The global economy has entered the most profound economic recession since the Great Depression, with the possibility of a financial crisis, with major implications for vulnerable population groups and households, some of which are already bordering on poverty. COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on already weak economies through containment measures put in place to control its spread. This unprecedented crisis requires unprecedented measures—a massive counter-cyclical fiscal and financial effort is urgently needed everywhere. The Secretary-General has called for a comprehensive multilateral response amounting to the equivalent of 10 percent of global GDP.
Looking at the U.S. stock market through the lens of the Dow, we can see that the market was already in decline in response to growing uncertainty around COVID-19. By mid-March 2020, the Dow had reached its lowest point, registering a 2,999 points’ drop in a single day.