In the last few hours, I’ve recorded a discussion with my good friend and former Australian Treasury colleague Joe Branigan, Director of Tulipwood Economics, on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. We chatted about the potential economic impact of coronavirus, which is very large, and public health and economic responses to it, including the controversial issue of whether to preemptively shut down schools.
Here are some timestamps so you can jump to some of the highlights:
- 1:35: coronavirus impacts on Qld and Australian economies
- 3:20: June quarter will be “very difficult” for the Australian economy
- 6:40: Joe explains we could expect a 1% GDP contraction in June quarter (based on current information) but it could be more
- 9:30: Joe discusses Australian Government’s $17.6 billion stimulus package
- 13:00: Joe gives stimulus package a “B” compared with “D” for 2008-09 stimulus packages
- 15:00: reflections on Treasury’s role in developing stimulus packages, with reference to current Treasury Secretary Steve Kennedy and former Secretaries Ken Henry and Martin Parkinson
- 18:05: discussion about new National Cabinet
- 23:00: Joe on pros and cons of school closures
- 29:25: what will Australia look like after we get through this?
And here are some charts Joe prepared to illustrate the point he made about Australia’s fiscal consolidation having given us room to respond with fiscal stimulus.