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Finance, coronavirus, the economy, etc (Read 9544 times)

Offwidth

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Ok Pete I give up and admit I must be the Blofeld of social liberalism. I thought I was as a whim posting something that illustrated how weird life was during my weird current situation but clearly my manchurian side was in total control.

SA Chris

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I didn't even know you were from Manchester.

Offwidth

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Shit....it's all connected....the BMC fanboyness.....Lynn ... if only I had known.

Duma

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That Maitlis bit is great

Andy B

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  • fishie in a dishie

Stabbsy

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Emily Maitlis saying it how it is:

https://twitter.com/ed_son/status/1248021250267656192?s=20

Good that it's been said, let's hope it doesn't stop at words though. It's a long way from it being said and people nodding along when they're shit scared of what's going to happen to people "in peacetime" recognising that something needs to be done and being willing to support it despite it not being in their own best interests financially. People can have selective/short memories following times of crisis.

I'd love to be proved wrong, but I don't think it's something that we will get from the current government.

Oldmanmatt

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Ecuador.
Apparently, their official death toll is so low, because they gave up reporting or pretending to cope.
In French, sorry.
This is what it looks like when the system fails.

https://www.loopsider.com/fr/video/dans-cette-region-de-lequateur-des-cadavres-dans-les-rues

So, things could be worse, here.

Glad to see Boris is out of ICU.

Nigel

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So the Bank of England are now being tapped up by the government for direct money printing via the Ways and Means Facility...

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/apr/09/bank-of-england-to-finance-uk-government-covid-19-crisis-spending
https://www.theguardian.com/business/nils-pratley-on-finance/2020/apr/09/the-treasury-is-asking-for-a-big-overdraft-fine-as-long-as-its-short-term

Sorry for the links but if anyone is not interested (probably most people) then they are easier to ignore than an overlong post! If you are interested then this is different to QE, which takes a circuitous route through the gilts market to create extra money, which ends up with the "normal" banks. This Ways and Means stuff literally is magicked up straight into the government's account. A good yardstick of how serious this is getting economically as it is not often used - last time in anger was 2008.

And final link - the Guardian's editorial is worth reading as it aligns with what we have been discussing on this thread  - i.e. money is always available to pay for anything if the currency issuer is sovereign, inflation could be an issue but now is not the time to worry about it. After the austerity years I never thought I'd see the day:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/09/the-guardian-view-on-the-covid-19-fight-it-can-be-paid-for#comments

Johnny Brown

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Ta, interesting. You get anywhere with that BoE report? I did post an interview with the author which is a bit more digestible.

Ru

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This is what it looks like when the system fails.

That's truly grim.

Wood FT

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This is what it looks like when the system fails.

That's truly grim.

Christ

Stu Littlefair

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It may also be, at least in part, not true.

https://apple.news/A87dPH3pfQpGKIzMUgz9QcQ

Oldmanmatt

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It may also be, at least in part, not true.

https://apple.news/A87dPH3pfQpGKIzMUgz9QcQ

I can’t open that link. (Edit. Got it to work).
But there’s more than one source popped up since a French friend shared the report I linked to:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/guayaquil-ecuador-coronavirus-death-toll-bodies-latin-america-a9456596.html?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#Echobox=1586446178

Oldmanmatt

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Ok.
Read the Apple news refutation.
But the Independent report cites various individuals, both local and representatives of local and foreign NGOs.
They even mentioned the tyre burning, in a rather different light.

One of the worst aspects of the “Fake news” phenomenon is how easy it is to spin both ways.
The inherent possibility of “Fake refutation” to reality, as easily created as the news.

Difficult.

I still lean toward the Independent reporting.
One factor to consider is that not all the dead are victims of C19, many will have died from “normal” things, but where the system is overloaded by the excess C19 deaths and associated precautions, plausibility (at least) exists.
Possibly the truth sits somewhere in the middle.

Oldmanmatt

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Of course, you don’t need to look to the developing world to see signs of potential dystopia.

