It’s time to think about how exactly we could rebuild our economy, post this lockdown. There has been considerable support from the Government for business, and that is to be applauded. I am delighted to see that the Government has appointed an extraordinarily talented businessperson, Rob Fyfe, to assist them with advice on the economy.
I would also like to see people with small business success, and reputation, close by the Minister of Finance as well. Rob Fyfe has vast experience with big businesses which are properly capitalised. Many of the businesses which will struggle are those with working proprietors and a small number of staff. Their capital base will be small. It will all be gone by the time the lockdown is over. They will have no capital to buy basic ingredients to re-start. Some of them will get loans from the banks. Many won’t. This will lead to massive depression and uncertainty in families.
Next week I will write about a group I was involved with in the early 1990’s which worked with business which were struggling with the economic reforms. It is interesting to reflect that in those days there was one major player kicking the hell out of small business. The banks.
I would like to invite our economic development agency, ChristchurchNZ, to write something on how they propose to support the rebuild of our local economy.
A wonderful essay from inside Italy:
I just loved this article by an Italian author https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/27/a-letter-to-the-uk-from-italy-this-is-what-we-know-about-your-future.
There are some great predictions and quotes in it:
- Literati who had been omnipresent in the news will disappear; their opinions suddenly irrelevant. Some will take refuge in rationalisations which will be so totally lacking in empathy that people will stop listening to them. People whom you had overlooked, instead, will turn out to be reassuring, generous, reliable, pragmatic and clairvoyant.
- Those who invite you to see all this mess as an opportunity for planetary renewal will help you to put things in a larger perspective.
- You will be told that society is united in a communal effort, that you are all in the same boat. It will be true. This experience will change for good how you perceive yourself as an individual part of a larger whole.
- Class, however, will make all the difference. Being locked up in a house with a pretty garden or in an overcrowded housing project will not be the same. Nor is being able to keep on working from home or seeing your job disappear. That boat in which you’ll be sailing in order to defeat the epidemic will not look the same to everyone nor is it actually the same for everyone: it never was.
- If we turn our gaze to the more distant future, the future which is unknown both to you and to us too, we can only tell you this: when all of this is over, the world won’t be the same.