What has been the initial response of governments during the COVID-19 crisis as regards assistance to businesses? How can firms survive during an extensive period of lockdown? What government programmes show promise?

This panel will explore the immediate government actions in the early stages of the health crisis and chart a plausible path to the economic recovery phase. This path includes, inter alia, a standstill on insolvency procedures, credit guarantee programmes for business, faster payments on public procurement projects and a likely corporate debt restructuring scheme.

Erica Bosio is the Program Manager of the Growth Analytics unit in the Development Economics Vice Presidency of the World Bank. Her work focuses primarily on public procurement. Between 2012 and 2019, she was a member of the Doing Business team leading the research on contract enforcement and the development of the latest indicator on public procurement. Prior to joining the World Bank Group, Erica worked in the arbitration and litigation department of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in Milan. She holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) from Georgetown University and a degree in law from the University of Turin (Italy). 

Juanita Gonzalez-Uribe is an assistant professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Her research focuses on entrepreneurship, innovation, and private equity. Her work in these areas has been published in top academic journals including the Review of Financial Studies, and the Journal of Financial Economics. Her work has won several prizes including the Juan Fernandez de Araoz Prize for Best Paper in Corporate Finance, the Coller Prize Award, and the Kauffman Dissertation Award. She has also won several research grants including the NBER Innovation Policy Grant and the NBER Entrepreneurship Grant. Juanita earned a PhD in Finance and Economics from Columbia University, and, a Master in Economics and a Bachelor in Economics and Mathematics from Universidade de los Andes (Colombia). Prior to her PhD studies, Juanita worked as a junior researcher at the Central Bank of Colombia.

Dimitri Vayanos is Professor of Finance at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he also directs the Financial Markets Group and the Paul Woolley Centre for the Study of Capital Market Dysfunctionality. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Director and former Managing Editor of the Review of Economic Studies, a Research Fellow at CEPR and a former Director of its Financial Economics program, a Research Associate at NBER, a former Director of the American Finance Association, and a former Head of LSE's Finance Department.

Simeon Djankov (@SimeonDjankov) is Co-Director for Policy and Research Fellow at the Financial Markets Group, LSE. He was deputy prime minister and minister of finance of Bulgaria from 2009 to 2013. Prior to his cabinet appointment, Djankov was chief economist of the finance and private sector vice presidency of the World Bank.

This event is part of LSE's public event series - COVID-19: The Policy Response.

COVID-19 represents an enormous challenge for the social sciences to help governments and non-governmental organisations respond to the economic and societal consequences of the pandemic. Part of LSE's response to this challenge is a series of online public events that will take place over the Summer Term.

Why not visit the School of Public Policy COVID-19 Resource Centre.

This event in the series has been organised by the Financial Markets Group.

The next event in this series will take place at 1pm on 21 May on Assessing the Impact of COVID-19: from mortality to misery?

The Financial Markets Group Research Centre (@FMG_LSE) was established in 1987 at the LSE. The FMG is a leading centre in Europe for policy research into financial markets. It is the focal point of the LSE's research communication with the business, policy making and international finance communities. The FMG works alongside the Department of Finance to understand problems in financial markets and in the decision-making processes of corporations, banks and regulators.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSECOVID19


Podcast and Video 

A podcast of this event is available to download from Government Assistance to Struggling Businesses in the COVID-19 Crisis.

A video of this event is available to watch at Government Assistance to Struggling Businesses in the COVID-19 Crisis.

Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.