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The rich could have saved the world. Instead, they hesitated

Shutdown: How Covid Shook the World’s Economy
Adam Tooze
Allen Lane, $35

Shutdown is best grasped from the back. The index lists 111 countries and regions, from Australia (nine mentions) to Zambia (two). Economist John Maynard Keynes (seven) rubs shoulders with Saddam Hussein (two) and philosopher Thomas Hobbes (one). Even Elon Musk rates a mention. Central banks feature 62 times, 17 more than President Donald Trump. At a time when most Australians venture only as far as the supermarket, Adam Tooze’s COVID-19, Shutdown: How Covid Shook the World’s Economy, is a welcome, if vertiginous, dose of perspective.

The IMF estimated that vaccinating the world would add $9 trillion to global GDP.

The IMF estimated that vaccinating the world would add $9 trillion to global GDP.Credit:Eddie Jim

Tooze is an economic historian by trade. His previous book, Crashed, presented the financial crisis of 2007/08 as a global saga stretching from the 1970s up to Donald Trump. Shutdown is a similarly ambitious romp across borders and…

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