In Depth

The Week Unwrapped podcast: Rising stocks, falling births and work in limbo

Why are global stock markets soaring in the middle of a recession? And why has the Italian birth rate slumped to its lowest since 1861?

The Week Unwrapped Team

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days. 

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In this week’s episode, we discuss:

Rising stocks

The coronavirus outbreak and the measures designed to contain it have sent unemployment soaring, and plunged the world into recession. And yet in recent months, investors have sent stock markets – particularly in the US – soaring, in some cases to record highs. Have they lost the plot?

Falling birth rates

Italy’s birth rate has fallen to its lowest level since records began in 1861. But Italy is not the only country with a rapidly ageing population. Research by the University of Washington says 23 countries may see their population halved by 2100. So is the fertility decline reversible? And are we ready for the societal changes it will usher in?

Work in limbo

Number 10 has hinted that work from home advice will soon be scrapped in England. But increasingly there is a growing divide between those who want to return to the office, and those who are far happier at home. What are people missing about office life? Is there a quiet crisis unfolding in living spaces across the country? And has the future of the workplace changed forever?

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