, and despite the many ups and downs of the global economy, the dollar retained its role as the world's favourite reserve asset. When times are tough or uncertainty...

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We need a more inclusive form of capitalism

THE United States Business Roundtable, an organisation of CEOs of large US companies, recently issued a statement that caused quite a stir in some circles. Rather than focusing primarily or exclusively on maximising shareholder value, America's corporate titans argued, companies should attach...

COMMENTARY

From 'watch your back' to 'cover your a**': It's a changed world

THE best way to think about the United Kingdom's political predicament and presumed imminent exit from the European Union (EU) is to read the Slough House spy novel series by Mick Herron. (The sixth installment, Joe Country, just appeared).