Thursday assorted links

1. “We are at a critical juncture for the market.”

2. Pandemic insurance for Wimbledon cancellation.

3. Borjas on who is undertested, from NYC data.

4. Japanese cook draws every meal he eats.

5. How to close a bag of chips with no clip.

6. Latino incidence in NYC.

7. How is the Swedish approach working out?

8. Re-entry stickers for the Florida Keys — get the picture?

9. Stapp and Watney, masks for all.

10. Hong Kong quarantine diary.

11. How the Faroe Islands aced it (so far).

12. “Many brands are using keyword blocklists to stop their adverts appearing next to stories about Covid-19, meaning that even though news websites are getting record traffic from readers they are barely earning any money from the clicks.”  Link here.

13. The Pandemic Challenge, from Singularity University.

14. Will Covid-19 induce a decline in religiosity?

15. Taiwanese baseball with robot mannequins as fans.

16. The mortgage system is under very real threat.

Comments

14. If my Facebook feed is any indication, we’re having an outright religious revival since COVID broke out. I’ve previously seen studies that indicate religiosity is heavily correlated with prevalence of natural disasters.

I have it on the 'highest' of authorities that the lord (whomever your lord might be) helps those that help themselves, but not the markets. The 'lord' will be there forever and always to answer their prayers and buy their ETFs. 'They' help themselves the best of us all...and it doesn't hurt having the lord in your corner.

Nice parody of:

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

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visit world wide web and on world-wide-web I found this
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3.- This is as you'd expect, as they are also more likely to be working in essential jobs. Check the St Louis Post Dispatch coverage on Covid-19 and race.

essential or not, im tired of all this identity nonsense.

https://twitter.com/tanzinavega/status/1248291651027640325

Let's revisit Sweden's approach once COVID becomes endemic.

If extremely preliminary German numbers from the worst affected region are to be trusted, 14% of the population has been infected to date. At a cost that seems considerably less than the Swedish toll from a number of perspectives. Some places might actually be able to handle endemic problems better than others, it seems.

Can you provide a source to that? I'd be interested to read

I saw that but it’s not a random sample. It is drawn from a heavily infected area, so general conclusions about infection rates cannot be drawn from it

Taiwan did not close any businesses and has had, by most accounts, the most success: 5 deaths in a population of 23M. They shut down travel from China early and executed contact tracing early and well.

So, maybe, we should stop talking about whether "laissez-faire" works or whether lockdowns are necessary and start recognizing that the actual key to success is how well one executes *targeted* measures like isolating those confirmed infected and those that have contacted those infected. Suppose, one had an incompetent police force that never investigated crimes nor arrested criminals. Then, one could argue whether one had to put all residents under house arrest to prevent crime or whether one could get away with "laissez-faire". However, that would be the wrong argument.

Even if one thought it was too late to try targeted measures due to community spreading, targeted measures would still be the key to stopping a second surge after lockdowns suppressed the first.

Some people seem to dismiss out of hand the notion of fighting the virus by fighting the virus, i.e., measures specifically targeted at the virus. They are convinced that the solution must involve mass atonement and abstinence in some way.

I was talking to a Swedish friend, and I got the clear impression that there is a big discrepancy between the official rules and what is happening on the ground. For instance, businesses are not being forced closed, but in fact they are mostly closed or customerless, and those customers that exist are extremely careful. The reason why the Swedish approach can work, to the extent that it does, is because there ia a relatively culturally homogeneous population with high trust.

I live in Japan and I have noticed a difference in many aspects of life where there is a veneer of Western rules and laws, which are selectively ignored or modified by citizens becasue they are just behaving the way they have always behaved, since way before MacArthur. Lawyers are an entire profession that has never really taken off, and in not particularly well remunerated on average, because it just doesn’t fit with how Japanese get stuff done.

Will the Swedish approach work in the end? Who knows? And there are a few too many no-go immigrant zones where the disease is festering. And I don’t really like Japan’s COVID approach and I think it might be reckless (the national government pressured Tokyo to open barber shops, beauty parlors, bars, and DIY shops during the soft lockdown, as “essential"). But in general, a culturally and ethnically homogeneous society does allow alternate approaches to be considered, and you can’t always judge a book by its cover.

Can we desperately hope #14 is VERY true?

