Coronavirus emergency

2020-03-26 Zenia Simonella

Is a New Division of Work Possible?

In this period of emergency, family (im)balance is being put to the test by people being forced to be constantly together in the home. The question is: when mutual help between partners becomes essential, is a greater sharing of domestic work and care also emerging? For the moment, the answer seems to be no. An investigation conducted by the Valore D association on the issue of female smartworking[1] stresses that in Italy one out of three women is working more than before and is unable to reconcile her work activity with home life. Home work and care, which has increased out of all proportion ...

2020-03-25 Cecilia Attanasio Ghezzi

Mask Diplomacy

They are already calling it “mask diplomacy.”[1] Selling medical devices in the time of Covid-19 is highly profitable, and China is starting to convert its economy. In just one month, it has gone from 20 to 116 million masks a day. And that’s still not enough. The new business involves both state-owned companies and small factories, incentivized with subsidies and tax reductions, interest-free loans and preferential channels to obtain the necessary documents and approvals. The result? Sinopec, that we could define as a state-owned multinational in the petrochemical field, has inaugurated ...

2020-03-22 Marco Giordani

Multimedia Publishing Faces the Test of Covid-19

Being a multimedia outlet in the era of Covid-19 is a daily challenge that necessarily requires a keeping one eye on the present, and the other looking to the future. When the first signs arose at the end of February, Mediaset took measures to face what was an unprecedented crisis. The initial goal was to guarantee the safety of the company’s personnel; the second was to adopt methods of operation that would guarantee the continuation of activities, that in this period can be considered a true public service. The first meeting of the Crisis Committee (created within the organization in November ...

2020-03-19 Giuseppe Pasini

The Great Europe We Want

We will come out of this crisis more Italian. My hope, though, is that Covid-19 will also make us more European. While we have rediscovered a sense of community and national solidarity, it is also true that at an economic level, this is the time when the great European project envisioned by the founding fathers – De Gasperi, Adenauer, and Schuman – must find its concrete expression. On a human level, we are understandably clinging to solidarity. But the reality is that we are facing a challenge we had never foreseen, a completely different situation even than the great global crisis of 2008; ...

2020-03-18 Giovanni Fattore

Italy stands tall

On March 7, there were 31,506 cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) recorded in Italy, following an exponential growth curve. The number of dead is 2,503, with a lethality rate of 7.9 percent. The epidemic is principally affecting Lombardy and the rest of Northern Italy, but there are hotspots present in all regions of the country. This is the worst health catastrophe ever recorded in the history of Italy and of advanced countries since World War II, with dramatic consequences for the social and economic situation as well. In this phase, the fight against the epidemic is playing out on two fundamental ...

2020-03-16 Donato Masciandaro

Coronavirus and Central Banks: Two False Steps

Modern monetary policy is based on facts and words. In dealing with the emergence of the macroeconomic risk of the coronavirus the Fed has gotten the facts wrong, while the ECB has gotten the words wrong. Let us see why. In general terms, the coronavirus belongs to the macroeconomic family of rare events. As such, its effects on the dynamics of the choices of families, businesses, and financial markets can be both significant and at the same time unpredictable, both in terms of extent and duration. So the coronavirus is a catalyst for uncertainty, that places every central bank in front of a temporal ...

2020-03-05 Fabrizio Perretti

Italian Businesses Exposed to Contagion

The Covid-19 coronavirus will have a negative impact on Italian businesses. The question is not “if,” but how many will be affected and how strong the impact will be. Just as predictions regarding the evolution of the situation among people are uncertain, the same is true for businesses. Yet there are some differences between the two populations, that of the human race and that of businesses. In the first case (which includes people with clear symptoms, hospitalized, in intensive care, and dead) the contagion fortunately represents a small percentage, while in the second the “contagion” ...

2020-03-02 Paola Dubini

Culture at the Time of the Coronavirus

Among the measures taken in recent days by the authorities in charge of dealing with COVID-19 is the decision to suspend not only educational activities in schools and universities, public meetings and events, but also the activity of museums, cinemas, theaters, and other cultural locations. And also to keep religious ceremonies to a minimum. It is evident that this was a difficult decision, with a large individual and collective impact. It is just as evident that the economic repercussions in many sectors will be considerable, and long-lasting. The world of culture has reacted very rapidly and ...

2020-02-26 Stefano Basaglia

How Work Changes at the Time of the Coronavirus

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has two significant impacts on the organization of work. The first regards the “open space” organization of offices, where workers may or may not have fixed workstations, designed to reduce costs relating to physical spaces and to favor interaction and the exchange of information.[1] The layout of such offices also favors contagion though, and thus the proliferation of diseases. This is true for the Coronavirus, but obviously also for the normal seasonal flu. So in order to address this problem, in the immediate term companies have been forced to limit the movement ...

2020-02-12 Cecilia Attanasio Ghezzi

The Economic Consequences of the Coronavirus

"When China sneezes, the global economy catches a cold," it was said in Napoleon's time. And now, faced with a epidemic that the People's Republic of China is attempting fight by limiting the movements of 1.4 billion people as much as possible, the entire world is waiting with bated breath. The numbers of people infected and deaths have exceeded those of the nine months that between 2002 and 2003 shook East Asia with the SARS epidemic (1). People try to make comparisons today, but at the time China had just joined the WTO, while today it is the second largest economy in the world, representing ...