The new post-COVID world: from finance to football

The spectres of protectionism or austerity, the delicate role of the European Central Bank, the uncertainty of the markets with all eyes on the epidemic curve, the prudent return to tourism. But also real estate shifting towards bigger homes in which to work from home, cryptocurrencies for diversification, investments in the wake of the Green Deal and the total rethinking of football.

A team of 53 economists has explored past experiences and possible recovery scenarios in various fields of economics, business and finance, creating in just a few weeks the first book on the post-COVID world,  published byEdizioni Ca’ Foscari and downloadable for free online.

One of the chapters signed by Ca’ Foscari researchers concerns the link between pandemic, climate and public finance. According to scholars, an effort to return to the pre-epidemic situation would be shortsighted; rather, policies should be favoured that focus on socio-economic resilience in view of future pandemics or crises of similar magnitude, aligning them with European initiatives such as the Green Deal.
Such decisions would be just as costly as shorter-term policies, but they would put Europe in a better position to deal with future shocks, conclude the authors, Stefano Battiston, Monica Billio and Irene Monasterolo, who conducted their analysis as part of a project in collaboration with the World Bank that, so far, has concerned developing countries, and will continue in the coming months.

The volume, edited by Monica Billio, Director of the Department of Economics of the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, and Simone Varotto, associate professor at the Henley Business School of the University of Reading, inaugurates a series on  Innovation in Business, Economics & Finance, directed by Carlo Bagnoli, Professor of Strategic Innovation at Ca’ Foscari.

“Pandemics are disruptive events that have profound consequences for society and the economy,” says Simone Varotto, Ca’ Foscari graduate, now a professor at Reading and editor of the book, “the volume intends to present an analysis of the economic impacts of COVID-19 and the probable future consequences. We asked the scholars who contributed to write for non-expert readers, in order to spread a message that goes beyond academics and economists, to reach decision makers and society.”

“The contents of the book are based on the most recent research and offer a number of ideas for further insight and reflection,” adds Monica Billio, professor at Ca’ Foscari. “This also makes the publication an ideal tool for students of economics and finance who want to understand better how the pandemic affects their areas of study.”

And football? The issue of football, as important to British fans as to Italians, has economic implications that should not be underestimated. According to J. James Reade and Carl Singleton of the University of Reading, the future will depend on decisions by the owners and managers of the main clubs: will they focus on diversity and inclusion or will they continue to be dominated by financial interests? The analysis also touches on the advantage, eroded by being behind closed doors, of playing “at home”. In addition, there is the fear of possible contagion, but this time financial, in the event of the bankruptcy of clubs very dependent on ticket sales: most of their debts are held by other companies in the form of deferred payments of player transfers. Way out? According to the researchers, diversifying to growing assets, such as women's football, and cutting unproductive expenses such as agent commissions would be among the best policies to guarantee a future for the football industry.