If the religiosity is communism and environmental alarmism, sure.

The Keynesian religion seems to be running wild.

Yes, if the religiosity is intersectionality, postmodernism, etc. The churches for those religions are universities, and their congregations cannot meet to worship together either. Some of them are likely to go bust too.

That a virus has to be as racist as they are.

Someone has been triggered. Do you need a safe spot to hide away from the bad people?

I have been to 30+ countries, and if you think that ethnic and cultural differences in hygiene are crackpot-science, you're smoking high grade stuff.

Cultural? Absolutely. As the Quillete European editor at Quillette Magazine, who also cites Tyler Cowen, points out.

Ethnic is one of those squishy terms, but if you think second or third generation ethnic Asian Americas or Middle Eastern Americans follow different hygiene standards, then please point to the American McDonalds that offer several styles of toilets for different ethnic groups, the way Istanbul ferries do. And if you think those ferry public toilets are particularly better or worse than public toilets in NYC, fair enough either way. But it is not an ethnic difference.

So what's your source? Where are you getting the 'high-grade'? I'm not a smoker, but I'm willing to try edibles if they make them.

We'll go halvsies. I want to experience what it's like to be like and willing to rationalize the ignorance of a position. I don't care how expensive the 'high-grade' is. I've got the money.

Cultural? Absolutely. As the Quillete European editor at Quillette Magazine, who also cites Tyler Cowen, points out.

Ethnic is one of those squishy terms, but if you think second or third generation ethnic Asian Americas or Middle Eastern Americans follow different hygiene standards, then please point to the American McDonalds that offer several styles of toilets for different ethnic groups, the way Istanbul ferries do. And if you think those ferry public toilets are particularly better or worse than public toilets in NYC, fair enough either way. But it is not an ethnic difference.

#7. The WaPo article notes "alarming report that the virus has spread to one-third of nursing homes in Stockholm."

The Swedes are lightweights. Canada has managed to register a coronavirus outbreak in at least as large of percentage of its nursing homes, and not just in one city, but nationally. And that's with a total (or near total) economic lock down.

14 is a bit interesting when combined with this reporting - "UTAH — The tracking website Womply.com monitors grocery store spending across the United States. Utahns spent 261% more last week at the grocery stores than the same week a year ago. The grocery stores are struggling to keep up with the demand for more products from Utahns.

It’s official, Utahns are #1 panic grocery store shoppers in the nation.

Compare Utah’s grocery store buying spree’s to Maryland, which has the second-highest jump in spending at the grocery store. Their purchases increased by 124%. And Montana bought 101% more than the same week last year. ... Also, we have bigger houses so there’s room to store more items. Residents in San Francisco or New York City wouldn’t be able to store most bulk items. And, we have a lot more access to big box stores than other state residents.

But, even one of the hardest-hit states of COVID-19, only increased their spending by 21-percent. Lothow chalks that up our culture of preparedness and self-reliance. But, it appears, many Utah families are trying to play ‘catch-up’ with emergency supplies all at once, rather than have their food storage already in place.

So Utahns are hitting the grocery stores hard, buying everything they think they will need." kslnewsradio.com/1921406/its-official-utahns-are-1-panic-grocery-shoppers/

Preparation seems to be a lat minute thing, even among those noted for their religion making preparation a focus.

Not all Utah residents are Mormons. In fact, Salt Lake County is now minority Mormon.

I wouldn't be surprised however if there's cultural spillover, meaning that non-Mormons in Utah do more emergency preparedness than non-Mormons outside of Utah do. (Or do more to try to catch up when an emergency does arrive.)

Or because in Utah they expect social support networks are more likely to exclude them in a crisis.

Utahn's also have larger families than the average population, so that probably explains some of it. If everyone's cooking now, lot more people to feed.

Ah, but who could have predicted a Malmo ghetto comment at MR, of all places!

Currently 0.69% of the population in Stockholm have 40% of the deaths.

But feel free to virtue signal it away.

They will blame this on the whites.

The hatred of the old is getting really tedious at this point, even when it is statistically accurate.

7. "There are now alarming reports that the virus has spread to one-third of nursing homes in Stockholm, which has resulted in rising fatalities."

Holey Moley.

3/6. I bet racial disparities are due primarily to differences in social distancing behaviors. It’s probably harder for poorer people, who are disproportionately minorities, to just stock up on everything they need once a month and stay home.

