JRJ：EU leaders have finally reached a deal on a 750 billion plan to reconstruct the region's pandemic-stricken economies. How do you assess this proposal considering its detailed operation？
In general this is a positive development, since the EU-27 managed to put together a package to help the most stricken countries. However, it is disappointing that the allocation of grants (EC proposal 500 bill) was reduced to 390 bill, because the most affected countries all have already very high debt ratios and cannot take on more debt. For them grants are the preferred option.
JRJ：Do you think that governments in the United States are dealing with this economic crisis in an effective way?
The US has put up around 2 trill $ in rescue packages. However, this is mainly general business cycle stimulus, not directed towards public health, but rather general demand stimulus. There is little coordination between the federal government and the states.
JRJ：Many people are worried about decoupling, protectionism and isolationism in the post-pandemic era. Last month, Ray Dalio said that the principles of autarky and tension would be our future environment. Do you agree with him? Will globalization reverse in the future?
It is my opinion that global cooperation, especially with respect to solving global problems, is a good thing. During the past years there have been reversals in cooperation, to the detriment of the citizens of the world. Cooperation would be required with respect to climate change, the pandemic, stabilizing the global economy, fighting terrorism and money laundering, tax evasion, and many more. It is my contention that globalization is in reverse gear, with countries pursuing self-sufficiency, and promoting their own interests over global welfare.
JRJ：Do you think that global economy will be able to recover in the third quarter of this year?
No, I do not think so. The nearly universal global lockdown has damaged the supply side of many economies, they cannot be turned back on like a light switch. Many businesses cannot survive the lockdown, global value chains are disrupted, many workers are thrown out of work and will not easily regain jobs. The economic crisis will last well into the year 2021, and even then the global economy will not reach its 2019 GDP level.
JRJ：What are the priorities and difficulties for global economy?
The global economy needs to reorient towards a digitized "green", i.e. carbon-free economy. The effect of climate change are visible everywhere, e.g. the melting of the Siberian permafrost areas, of glaciers, of the arctic; the droughts in Africa and South Asia, the floodings and landslides, the ensuing migrations out of water-scarce countries. The effects of only cost-efficiency-driven outsourcings and supply chains have turned the world populations against globalization, thus environmental and social considerations must take precedence of cost efficiency.
JRJ：Any advice for the policymakers and investors?
I have no advice for investors, since I feel that their interests have led the world economy into this unsustainable direction, both socially (average wages falling, working conditions deteriorating) and environmentally. Policy makers must stand up to vested interests who have reaped large profits at the expense of the environment and society.