First of all, I would like to wish all business partners and their families good health and confidence in these uncertain days.
When I visited the 50th World Economic Forum in Switzerland in January of this year, the all-important topic was the change in our climate and how to address the urgent climatic and ecological challenges that are damaging our ecology and economy. At this point in time, I warned of the impending stagnation of the economy around the world.
Now 11 months later we are facing a completely new situation: Covid 19 has completely changed our world. For the second time we have a shutdown with massive cuts in our lives and many borders are closed again. The opportunities to travel are still limited. The economy has been largely idle for weeks around the world. The forecasts now look correspondingly devastating. Some optimistic contemporaries only expect a slight cooling. I see it completely differently. The corona virus will burden the economy worldwide like no other crisis in modern times. I fear it could turn into a bigger and longer lasting recession because once the pandemic goes away, the cause will not be fixed. Consumer behavior will be characterized by insecurity and insecure people do not spend money. It will also behave in the same way in the economy, in uncertain times no new investments will be made. The billions in aid will drain away to service liabilities at the banks and oligopolies will form as a result.