Links 25 May 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing:





Leith van Onselen


  1. bobby bouygues

    Worth checking out the FT long read, another “end of the good run for the lucky country” type article

  2. yesterday we touched some illogical aspects of CV epidemic that put large shade over claims that government measures were key factor deciding outcomes of the epidemic.
    due to differences in testing rates I’ll use deaths per 1m population as a measure – it’s a fairly good proxy for all developed countries

    Yesterday, I mentioned Japan (very high density, the oldest population in the world, huge number of chinese visitors, … but no lockdowns, open restaurants, bars, …, no contact tracing, no tracking, very few tests, … and same results as South Korea with some of the earliest and hardest measures, super efficient tracing, tracking, testing, … similar culture when it comes to hygiene, interpersonal relations (hugging/kissing …)

    Another example, Scotland with very early and very hard measures, younger population … recorded twice as many deaths (per million) as Sweden with relaxed approach, no lockdowns or almost any measures. The measures Sweden introduces were in pace in Scotland as early as mid March (at that time (16/03) Scotland had 170 cases while Sweden had over 1100 confirmed cases with poorer testing).

    Another set of examples comes from USA where similar hard measures have been introduces in almost all states but where results vary so dramatically. Beside obvious examples like California vs. NY i want to point out some stranger cases to explain. Massachusetts for example, recorded very high death rate but New Hampshire in which 60% of population lives in Greater Boston area under 50 miles from Boston downtown recorded only 1/6 of the deaths per million.

    Some people argued that culture plays important part but there are examples of parts of the same countries seeing vastly different results. For example Castilla–La Mancha recorded some of the highest death rates (1500 per million) while neighbouring Murcia recorded only 100 deaths per million. Culture in both are almost the same but Toledo (hardest hit place in the world) was so badly hit that over 80% population got infected while Cartagena had just few % infected.

    This is maybe even more obvious in Italy, where northern rich provinces (e.g. Lombardy with 1500 deaths per million) traditionally seen as socially “cold and distant” (relative to the south) has so bad epidemics while southern affectionate provinces like Campania – Napoli (with 70 deaths per million)<b or Lazio – Rome (with 70 deths per million as well). All of these unaffected regions are also flooded by tourists while famous for being much dirtier and more crowded than the north All of the regions saw the same very hard measures but those regions on the north got measures much earlier (some municipalities went into a hard lockout as early as 22/02 while the southern parts only on 10/03).

    So how does the science shows that measures were responsible for such vastly different outcomes in so similar regions?

    It doesn’t and it will never be able to prove anything like that … simply for some to us yet unknown reasons some places got lucky while some didn’t.

    And this is not the first time something like this happened the famous example is Milan during Black Death of 1340s where almost none died while the rest of Italy and Europe was ravaged. In places just 30km away from Milan, 60% of population died while in Milan none (there were no lockdowns back than in Milan). But luck changed so 1630s Milan lost half of population in what’s called Plague of Milan while some other cities in Italy got spared or less affected.

    • So now you are pretending you know the cultural differences/similarities of different Spanish regions? Is there anything you do not know in this world doctor?

        • Well, that’s a fuсking strange change!

          Usually the calculus is that money has more value than young people. (Refer franking credits, interest rates, house prices, immigration, education, youth unemployment).

          Let us burn this heretic!

        • That’s why our government doesnt want give expensive chemo drugs to young people for free.
          Those may for 100k extend a young life for couple of years or even a decade, but that’s too expensive…
          On the other side postponing the death of a 80 something year old is worth tens of millions of dollars.

          • almost 1000 children get diagnosed with cancer in Australia every year so they are willing to spend 65k to save a single young life – under age of 18
            at the same time during covid19 scare government spent somewhere between $10m and $30m to save an elderly life (median over 80)

          • move those goalposts. it’s gone from *nothing* to $65,000 per child in one post. should we talk about the false averaging you’ve done to suggest every case will take at least $65k to solve?

          • $65k government is willing to spend to save a child life is 0.3% of $20m they are willing to spend to “save” (postpone by few months) an elderly life
            0.3% is nothing, rounding error, equal to money transfer fee …

            so it doesn’t matter f I said government is willing to spend nothing or 0.3% to save a child life of what they are spending to “save” an 80 year old person

            they are politicians they have no shame … but how about you? you are defending policies to spend 330 more money to delay a death of a sick 80 old person than to save a 5 year old child with a cancer

      • My mother in law is Spanish so I know a bit about Spain. And cultural differences between Toledo and Cartagena are definately smaller than those between Punchbowl and Oatley just few km away ….

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Is there anything you do know? Why don’t you explain the difference between Portugal and Spain in terms a super infectious super deadly virus that did virtually nothing in Portugal but in Spain we had all those videos of people in hospital corridors…

    • They must’ve cycled past at least 100 million Indians, and none of them offered any help.

      We should import more people from that society into our country!

      • I think l could lay half dead on my street for longer than that before someone offered help.
        Few old school kids on my affluent street

        • billygoatMEMBER

          You could actually be a drunk Whyte miner dying in a Kalgoorlie gutter & no one would offer help on assumption that you were not Whyte..dead as..true story apparently back in early 90’s

      • That’s the most heartbreaking part of the story, she also passed next to dozen government offices, temples and churches, hcharities, .. of various kinds …

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  4. migtronixMEMBER

    I’m so over this [email protected], can’t go anywhere without another 500 people walking past doing the exact same thing – walking around the prison yard ! Social distancing impossible but let’s not open pubs. ..

    Also the wind today is goddam freezing! Its OK in the sun but as soon as you the shade

    • Know IdeaMEMBER

      What is a larrikin like you doing in prison? Did you steal half a loaf of crypto?