Anecdotally, I went to my neighborhood grocery for the first time in a few weeks to stock up. Usually this grocery’s customers are mostly white with some Asians and blacks, reflecting overall area demographics. However, this time I went the customers were mostly black with only a few whites and no Asians. The difference from pre-pandemic times was very noticeable and jumped out to me immediately. Another thing I noticed was that while prices on most products were unchanged, avocados and asparagus were significantly cheaper. Perhaps all the yuppies stocked up weeks ago and demand is now gone.

This. We've heard a lot about how a big fraction of the population doesn't have a few hundred dollars cash on hand for an emergency. Why would they have it for pandemic groceries? Also, tiny shared dwellings with bad air circulation.

One must take those reports with a large amount of salt. the questions asked did not meet the headlines published - you can look at the study.

I sense that this is how the experiment ends, the social-distance shamers talk themselves into privilege-shaming themselves to lift a lockdown that is not the same for everyone.

The eminent scientist lady who lashed out at her kid's teacher for assigning worksheets is such a one. This is crap! she said. Too hard to get him to knuckle down! We're going to make pancakes and garden! Also, I am going to continue to do my important and interesting job and write my book. Lady, did you really expect your kid's classroom teacher to customize a fun course of pancakes and gardening for you? And now that you've cleaned up the pancake mess, what's for lunch? And for dinner? How's the book going? You are right, your kid probably never need go to school ever again, to thrive, even absent the pancakes and gardening, if he's reasonably smart (if he's really smart, the worksheets were the matter of a few moments, maybe that is hard for you to accept)... but it's not because of you, and it's not because his teacher did badly with the job she was given.

That, and the early, mostly happy cries of the small children are yielding to more tears and tantrums: this is not something many of the parents in my neighborhood are much accustomed to, or to not being able to get away from/displace upon another.

It could be due to less social distancing resulting in a higher rate of infection , and/or general underlying health. If there is a higher incidence of smoking/obesity/diabetes/hypertension etc.. in that population It will lead to a higher death rate. The data needs to be broken down.

Products which are not easy to store for weeks are plentiful. So people buy up the apples and rice and toilet paper. But people don't want 2 weeks of avocados.

comorbidities combined with compliance issues. Diabetes, CHF, high cholesterol, obesity are more prevalent in minorities and are more likely to be unmanaged.

Any views on the optimism of the stock market, Tyler?

I wouldn’t call the stock market optimistic... more like it moved from catastrophic to merely very bad.

The Nasdaq is up from 6 months ago, I would hardly call that very bad.

I wouldn't eat avocados and asparagus stocked up for weeks. Fortunately I am not a yuppie.

It's a nice time to have an avocado tree out back. Asparagus OTOH is an advanced and non-lazy gardener crop.

An asparagus plant will produce for 25 years before needing replacement , requiring NO weeding or NO watering. Plant ,harvest,and forget about it.

I thought the mulch and harvest sequence was trickier than that .. if I find space I'll have to give it a try

Really? A friend and I once stood in her yard and ceremonially ate her one stalk of asparagus.

We have heavy clay soil, resistant to the "amendment" we all pursue so optimistically at the start.

Asparagus doesn't last weeks. You got to eat it within 10 days or so or it starts gettng slimy. Unless you're one of hose weirdos who goes to the trouble to put it in a glass of water standing up in the fridge, like your fridge has space for that when your stocked up.

I (don't really) love all the handwaving.

Try not to fit the profile guys, all you do is step up to self-identify.

#6: The racial/ethnic profiling of cases is one of those stupid things that really gets to me. To see that even Tyler falls for it is just dismaying. What is this kind of "analysis" accomplishing? Does anyone thinks our data on this is reliable at this point? Is there ANY possible step that can be taken based on this data that will improve ANYTHING??? No, it is just posturing and signaling.

I think there's a ratio. Some of it is SJWs jumping on their hobby horse. But some of it too is rational discussion of public health.

There really are such things as under-served communities in our "system" of health care.

Not. A. System.

If this was about under-served communities we should be talking about physical locations, not something as malleable as race or ethnicity. Otherwise, how in the world will any of this be actionable? Can you think of any public health (or any kind of public policy really) that is targeted by race or ethnicity? No, and for good reason. People are so disconnected from reality that I think they actually believe what you said, even though this narrative falls apart in about one second once you actually think about practical consequences.

