COVID-19

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    Technology must be part of the recovery, but it isn’t the solution

Technology must be part of the recovery, but it isn’t the solution

The coming months and years are going to be among the most challenging in our lifetime for our economy, our society, and many of us individually. Problems of unemployment, low productivity, declining competitiveness and low innovation will be hard to resolve; harm will be inflicted on people’s working and personal lives. The post-coronavirus labour market is going to be […]

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    The impact of Covid-19 on human resource management: avoiding generalisations

The impact of Covid-19 on human resource management: avoiding generalisations

While there is now a great deal of discussion concerning the impact of Covid-19 on and implications for working practices and human resource management (HRM), much of the content and comment on these topics tends to be of a general nature, offering observations and/or guidance that seek to define what a ‘new normal’ might be. For example, that remote […]

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    Lars Rebien Sørensen: It makes no sense for countries to develop vaccines individually

Lars Rebien Sørensen: It makes no sense for countries to develop vaccines individually

Although it can be difficult to predict exactly how the next health crisis will impact us, there are valuable lessons to be learned from the current one. Lessons which should be brought to the table in future political discussions across the world. Because it is clear that politicians and other decision-makers now look at our preparedness and response systems […]

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    How will Covid-19 shape the future economic role of the British state?

How will Covid-19 shape the future economic role of the British state?

When the pandemic has passed into history, what will be its implications for the role of the state in our economy? Some think it will (or should be) the replacement of one -ism with another. But to see the issues we face next through the prisms of an -ism could prove more of a prison than a roadmap. Ours […]

Supply chains need to develop immunity to natural disasters

Let me introduce you to a new concept, “supply chain immunity”. Immunity, not resilience. Resilience is often one of the first things to emerge in any debate on how we arrived at the point in which we are today in the Covid-19 pandemic, especially as it applies to supply chain management. Supply chain resilience generally means the ability to […]

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    UK investment fund for high-growth firms is a step in the right direction

UK investment fund for high-growth firms is a step in the right direction

Support packages for innovative firms are emerging as second-wave policy tools during the Covid-19 crisis. Following similar efforts in France and Germany, the UK government unveiled a £1B support package for start-ups, scale-ups, and research and development firms on 20 April, after having launched its main business support programs in March.

The new UK support package includes a novel £250M […]

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    Bank loss provisioning rules: a convenient scapegoat in the Covid-19 crisis?

Bank loss provisioning rules: a convenient scapegoat in the Covid-19 crisis?

As a consequence of the upcoming economic crisis triggered by the Covid-19 situation, US and European banks are expected to book more than $50bn of charges on bad loans in the first quarter of 2020. The accounting rules that dictate the way banks provision for loan losses are crucial because they directly affect the ability of banks to continue […]

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    The simplest way to unlock $4.65 trillion in liquidity for firms

The simplest way to unlock $4.65 trillion in liquidity for firms

Governments around the world are wondering how to expediently put money in the hands of the millions of firms struggling in the health crisis. Look no further: just pay your bills on time. If governments paid all receipts due to their contractors within 45 days, some $4.65 trillion in fresh liquidity would enter the private sector. To put this […]

Inclusión virtual durante el cierre sanitario por Covid-19

En marzo de 2020, como parte de la respuesta a COVID-19, empresas en el reino unido hicieron la transición de espacios de trabajos físicos a virtuales, con el tiempo limitado para la planeación o sin él. Un patrón similar ocurrió alrededor del mundo con diferentes fechas de inicio. Hoy en día, la mayoría de organizaciones han avanzado más allá […]

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    The Covid crisis will delay but not derail the energy transition

The Covid crisis will delay but not derail the energy transition

The world is grappling with an unprecedented health crisis that has triggered the worst economic recession of the century. Be it manufacturing, supply chain, exports or project execution, the entire business ecosystem experienced a sudden collapse. Energy demand, which is directly linked to economic activity, also contracted. But not surprisingly, the great lockdown had a more dramatic impact on […]

