For months, spiking inflation has roiled poor and rich nations alike. The rising costs, which have reached 40-year highs, are largely thanks to the cascading global effects of the pandemic combined with the sudden supply chain and energy market disruptions that followed Russia's invasion of Ukraine, as readers of this newsletter are well aware. Their effects have been deep and far-reaching.
Some countries are already in the grips of painful economic contractions; for others, including the United States, the prospect of recession seems around the corner. Europe, ensnared by its reliance on Russian gas, is bracing for what's being billed as a "winter of despair." Aid agencies and U.N. officials warn of hunger stalking the planet, as price rises push staples out of reach for tens of millions of people. The global macroeconomic maelstrom has already collapsed one debt-ridden, developing economy (Sri Lanka), while other nations (Zambia, Laos and Pakistan, to name a few) find themselves on the brink.