The first half of the year 2020 has been perhaps the most eventful six months in the past one decade, not only from the financial market perspective but from socially, economically and .geo politically also. Some of the key events of past six months which could have material long term impact on global socio-economic and geo political order could be listed as follows:
· The WHO declared COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic. Over eight millions people across the world are infected and over 4,62,000 deaths have been reported till yesterday. Many countries enforced partial to total lockdown of all economic activities resulting in one of the deepest recession the global economy has faced in past 100years. The global economy is expected to contract by 4-6% in 2020. The central Bankers across the world announce massive monetary easing to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic and engineer a economic revival.
India has so far reported over 4,18,000 confirmed cases and over 13,700 deaths have been reported. The Indian economy is expected to shrink 4-6% this year in line with the global economy.
US in an unprecedented move suspends financial to the World Health Organization (WHO), alleging irregularities in handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and connivance with Chinese authorities in supressing the facts about the spread of COVID-19.
· Over one million protestors took part in the New Year march in Hong Kong. This was perhaps the largest public protest against the Chinese authority, and prompted the Chinese regime to implement new security laws in Hong Kong, virtually ending its autonomy from the mainland China. Later UK Prime Minister said that they will amend UK citizenship laws to permit citizenship
· Death of George Flyod, leads to one of the largest public protest and riots in US since Martin Luthar King (Jr) led civil rights movement. The protests were organized across the world in against the racist bias in US & police brutality and in solidarity with the ethnic Indian American community.
· The United Kingdom and Gibraltar formally withdrew from the European Union culminating the process which started with a referendum in June 2016.
· The disagreement surface in the oil cartel (OPEC+Russia) leading to massive crash in global crude prices. The WTI Crude oil future settle at minus $37.63 in April expiry as the buyers failed to take delivery due to shortage of storage space.
· The Saudi Arab led coalition declares unilateral ceasefire in millitary action against forces Houthi forces in Yemen to end the five year old war.
· A US drone strike at Baghdad International Airport killed a senior Iranian general and Iraqi paramilitary leader. In apparent retaliation Iran launched ballistic missiles at two Iraqi military bases hosting American soldiers, injuring many personnel. A misdirected missile shot by Iranian forces, struck a Ukrainian civilian aircraft, killing all 176 people on board. Iran also deployed its first military satellite in the space.
· After a long standoff in Doklam in 2017 (in which no casualties were reported), another serious engagement took place between Indian and Chinese forces on LAC in Ladakh. Many casualties and serious injuries have been reported from both the sides. This has brought the Sino-Indian relationship to a new low since 1975, and threatens to change the geo-politics and economics of the South Asian region for ever.
The stocks markets have noted all these events with sharp volatile moves, but decided to ignore and move forward…..to continue tomorrow