Coronavirus set to be biggest challenge for politicians this year as share prices plummet on a global scale
Political commentators across the board react most frequently to the outcomes of decisions made by the electorate and their leaders. Events that shake the world’s status quo, like wars and boundary changes, are man-made events that alter as administrations come and go and are the daily bread of the political journalist.
In essence these events emerge from tribalism, albeit often on a massive scale, which is rooted in culture and tradition.
For years, politics, has been centred around each nation growing wealth and prosperity, in a global economy, which relies inextricably on the trading links between nations.
For example, the last four years has seen the UK, consumed with Brexit, the US immersed in Trump’s populism, the Middle-East consumed by war and China focused on its thriving economy.
However, when the world’s stock markets opened today it was clear that devastation had been wreaked, not by war or political posturing, but by a microbe known as the coronavirus.
The stock markets, across the world, have plunged into a state of apoplexy, for fear of what effect this new virus will have on economies in the coming year.
Wall Street recorded it’s biggest ever daily point drop, tumbling 1,191 points and in London the FTSE 100 fell by over 3 percent to 6796.4, wiping £62 billion off the value of blue chip companies.
In Europe, £233 billion was lost, making it one of the biggest falls since the Brexit referendum.
The picture is bleak and with uncertainty about how widespread and impactful this disease will spread, it was no surprise that European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde stetted that, “ The virus is going to have an impact on growth, but it is too early to know if the outbreak will cause a long-lasting economic shock”.
The world is clearly on the edge of its seat and politicians will be judged on how they react to this current threat.
It seems that isolationism may become a prudent strategy, when it was previously seen as reactionary and the political pundits will have to become experts on microbiology rather than personality or economics.
The likes of Trump and Johnson are about to be judged on a whole new raft of areas. Brexit is about to be sidelined in a way that Westminster never could.