Pandemics and big data tyrannies

Computer security threats can make the internet a dangerous place. Computer viruses (such as Stuxnet and CryptoLocker) can quickly spread throughout a network, infect your device, and take over your virtual identity. A virus can send emails on your behalf, make bank withdrawals, post a private picture on your favourite social media platform, or share your latest-greatest dance moves […]

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    Covid and climate – building a strong and sustainable recovery

Covid and climate – building a strong and sustainable recovery

The UK and the world have been transformed by the Covid crisis. Beyond its tragic human costs and loss of life, the pandemic and the necessary lockdowns have resulted in a sharp contraction of aggregate demand, supply disruptions, loss of revenues for many service sector businesses and unprecedented increases in unemployment.

The demand, output and employment impacts are expected to […]

How is Covid-19 affecting businesses in the UK?

The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown have highlighted the need for real-time data to understand the spread of the disease, identify vulnerable groups and design policies to mitigate the health and economic fallout of the crisis. While several new efforts to collect individual data are being made (Adams et al., 2020), data on businesses is more limited.

A relatively under-utilised source […]

How we count the number of Covid-19 deaths matters

The number of Covid-19 deaths by country is widely used by governments and the media as a vital measure of the pandemic. A typical example is the slide below used for many weeks at the daily UK government briefings.
Figure 1. Global death comparison (UK government’s cabinet office briefing rooms chart)

Notes: Countries are aligned by stage of the outbreak. Day 0 […]

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    Covid-19: overcoming obstacles to virtual inclusion for City of London workers

Covid-19: overcoming obstacles to virtual inclusion for City of London workers

In March 2020, as part of the COVID-19 response, firms in the UK made the transition from physical workspaces to virtual ones, with limited or no planning time. A similar pattern happened across the globe with different start dates. Today, most organisations have moved beyond the initial hurdle of shifting their workforce to a virtual format, and are now […]

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    Large economic benefits justify small-firm loan guarantees in the Covid-19 crisis

Large economic benefits justify small-firm loan guarantees in the Covid-19 crisis

Loan guarantees are a main policy response during the Covid-19 crisis. These guarantees were also popular during the Great Recession, but their demand from businesses in this crisis is unprecedented. The relatively worse economic conditions undoubtedly explain much of current demand, but also possibly highlight the differences in the guarantees’ design for each crisis. Will the new guarantees be […]

The future of apprenticeships is in the balance

The unprecedented economic upheaval brought by the Covid-19 pandemic raises several concerns for the functioning of the English apprenticeship system, particularly in the medium-term as economic and social activity resumes.

Even in normal times, firms with apprentices may fail: usually disruption is minimised by reallocating apprentices to other firms. But economy-wide downturns exacerbate this problem because of the risk that […]

Nine policy taboos overturned by Covid-19

An economy is defined as a “circular flow of income”. One person’s spending is another person’s income. National income is the sum of everyone’s spending and loosely speaking, growth comes from increased velocity of that spending.

Social distancing or lockdown is a deliberate interruption in that flow of income. A circuit-breaker for the virus is necessarily a circuit-breaker for the […]

Covid-19 pandemic: now is the time for emergent leadership

The crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic, unprecedented in modern times, is having a devastating impact on lives and livelihoods. At the time of writing, 4.5bn people around the world are in “lockdown” – an emergency protocol of forced self-isolation and social distancing to avoid a high rate of transmission. This while our medical and scientific community scrambles to provide […]

April 30th, 2020|COVID-19, Leadership|1 Comment|
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    Why we can’t go back to ‘normal’: 5 appeals for a sustainable post-pandemic economy

Why we can’t go back to ‘normal’: 5 appeals for a sustainable post-pandemic economy

All over the world, calls for strategies to return to a normal life after the Covid-19 crisis are emerging. Due to the severe economic cuts and the terrifying losses of lives and livelihoods, ideas to transform the economic system towards sustainability run the danger of becoming drowned by those voices pressing for a fast return to the pre-crisis economy. […]