I'm fine with having the same discussion based on zip code, etc.

The most critical workers are heavily weighted toward women and minorities.

Doctors and nurses might seem the most critical, but most aren't as the do "prevention" that can be delayed, and they aren't immediately useful in pandemic care.

But janitors are very critical, minorities. Retail clerks in food stores, women, especially minorities. Logistics, heavily minorities. Transit drivers, minorities.

The well paid white males don't do much that is critical to life, just critical to GDP which is basically the sum total of what all workers are paid.

This is wealth redistribution by slashing GDP aka the top 80% of workers by wages and income.

The lower wage workers stay on the job at higher rates and take most of work health risk.

Even if all of this was true (easily debatable) why do you think people use indirect indicators to talk about this? Why race/ethnicity instead of occupation or income level? There is a very simple rule which is: if your argument is strong, you don't need to lie or manipulate. This is simply a political agenda dressed in an economic fallacy. There is no actionable consequence, only posturing and signaling as I said above. That's it.

Well, watch out for the converse as well.

Someone might say "Hispanics are suffering." It might be true (because of overlaps with other descriptors). And some might wish to plug their ears. Because it was "too racial."

And so we never move on to income, education level, job profile, health care provision, etc.

Blame the SJWs, rinse, repeat.

I am not sure I understand the distinction here. To say "Hispanics are suffering" is pretty much useless. The whole population is suffering. What is different between "Hispanic suffering" and "suffering"? What are you trying to inform or accomplish besides politics?

What if Hispanics really are suffering disproportionately and you don't want to hear it, because someone said "Hispanics?"

I'm generally sympathetic to arguments that say "demographic X suffers disproportionately due to policy Y" , but this isn't a government policy, it's a pandemic that almost nobody predicted. Certainly nobody set out, consciously or unconsciously, to render minorities more vulnerable to pandemics, or pursue policies that did so in order to cater to white voters. So I agree with FYI that there's really no value to bringing it up. There is no design or structural racism involved in this, because nobody could have predicted that this would be an outcome.

Well if you want to disbelieve a bunch of studies you can disbelieve a bunch of studies.

When was (IIRC) that with equivalent conditions the medical system prescribes less pain relievers to African Americans.

There are two possible candidates for the explanation. One is that they just think they're tougher. The other is that they think they're more vulnerable to drug abuse.

But you can't just work that backwards and say it doesn't exist because you don't want to hear it.

Corona-chan kills disproportionately more African Americans because doctors aren’t prescribing enough opioids?

I will repeat what I said below "I have seen zero correlation between these articles and any sort of medical/genetic associations. It is all social economical, as demonstrated by Mulp's message above. Don't kid yourself, this is pure politics.". If this discussion was about some actionable problem (genetic differences between groups) then it would be acceptable. It is clearly not. It is simply an opportunistic way to make political points about how group X is in a lower stand in society as reflected by their virus impact. Non actionable, indirect and dishonest identity politics at its core.

Worse. Going around saying that black people are disproportionately likely to be carrying a deadly infectious pathogen may have the opposite of the intended effect - resulting in increased racism. Placing a heavy emphasis on associations between disease prevalence and race is playing with fire, especially a contagious disease. Heck, if I wanted to get everyone in society to shun black people, one of the easiest ways to do it would be to tell everyone they're infected with leprosy, or the plague.

Yes. Then again, a lot of this while liberal impulse to "defend" minority groups is a form of self-aggrandizement. It makes reality so much easier to digest when you prove to yourself that only you can help the poor and that is because, at the end of the day, they are just stupid and you are super bright to see it.

Reference:

"World To End Tomorrow: Women, Minorities Hardest Hit"

https://reason.com/2005/09/01/world-to-end-tomorrow-women-mi/

Kind of done with you guys, but I think it's a simple enough test of character.

Whether, while you're worried about yourself, you can also worry about other people who might not have it so good.

Right, and you can't do it because you're distracted by racial politics

He votes for zoning to keep blacks out of his neighborhood and then makes up for it by claiming diabetes research is evil.

Classic

Did Condi Rice say that the pandemic was unpredicted?

Not all public health issues involve contagion.

