New COVID-19 chat with Joe Branigan of Tulipwood Economics

I’ve recorded another interview on the latest COVID-19 rescue package from the federal government, this time with my good friend and former Treasury colleague Joe Branigan, Director of Tulipwood Economics. Joe provides important context for the massive rescue package. He suggests the designers of the package were implicitly assuming that, without it, Australia would experience an economic depression, not just an ordinary recession. You can listen to our conversation here:

You can use these timestamps (approximate) to find some of the highlights:

  • 4:45 – Joe thinks the size of the rescue package “looks about right”
  • 6:00 – Joe discusses the massive size of the fiscal impact of the rescue package – up to 5% of June quarter GDP and 7% of September quarter GDP – and suggests these are measures designed to avert a depression
  • 9:25 – discussion of super-sized income support for job seekers (and sole traders) and how the normal rules of public policy have (understandably) “gone out the window” in this time of crisis
  • 18:40 – Joe agrees with the PM in rejecting the suggestion from Grattan Institute CEO John Daley that we should have an almost complete shutdown of the economy for a short period to stop the spread of the virus
  • 22:40 – discussion of how Qld schools will probably shut this Tuesday (except for children of health/other key workers), but how schools may need another week to prepare for online learning in term 2
  • 28:15 – discussion of the need for Churchill-style political leadership in this time of crisis
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