Rise of the zombies? Europe faces insolvency balancing act

By Paul Carrel

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© Thomson Reuters 2020.

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There is an expression in English about putting the cart in front of the horse, instead of having the horse pull the cart. In other words, do not get ahead of yourself.

Seems to me that in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, it is premature to worry about so-called zombie companies. Wait until Covid-19 is under control, and then take the next steps in getting back to normal.

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I think they can hold off on this for a while. Japan has neglected to take care of zombie companies for 30 years. The long term effects are lower growth, productivity and innovation.

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You can’t judge anything until after Covid. Interestingly, I saw a BBC News interview about the record number of new business registered in the U.K. since the start of the pandemic.

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My question is how the nations of the world manage their debt load. Pretty much every developed nation has a high debt load including China. How will all of this debt be paid for? Will there be mass defaults (unlikely , but .....) or will there be an international debt holiday / forgiveness? Who takes the haircut? What are the implications for social stability?

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