Coronavirus: New York using mass graves amid outbreak https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-52241221

This is why I posted in this thread:
Can you imagine, this “thing” running rampant, without any mitigation efforts? Infecting and killing at it’s natural rate?
NY has had some pretty stringent measures in for some time and might just head off the worst possible scenario.
It looks (writer touches as much wood as can be found within reach of armchair, including his own head) as if that might be true here. The daily deaths being lower than feared now (yesterday’s figures included a good deal of catch up from the previous week) and probably just from the initial “social distancing” and not even yet from “lock down” measures.

I just cannot see the “cost” (human and financial) of letting it run it’s course, would be less than the cost of mitigation measures and I find it hard to imagine that that cost would not be much higher.
Granted, mitigation = prolongation not “cure”, even so, it must lead to a lower toll, just on the basis of being able to deliver medical care to those with a chance of survival (C19 and other conditions).

In other words, I can see why the Government abandoned it’s herd immunity course so readily and abruptly.

Oh, and:


Stu Littlefair

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 Matt, that’s four long posts addressing about nine points that I didn’t make!

I don’t disagree with anything you’ve written, and my post was carefully worded since it looks like a shit show in Ecuador, but also that it’s hard to discern exactly how bad it is.

Oldmanmatt

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Ah, see actually the first post was aimed at your point, the rest was general ruminating to the world, because I have too much time on my hands and I fell down the rabbit hole of link following...


Sorry I didn’t make that clear.

The digression into fake news seemed important in this climate though.

I was fishing for other opinions.
(Arguing with opposing views does not preclude learning from them, I always consider arguing “testing”, despite my apparent belligerence).

Stu Littlefair

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Ah. I misread your posts then, sorry!

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Those interested in economic experts' views on the response to the coronavirus and its effects on the economy should check out this:
http://www.igmchicago.org/surveys/european-economic-policy-for-the-covid-19-crisis/

The format is a pane of economists looking at policy questions: "This panel explores the views of European economists on vital public policy issues. It does this by polling them on important policy questions, by including a way for them to explain their answers briefly if they wish, and by disseminating these responses directly to the public in a simple format."

Results are presented "as is" and also weighted by the individual's confidence in their answer.

Tl;dr - severe lockdowns probably worth it.

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A Guardian long read.  It charts the financial impact and central bank responses and concludes the major western economy financial defensive measures just about worked so far, despite some terrible tensions and an unclear fuure. The final question is what happens now in the developing nations?

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/apr/14/how-coronavirus-almost-brought-down-the-global-financial-system

Johnny Brown

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Mark Carney; fairly brief but echoing some of the discussion here. Interesting to see him reference Taleb too.

Quote
This points to a final, deeper issue. As the philosopher Michael Sandel has argued, in recent decades, subtly but relentlessly, we have been moving from a market economy to a market society. Increasingly, to be valued, an asset or activity has to be in a market. For example, Amazon is one of the world’s most valuable companies, yet the Amazon region appears on no ledger until it is stripped of its foliage, and converted to farmland. The price of everything is becoming the value of everything.

https://www.economist.com/business/2020/04/16/by-invitation-mark-carney-on-how-the-economy-must-yield-to-human-values?cid1=cust/ednew/n/bl/n/2020/04/16n/owned/n/n/nwl/n/n/UK/452381/n

Nigel

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Great article, cheers word. PS I'll try to re-listen to that podcast on interest rates soon and give an opinion...

Johnny Brown

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I'm not after an opinion but its very interesting. I think I could manage a pub-based yarn on some theories as to what's going on at some point...

Nigel

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Pint in 2021 then.

ali k

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Wasn’t sure which one to put this in, but anyway.

Just been chatting to a neighbour about various things and the subject of furlough came up briefly. He’s a plasterer and was saying as he’s got more than 3 years of books he’ll be eligible for the 80% self-employed furlough scheme. But he’s also been working throughout the last six weeks - not full time but whenever he can get hold of plaster so around 3-4 days a week. By the sound of it this is cash in hand work (he didn’t outright say it but it wasn’t that hard to figure out). I wonder how many self-employed trades will be happily taking the furlough grant and carrying on working throughout...

 

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