The big difference between the vaccine rollouts and the scale of the stimulus measures across the world could result in a K-shaped global economic recovery, with much of the developed world booming but poorer countries continuing to struggle. However the west, with its growing debt, is not out of the woods either. What does the global economy look like post-crisis?

Speakers

Joseph E. Stiglitz is an American economist and a professor at Columbia University. He is also the co-chair of the High-Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress at the OECD, and the chief economist of the Roosevelt Institute. A recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979), he is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank and a former member and chairman of the (US president’s) Council of Economic Advisers. In 2000, Stiglitz founded the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, a think tank on international development based at Columbia University. He has been a member of the Columbia faculty since 2001 and received that university’s highest academic rank (university professor) in 2003. In 2011 Stiglitz was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Known for his pioneering work on asymmetric information, Stiglitz’s work focuses on income distribution, risk, corporate governance, public policy, macroeconomics and globalization. He is the author of numerous books, and several bestsellers. His most recent titles are People, Power, and Profits, Rewriting the Rules of the European Economy, Globalization and Its Discontents Revisited, The Euro and Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy.

Moderator

White is responsible for the content across all Conexus Financial’s institutional media and events. She is responsible for directing the bi-annual Fiduciary Investors Symposium which challenges global investors on investment best practice and aims to place the responsibilities of investors in wider societal, and political contexts, as well as promote the long-term stability of markets and sustainable retirement incomes. She is the editor of www.top1000funds.com, the online news and analysis site for the world’s largest institutional investors. White has been an investment journalist for more than 20 years and has edited industry journals including Investment & Technology, Investor Weekly and MasterFunds Quarterly. She was previously editorial director of InvestorInfo and has worked as a freelance journalist for the Australian Financial Review, CFO, Asset and Asia Asset Management. She has a Bachelor of Economics from Sydney University and a Master of Arts in Journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney. She was previously a columnist for the Canadian publication, Corporate Knights, which is distributed by the Globe and Mail and The Washington Post. White is currently a fellow in the Finance Leaders Fellowship at the Aspen Institute. The two-year program consists of 22 fellows and seeks to develop the next generation of responsible, community-spirited leaders in the global finance industry.

Key takeaways

  • There is a large difference in governments’ ability and willingness to act to support the recovery leading to an uneven recovery.
  • There has been a big change in US policy in support of equal access to the vaccine.
  • Other important measures include lifting of US export constrains on critical ingredients to make the vaccine.
  • Although the US has taken measures to fuel a strong recovery emerging markets don’t have the resources to do the same and are spending a fraction of their GDP on the recovery.
  • IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) could see additional funds flow to developing economies.
  • Many emerging market economies were in debt before COVID making their current situation unbearable.
  • Panellists expressed their hope for a tighter labour market to support wages.
  • Getting out of a zero interest rate environment would be good for the US and global economy.
  • The US also needs to raise taxes and end a regressive tax system.
  • Government assistance was removed too early in the wake of the GFC, cutting spending in essential services and leading to economic inequality.
  • Recent trends show activist investors bringing about change at Exxon and Chevron.
  • Investors should integrate the SDGs, getting behind them to build back better.
  • An SDI Asset Owner Platform developed by PPGM APG combines an SDI taxonomy with AI to assess thousands of potential sustainable development investments.
  • Inflation and rising wages would provide valuable support to the broken labour market.
  • If we leave people behind mistrust in democracy will grow.
  • Cooperation over the vaccine will reflect the ability of countries to cooperate in the green transition.
  • Investors should interpret their fiduciary response broadly. Investment managers should think about the consequences of where they invest.
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