World Bank issues dire warning about Ebola’s economic impact

Getting rid of medical waste.
Getting rid of medical waste.

Really this report mostly focuses on West Africa and the economic impact there. It stops short of discussing what would really happen if Ebola were to break out in the developed world. I won’t go there for the same reason the World Bank doesn’t. It’s almost too grim to think about and thank God we are not there. Hopefully we never will be.

But I think $30 billion in losses over the course of this thing is actually a pretty rosy scenario. It seems to me that the potential for loss is much much bigger. Consider if the prediction of 1.4 million infections by January holds true. We are at 6000-7000 infections at this moment and the economic impact of the disease has already been huge. How much does it cost to send 3000 troops to Liberia to build a medical infrastructure overnight for instance? It aint cheap.

Part of the recent stock market swoon has to do with Ebola too, though no one will really say it out loud. If things were to get hot outside of Africa the impact on equities could be enormous. I wouldn’t want to own any airline, hotel, or fast food stocks that’s for sure.

Dire warning? It’s dire. But is it dire enough?

(From CBS News)

The economic impact of the Ebola epidemic could reach $32.6 billion by the end of next year if the disease ravaging Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone spreads to neighboring countries in West Africa, the World Bank Group said Wednesday.

The World Bank’s assessment said the economic impact of Ebola is already serious in the three countries and could be catastrophic if it becomes a more regional health crisis. The CDC said last month that unless efforts to curb the outbreak are ramped up significantly and quickly, the disease could infect up to 1.4 million people by mid-January in two nations, Sierra Leone and Liberia, alone.

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