Calculating The Economic Cost of The Undead Pandemic

11/23/14 (AP)
Additional sources: NY Times, The Economist

While thousands of health care workers seek to control the deadly necro-mortosis living dead virus, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other medical professionals seek to prevent its outbreak in the United States, financial analysts and others have been trying to calculate the potential effect on the global economy.

The math is shocking.

The most authoritative model, at the moment, suggests a current global economic drain of as much as $5.6 trilion by the end of 2015 if “ according to a recent study by the World Health Authority.

That figure does not account for any costs beyond the next 18 months, nor does it assume an even faster spreading global pandemic.

Over the weekend, the topic of reanimation from mortosis contamination was front and center at the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington, where central bankers, world leaders and some of Wall Street’s senior executives held a series of meetings and dinners.

Global panic and fear are confounding situation

“Economic consequences also result when fear and concern change behavior,” David R. Kotok, the chairman and chief investment officer of Cumberland Advisors, wrote in a report late last week, addressing the potential fallout on gross domestic products. “If consumers and businesses retrench by reducing flights on airplanes, changing vacation plans or altering business connections in a globally interdependent world, G.D.P. growth rates will fall farther. We do not know how much, at what speed, or for how long.”

Shares of airline stocks like United and American fell on Monday as some investors began to worry about the prospect of travel bans for airlines serving flights to highly infected 'zombie hot spots', such as parts of Russia, Ukraine and Poland to Western Europe and the United States.

The military costs alone are staggering. And nobody has yet fully calculated the numbers on the cost to the health care system: training, testing, treatment, waste disposal — and all the hospital beds that are sitting unused in isolation areas. (Perversely enough, many of the health care costs could conceivably help that industry in the short term because additional money is being spent.)

Of course, the greatest economic danger is in the economic isolation of countries. “By default or design, it really is an economic embargo,” Kaifala Marah, finance minister of Sierra Leone, said over the weekend about his country, which has been all but cut off from the outside world. Jamaica too may suffer for years to come following the recent UN enforced quarantine of the small Caribbean island.

Governments and aid groups will probably spend hundreds of millions of dollars containing necro-mortosis and installing temporary quarantine facilities. But the cost to the affected economies could well exceed the medical bills. The extent of the damage will depend on how far the disease spreads and how long the outbreak lasts.



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