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Asia and coronavirus: The road to health

Most governments in Asia have resorted to some form of economic shock therapy, but there is only so much the monetary and fiscal authorities can do.


A common metaphor in economic literature likens problems in economies to maladies that afflict human bodies: ‘the health of the economy’; ‘the sick man of Asia’; ‘the body politic’.

It is not an encouraging comparison. Middle-aged readers trying to stay healthy will know how difficult that is.

There are risks in doing too much and too little. Too much exercise leaves a person tired and broken; too little risks atrophy. Too much food leaves a body bloated and overweight (as Asiamoney can well attest); too little leaves it weak and vulnerable.

The sum total of exercise or food is not the only consideration for a healthy life, of course. Timing is crucial. Those hoping to have a long and healthy span but planning to delay all that pesky exercise until their later years are likely to be disappointed, as would anyone who believed a few years of school sports gives them licence to raise hell in their later years.

Shock therapy

Timing is equally important in managing an economy. Few believe that central banks did too little in response to the global financial crisis, but there are certainly questions about whether or not they were too late.

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