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Now that the year 2021 is drawing to a close, it is a good time for all of us to pause for a moment, look back and take stock of the year that is almost behind us. It is particularly interesting to remember what expectations we had at the beginning of the year and to see how closely they correspond to what actually happened.

It seems like a long time ago, but in fact it wasn’t until January of this year that politicians in most developed countries celebrated vaccines as the answer to all of our problems. These would help us finally overcome the pandemic in just a few months, eliminate restrictions and make lockdowns a thing of the past.

At around the same time, taxpayers, entrepreneurs, investors and ordinary savers were told that a great economic boom was about to begin. What we got instead was another round of complete lockdowns in many parts of Europe, new restrictions around the world, “health passports” and a daily reality that doesn’t seem remotely “normal”. As for the promised economic prosperity, what we got instead was skyrocketing prices, an energy crisis and an unprecedented, globally crippling supply chain breakdown.

To discuss the discrepancy between what was promised and what happened, and to discuss what

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