"The risk is deflation first and inflation later."
Veteran economist, analyst and chief economics commentator for the Financial Times Martin Wolf has warned that deflation could lead to global disaster and a rise in "populist anger" in an exclusive interview with Perfil co-founder Jorge Fontevecchia.
The interview, conducted via videoconference and airing exclusively in Argentina tonight on NET TV, brings two veteran journalists face-to-face for a feature-length discussion. In the interview, Wolf – one of the key voices of global economic liberalism, according to Fontevecchia, described the current coronavirus pandemic is one of the defining moments of the past three decades.
"In the last 30 years we have experienced four historical moments: the collapse of the Soviet empire, 9/11 and the rise of terrorism, the financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic," Wolf told Perfil.
Wolf, a British journalist who serves as an associate editor for the FT and its chief economic commentator, is a respected voice on global economic matters across the globe, whose writing on the Covid-19 crisis has become essential reading.
Questioned as to whether the crisis would hit poorer nations disproportionately, Wolf said that was "one of my biggest concerns."
The author of more than a dozen books, Wolf has been described by ex-US Treasury secretary Lawrence H. Summers as "the world's pre-eminent financial journalist."
In the interview, the duo discussed the role of the State, the impact of the pandemic and the reaction from the private sector, global and local debt issues and the world economy.
On Argentina's recent debt restructuring proposal to foreign creditors, Wold said it was clear that "Argentina had borrowed too much," though he expressed surprise at bondholders who had lent to the nation, given its history. "Everyone knows that Argentina cannot pay its debt and that it will have to be restructured," he concludes.
The full interview airs tonight on NET TV, but a transcription of the interview (in Spanish) can be found on Perfil's website.
Alternatively, via the player below, you can listen to the interview (conducted in English) for yourself – just click the button below to start the audio.