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A world awash with debt: can governments learn to rule while drowning in the red?

The pandemic has landed treasuries everywhere with whacking great overdrafts—in the UK alone the figure is £2 trillion. Debt denialism is dangerous, but panicked prudence is self-defeating. There’s no easy escape

Left Out: the Inside Story of Labour Under Corbyn by Gabriel Pogrund and Patrick Maguire (Vintage, £18.99)

Covid-19 changes everything, or so it is said. It is certainly true of public finances, which have been drastically changed and not for the better. The United States entered the Covid crisis with federal government debt held by the public of 80 per cent of GDP, already twice what it was in 2008 before the financial crisis blew a hole in the books. This debt will now approach 100 per cent of GDP by the end of 2020, according to the country’s bipartisan fiscal watchdog, the…

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