New Money Review podcast

New Money Review podcast

Supply lines

May 01, 2020

For the last four decades we’ve been living through a period of globalisation, with economies becoming ever more specialised. That specialisation has also meant we are all more reliant on our neighbours, both near and far.

Raw materials may be sourced in one country, manufacturing may take place in another, research and development in a third and financial and legal services in a fourth location.

In the last few weeks, we’ve all been able to see how fragile global supply chains can be.

It’s not just medical equipment that’s been subject to shortages. The supply of other vital commodities like food has seen interruptions too. Meanwhile, there’s been an oversupply of energy that’s driven oil prices temporarily below zero.

What is the impact of the coronavirus going to be on the way we manage global supplies and trade? How far are we likely to retreat from globalisation?

Which countries are going to be the biggest losers from this trend? Could other countries even be winners from the disruption?

And what can we do to avoid a descent into a global trade war of the kind that made the 1930s depression so much worse?

To help answer these complex questions, Uma Kambhampati, professor of economics at the UK’s University of Reading, joins the latest episode of the New Money Review podcast.