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Over the past six months, central banks and governments have unlocked financial floodgates to deal with the economic fallout of covid-19. As early as April, 106 countries had introduced or adapted social protection programs, mostly cash transfers, to help those affected by the pandemic. A McKinsey analysis of 54 countries estimates that governments had committed $10 trillion by June, through grants, loans, and furlough payments to unemployment benefits and welfare. The quantities far outstrip the 2008 financial crisis (see chart).

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