COVID-19 Outbreak Impacting Global Economic Markets; Experts Criticize World Bank Pandemic Bonds

CNN: Novel coronavirus sparks massive U.S. stock market losses as cases spread worldwide
“Stock markets in the U.S. have posted some of their worst ever losses as the novel coronavirus sparked mass sell-offs. … Markets in Asia and elsewhere have also suffered, as fears of a global pandemic have continued to grow. First cases of the virus were confirmed in New Zealand, Belarus, and Lithuania on Friday, as outbreaks in South Korea, Italy, and Iran continued to worsen…” (Griffiths, 2/28).

The Guardian: World Bank’s $500m pandemic scheme accused of ‘waiting for people to die’
“A flagship $500m World Bank scheme to help the poorest countries deal with a health emergency is ‘too little too late’ for the coronavirus outbreak, say health experts. … Funds can only be released after a certain amount of time and in accordance with complex criteria including outbreak size, growth rate, deadlines, and death tolls. … The bonds, funded by donor nations Japan and Germany, deliver interest payments to investors until the conditions for an infectious disease outbreak are triggered. The value of the bonds has halved as the coronavirus outbreak has spread, raising fears investors could face losses…” (McVeigh, 2/28).

Additional coverage of the impacts of the outbreak on global markets is available from Daily Beast, Financial Times, MarketWatch, New York Times, Reuters, and Vox.