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Preamble to the 2021 <i>Compendium</i>

Preamble to the 2021 Compendium

by Andy Haldane

Chief Economist, Bank of England

May 17, 2021


There are many reasons why events in 2020 will be etched into the history books. The global pandemic has resulted in huge numbers of casualties, with millions of lost lives and hundreds of millions of lost livelihoods. The scars of these losses will be felt for many generations to come. And these losses have been highly unevenly distributed across society, with the heaviest burden often felt by the young, the poor, the least-skilled and minorities. Pre-COVID inequalities of incomes and life-chances, already large and widening, have been made worse by the events of the past year. 

Yet all crises bring opportunities and this one will be no exception. As the world begins the process of recuperating from the COVID crisis, it is important we focus on those opportunities and, indeed, rebuild our economies and societies in ways which benefit from them. For all of their collateral damage, crises allow a re-evaluation, a rethink and a refresh many of our behaviours and practices, whether as individuals, businesses, communities, or nation states. 

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