If we were to ask what the most dangerous weapons were for humanity in the 21st century, the answer would definitely include nuclear, chemical and biological elements. The concept of nuclear deterrence was initially created in the 1960s to prevent humankind from making foolish decisions and has become quite a necessary concept. Ironically speaking, if you took out a loan and owe $100,000 to the bank, then this is your problem, but if you owe a bank $10 million and cannot pay it, then it becomes the bank's problem. As much as we hate weapons of mass destruction, they are a bizarre utopia that forces arrogant and stubborn leaders, putschist dictators and the arms lobby to somehow sit at the negotiating table and find common ground during times of tensions.
Philosophers talk about the most basic and determinant features of humankind with regard to the meaning and comprehension capacity of ideas. No matter how much we struggle to accept it, the most primitive and unspoiled triggering urge of the humankind is fear. And this fear allows all societies formed under nation-states to ensure a single action: protect what you have and increase it if there is an opportunity.
As we are experiencing the reflections of this principle, Wuhan, a city in which 99% of the world population has never heard of before, struck us with deep fear over the new coronavirus. A virus does not slow an economy down by itself; however, the fear it produces of it spreading around the world, of our assets being confiscated or losing their value may further damage world economies under the scope of the U.S.-China trade tension, Brexit and the EU deadlock and the U.S.-Russia-Middle East equation. Let us see how the world economy works, without going into much detail, as we discover how fear is the actual virus.
* Ph.D. researcher in Private Company Economic Research Department MENA at Swiss Business School
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