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The crises of the past two years have killed the idea that markets will fix everything | Larry Elliott

Government intervention, crucial during Covid, is just as vital now, as energy prices soar and living standards plummet

It’s six months this week since Russia invaded Ukraine and, let’s face it, things could be going better. The conflict is dragging on and the economic costs of the war are rising. Europe has been pushed to the brink of a deep recession by the Kremlin’s weaponisation of energy.

But it is not just that Vladimir Putin has killed off the global recovery that followed the end of lockdowns. Just as significantly, he has also driven another nail into the coffin of laissez-faire economics. For the second time this decade, Britain – along with the rest of Europe – is on an economic war footing. Radical action is needed to prevent an economic catastrophe this winter, just as it was when Covid-19 arrived in early 2020.

Larry Elliott is the Guardian’s economics editor

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