Heed lessons of 2008 crisis, experts warn global leaders

(The Guardian, 20 May 2020) Call to avoid more inequality and climate breakdown when coronavirus crisis ends

Global leaders must heed the lessons of the financial crisis of 2008 when they look to repair the damage from the coronavirus pandemic, leading experts have warned, to avoid entrenching disastrous social, health and environmental inequalities and hastening climate breakdown.

The 2008 global financial crisis and recession marked the last time the world experienced a convulsion comparable in scale to the coronavirus crisis, though starkly different in its nature. Governments responded first with economic rescue and stimulus packages worth trillions in taxpayer cash, followed in many cases by austerity programmes to cut back public spending.

But the past decade has produced far greater levels of inequality than has been seen since before the second world war, producing starker contrasts between the extremely rich and the rest in health, job security, education and other measures, with poorer people suffering worst and the middle classes squeezed while the income of the top 1% soared.

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The Guardian, 20 May 2020: Heed lessons of 2008 crisis, experts warn global leaders