Event Details

Across the rich world, the IMF says gross government debt will rise by $6trn, to $66trn at the end of this year, or from 105% of gdp to 122%—a greater increase than was seen in any year during the global financial crisis. Public debt is soaring as governments provide fiscal support to households and firms in order to help them, and thus the economy as a whole, survive lockdowns. This reality will shape politics and economics in the rich world for years to come.

Meanwhile, many of the world's emerging markets and less developed economies have already suffered currency depreciations, as fear and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus have driven a pick-up in capital flight to the safety of the US dollar. However, in countries that have already built up large-scale US dollar-denominated debt, and that will need to borrow further in order to prop up damaged economies during the pandemic, there is a risk that additional currency depreciations will lead to defaults.

  • Which emerging markets are in most financial peril?
  • What are the implications for emerging market currencies?
  • How will the debt burden shape government policy in the coming years?

Join us at 3:30pm HKT on May 13th as we examine debt, risk and emerging markets in this special webinar exclusive to members of The Economist Corporate Network.


  • Taimur Baig (Chief Economist and Managing Director of DBS Bank Ltd.)

    Taimur Baig

    Chief Economist and Managing Director of DBS Bank Ltd.

    Taimur is a seasoned economist, with close to 20 years’ experience covering the Asia region. His work experience in Singapore and Washington, DC spans central and commercial banks, as well as the International Monetary Fund (IMF). His areas of specialty include international finance, macro risk spillover, exchange rate and fixed income analytics and forecasting, the economics of financial crisis, and demographics.

    Prior to joining DBS, Taimur was the Principal Economist at the Economic Policy Group at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). He had previously spent nearly a decade at Deutsche Bank AG’s Singapore office, where his last position was Managing Director and Chief Economist, Asia. There he managed a team of economists based in Singapore, Hong Kong, Mumbai and Bangalore to analyse and forecast Asia’s 10 largest economies. He also advised the bank’s management and top clients on regional risks and opportunities. Taimur joined Deutsche Bank as Chief Economist for India and ASEAN in 2007.

    Before Deutsche Bank, Taimur was at the IMF for eight years from 1999, where his last position was Senior Economist. Rotating across the Asia and Pacific, Fiscal Affairs, and European Departments, Taimur’s coverage included macro forecasting, monetary policy and exchange rate in Argentina, India, Japan, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and Ukraine. He has published extensively for both specialists and a general audience, on areas including deflation, monetary policy, exchange rate, demographics, energy sector, frontier markets, fiscal policy efficacy and financial market contagion.

    Taimur holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and attended Wabash College and the London School of Economics for his B.A.

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  • Simon Cox (Emerging markets editor and senior economics writer, Hong Kong at The Economist)

    Simon Cox

    Emerging markets editor and senior economics writer, Hong Kong at The Economist

    Simon Cox is the Emerging Markets editor at The Economist, based in Hong Kong. He has spent over ten years with the newspaper, including stints in London and Delhi. In 2014, he left journalism to become Managing Director and Asia-Pacific Investment Strategist for BNY Mellon, before returning to the paper in 2016.

    During his career at The Economist, Mr Cox has written a variety of special reports and white papers. He has explored the world’s arduous recovery from the global financial crisis (“The Long Climb”, 2009), China’s surprisingly resilient economy (“Pedalling Prosperity”, 2012), the technological ambitions of India and China (“High-tech Hopefuls”, 2007) and Korea’s social and geopolitical divisions (“Parallel Worlds”, 2013).

    In 2008, he edited “The Growth Report”, published by the Commission on Growth and Development, chaired by Nobel laureate Michael Spence. He was a contributor to the Oxford Companion to the Economics of China (OUP, 2014) and the originator of the “Li Keqiang index”, an unofficial proxy for China’s growth. He has contributed pieces to the FT’s Alphaville blog and Foreign Policy magazine on the economies of China, Japan and India. He has also been a frequent guest on television and radio, including CNBC, Bloomberg, the BBC and CNN.

    He studied at Cambridge, Harvard and the London School of Economics.

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  • Felix Delbrück (Director, Country Risk Services of The Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU))

    Felix Delbrück

    Director, Country Risk Services of The Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU)

    Felix Delbrück oversees The Economist Intelligence Unit's Country Risk Service, which provides credit ratings and analysis for 131 countries. He is also part of the Global Forecasting team, helping shape the EIU's thinking on the big issues underpinning all country forecasts.

    Before joining the EIU, Felix held senior economist roles at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and for Westpac, an Australian bank. He has advised policy makers, presented to clients and the media, and contributed to flagship economic reports. He has extensive experience in macroeconomic modelling and forecasting, monitoring global trends and risks, and assessing the implications for monetary policy and financial conditions.

    Felix has a Master's degree in economics and a graduate degree in English Literature, both from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

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  • Andrew Staples (Global Editorial Director of Economist Corporate Network)

    Andrew Staples

    Global Editorial Director of Economist Corporate Network

    Andrew is the global Editorial Director of The Economist Corporate Network (ECN), the Economist Intelligence Unit’s briefing and advisory service for senior business leaders. He leads and supports a team of Network Directors (NDs) across Africa, the Middle East and Asia, and ensures that editorial consistency and quality are maintained to the highest level.

    As editorial director, Andrew ensures that the values and standards of The Economist brand are upheld across all the networks and drives ECN editorial strategy through the innovation of new services and products.

    Andrew joined the Economist Group in 2013 and prior to his current role, ran ECN in Tokyo (later North Asia) and South-east Asia.

    Andrew provides members with insight and analysis on a range of topics related to ASEAN and the broader East Asian economy. He regularly chairs and moderates major Economist events, delivers custom briefings to senior executives (including Fortune 500 C-suite) and public figures (including heads of states) in his areas of expertise in the international media (BBC, CNN, CNBC, Channel NewsAsia, Al Jazeera).

    Prior to joining The Economist Group, Andrew was an associate professor of international business at business schools and leading universities in the UK (University of Sheffield) and Japan (Keio University, Doshisha Business School and Globis University Graduate School of Management).

    Andrew has published widely in his areas of expertise and his major publications include Responses to Regionalism in East Asia: Japanese Production Networks in the Automotive Sector published as part of the Palgrave Macmillan Asian Business Series and chapters in edited volumes including Asian Inward and Outward FDI: New Challenges in the Global Economy and popular textbooks including Asian Business and Management. He was also a Senior Editor for the internationally peer reviewed journal Asian Business and Management.

    Andrew has an MSc in East Asian Business and a PhD in International Political Economy from the University of Sheffield, U.K., and was a Ministry of Education research scholar at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo (2001-2003).

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