[People] Coronavirus and the Death of ‘Connectivity’ -by Walden Bello

The Great Recession could have killed globalization, but China emerged as the champion of a new global “connectivity.” With the coronavirus, that phase is finished.

The Covid 19 pandemic is the second major crisis of globalization in a decade. The first was the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, from which the global economy took years to reach a semblance of recovery. We did not learn our lessons from the first, and this is perhaps why the impact of the second has been even more massive.

Trillions of dollars of paper wealth went up in smoke during the 2008 crisis, but few cried for the out-of-control financial players who had triggered the crisis. More serious were the impacts on the real economy.

Tens of millions of people lost their jobs, with 25 million in China alone in the second half of 2008. Air cargo plunged 20 percent in one year. Global supply chains, many of whose links were in China, were severely disrupted.

The Economist lamented that the “integration of the world economy is in retreat on almost every front,” adding that “some critics of capitalism seem happy about it—like Walden Bello, a Philippine economist, who can perhaps claim to have coined the word [deglobalization] with his book, Deglobalization: Ideas for a New World Economy.”

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Coronavirus and the Death of ‘Connectivity’

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