Unmissable Reads

Date: 21 July, 2020

Unmissable Reads



Darius Pasalar

By Darius Pasalar

Senior Strategist
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At the beginning of lockdown my neighbour gave me a small bag of sunflower seeds, which I potted inside and eventually moved outside. They’re now over six foot in height and flowering, which is just fab.

Why am I banging on about some sunflowers?

They’re opening up (with big yellow heads) as the country opens up as well. But while these plants may have a set cycle they go through, we don’t yet know how our economic cycle will play out. This week’s reading list looks to identify how we’re looking forward to what this economic future holds for all of us.

The Craic Economy

Economist David McWilliams has identified a softer economic marker in what he calls the Craic Economy. Simply put, it’s the economy of face to face interactions and fun, that places like bars and restaurants afford us. His ‘craic bail-out’ posits a way to support small businesses to help us all have the craic again.

The Craic Economy covers bars, restaurants, hotels, comedy clubs, the performing arts, theatre, conferences, festivals, gigs, nightclubs and so on. Income in the “craic economy” hasn’t just fallen - it has dropped to zero.

The Craic Economy is based on people - robots are no craic. It is people who make the Craic Economy dance, and unemployment in the Craic Economy has sky-rocketed. The Craic Economy is incredibly creative, and in terms of Ireland’s brand, it’s where we’re truly world- renowned. http://www.davidmcwilliams.ie/the-pandession-is-destroying-irelands-craic-economy/

A million people, one app

As we move into a life of living with Covid 19, this app may be with us for a very long time.


Although initial uptake was strong we're still to see how people will use the app, and also what they are giving away from a data perspective. Economically how will technology blend to ensure our safety and will it provide a key for consumers to engage with services in a different way?

It is far too early to call the COVID tracker app a success. It has had a successful launch, but some studies estimate that we need about 60% of the population to download and use the application for it to be effective in helping to stop the disease spreading. It remains to be seen how people will use it, and if the app will be an effective part of the overall contact and trace system. We should be provided with this usage information in a timely manner.

https://www.rte.ie/brainstorm/2020/0720/1154327-covid-tracker-app-ireland-technology-privacy-data/

Covid and Cholera

This look back on the lessons from Cholera provides amazing insight on the ‘full system approach’ needed to tackle a pandemic. The economic relationship between the developed and developing world is stark, illustrating the importance of global co-operation.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/audio/2020/jun/08/cholera-and-coronavirus-why-we-must-not-repeat-the-same-mistakes-podcast

We’re in this together

The European Economic Forecast offers a really in-depth analysis of the economic future of Europe. Although a dense read, it does offer a very comprehensive view of how our collective economy has been affected.

Data for the first quarter confirmed initial estimates of a sizeable economic impact despite confinement measures being introduced only around mid-March in most countries. GDP contracted by 3.6% in the Euro area, and by 3.2% in the EU as a whole. While economic disruptions have been broad, first quarter data also confirmed the highly asymmetrical nature of the impact across countries and industries. For the second quarter, all screened indicators suggest an acceleration of the contraction in economic activity with persisting differences across countries and industries.

https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/economy-finance/ip132_en.pdf
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