Summary

The theme of 2021 – that of a global economy recovering from COVID-19, albeit at different paces – was upended toward the end of the year with the sudden advent of the omicron variant. And while hints of the variant’s potential mildness continue to emerge, a return to some degree of lockdown measures is all but assured now, at least for the first few months of 2022. These lockdowns couldn’t come at a worse time for cash-strapped governments, particularly those in the developing world, which are prevailing over ever-growing debt piles as the horizon for normalization gets pushed back further and further with each new variant of concern. Should omicron or any subsequent variant not prove sufficiently mild, then there’s a risk that 2022 could bring a debt crisis to the developing world or elsewhere.