Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Coronavirus infections are rising in emerging countries like Brazil, Russia and India, which are now three of the five countries with the highest number of confirmed cases.

Why it matters: To offset some of the negative economic impact from the pandemic, governments have announced massive fiscal packages and new borrowing that threatens their credit ratings and the sustainability of their budgets, the IMF warned in its latest World Economic Outlook.

What they're saying: “The steep contraction in economic activity and fiscal revenues, along with the sizable fiscal support, has further stretched public finances, with global public debt projected to reach more than 100% of GDP this year,” the fund said.

  • In its base-case scenario, global public debt will reach a record high in 2020 of 101.5% of GDP and 103.2% of GDP in 2021.

What to watch: At its April meeting the IMF recommended coordinated fiscal stimulus, a moratorium on debt payment and debt restructurings, and additional financing and grants for the world's poorest countries.

  • Outside of financing and grants from the IMF and World Bank and a moratorium from official creditors for some countries, none of that has yet materialized.

The bottom line: Unless action is taken, the emerging world could face an escalating virus epidemic with less available capital and a growing pile of debt.

Go deeper: Policymakers eye next round of coronavirus economic relief

Go deeper

Jan 22, 2020 - World

Putin’s stock market soars

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Despite "tough" U.S. sanctions, Russia's economy is picking up steam, and its financial markets are delivering massive rewards to investors.

Why it matters: In an era in which the U.S. has made economic punishment its foreign policy weapon of choice, Russian President Vladimir Putin and others continue to defy the U.S. and are finding the consequences to be quite bearable.

Robert Mueller speaks out on Roger Stone commutation

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday July 24, 2019. Photo: The Washington Post / Contributor

Former special counsel Robert Mueller responded to claims from President Trump and his allies that Roger Stone was a "victim" in the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, writing in a Washington Post op-ed published Saturday: "He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

Why it matters: The rare public comments by Mueller come on the heels of President Trump's move to commute the sentence of his longtime associate, who was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison for crimes stemming from the Russia investigation. The controversial decision brought an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars.

Trump dons face mask during Walter Reed visit

Trump wearing a face mask in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on July 11. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump wore a face mask during his Saturday visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to AP.

Why it matters: This is the first known occasion the president has appeared publicly with a facial covering as recommended by health officials since the coronavirus pandemic began, AP writes.