Bill English spoke to Jarden on the COVID-19 crisis. I’m summarising it here as I think it is such a quality analysis it needs a wider audience.
Some key points are:
- Government needs a feedback loop so it can adjust policies that are not working
- Kiwis arriving home still a major risk due to lack of screening
- Caregivers working for people in care at home need protective gear
- Need an exit strategy for the lockdown. Medical experts have said might be needed for 12 – 13 weeks.
- Risk management is important – some risk has been transferred from private sector to Crown’s balance sheet.
- Unwise to assume central banks can control the global debt market for long
- This crisis will change the economy permanently – won’t just return to normal in a few months or even years
- Governing parties benefit in a crisis as they have saturated media coverage.
- This is not a financial markets crisis so can’t be served by financial markets intervention. This is a “real economy” crisis.
- No corporate big or small is safe when revenues drop 30%
- Government will need to rebuild business confidence which may mean having to do things that don’t sit well with their core beliefs
- Government should have to peel back some regulations as the regulations are a “nice to have” vs economic survival
- Infrastructure spending is needed but Kiwibuild shows Government struggles with execution. Also lack of inwards migration may make it difficult to step up.
Great to see someone thinking beyond the next few weeks.