You might tailor diabetes PSAs to Samoans, or high blood pressure awareness to African Americans.

I have seen zero correlation between these articles and any sort of medical/genetic associations. It is all social economical, as demonstrated by Mulp's message above. Don't kid yourself, this is pure politics.

You might not think there is a reason to profile cases vs. hair loss either, but:
https://www.futurity.org/covid-19-men-severity-hair-loss-2329142/

Male hormones downregulate the immune system generally, right? That's why men are more vulnerable to infectious diseases. So that seems fairly expected?

Any early word yet on how impaired the global workforce (and national labor forces) will be given the lasting health damage already said to occur among survivors of C-19?

Respiratory therapies for life, damaged cardio-vascular function, and consequent shortened lifespans look poised to impact productivity for years to come. The consequences of C-19 on health care systems and delivery don't look good, either.

That’s not everyone. In a CDC report on 2449 US CoV-19 cases , only 8.6% required ICU and 2.6% died.
We can assume that the 91.8% that didn’t require ICU have no lasting lung damage.

Early early days.

"even though news websites are getting record traffic from readers they are barely earning any money from the clicks"

You hate to see it.

Bad news all over the place regarding the economy yet the stock market is up?? QE? Please explain Thank You

The correlation between the change in the market and the change in earnings is essentially zero. So even if you know what is going to happen to earnings growth it is of no help in telling you what the market will do.

Now ,if you know what is going to happen to the PE it is a very different story.

Stock market alpha has been ignored for years. Since the 2008 crash we have been waiting for beta and gamma to drop. These two coefficients measure Fed distortion, and Fed distortion never stopped and is now getting worse.

This is why we have been doubling the bailouts costs over the last three recessions.

For Catholics, the whole online experience is not a substitute for mass.

And the response from the Vatican, my diocese, and my parish has been both delayed and unsatisfying. I'm even seeing some messaging that seems to imply that Mass isn't that important, and personal prayer is enough! (Hopefully that was just poor wording on their part.)

I know there will be some people who won't return after the habit of going to Mass is disrupted, but I hope it won't be many.

It is not bad news all over the places. Many models and estimates are predicting that the number of deaths world wide might be over a million, but not in the tens of millions. Pandemics this scale are quitte common and do not ruin the economy. Taking this into account and adding the hope (perhaps unwarranted) that the governments will see light and stop destroying the economy themselves, explains, perhaps, why the market thinks the correction has goes too far, and goes up.

This was supposed to be a response to mega mike above.

5: Easily the best thing ever posted to MR.

Credit where it's due. Bravo!

#11: Nice for the Faroe Islands, but surely it's a lot easier to trace and isolate a population of 61,000 -- that's on an island! -- than a population of 61,000,000 on a continent.

Maybe not three orders of magnitude easier, but easier. One salmon-testing facility run by a far-sighted director can make a huge difference with such a small population.

Or yet another way to put it, the solution doesn't scale. (Pun not intended, but I like it so I'm leaving it in.)

#5: looks like a good life hack. For decades I almost never bought chips of any sort but the last year or so I've found myself craving corn chips or tortilla chips. So I have a bag right now that I'm going to try this on.

Similarly our IT people have a clever way of coiling their cables and finishing it with a knot so the cables don't tangle all over the place. I tried to reverse engineer it but ran out of time (had to return the power supply that I'd borrowed from them).

It turns out that I'd already finished my bag of tortilla chips, so I tried the technique on a bag of nuts. The plastic was thicker and stiffer than that used in bags of chips so the folding was a little awkward, but it worked, first time and without me having any practice.

This could be a game-changer, because I'm always running out of clips to close bags. I should probably look up that cable coiling technique too. Tips like this make MR worth the subscription price!

6. Latino incidence in NYC.

It's a certain kind of funny mixed with annoying how some people must view everything through a racial lens. People in the comments bickering about whether or not latino counts as black too (it certainly is brown, right?). Wait what about blacks cross bred with latinos -- do we have a word for that? And the guy giving himself subtle plaudits for helping a 'latina' take her first census... I guess white man's burden is still alive and well in this crowd too.

I find it pretty gross and offensive, and it seems like totally wasted energy. Yes, we get it, wealth and income by ethnicity is not homogeneous. Welcome to America, where a few generations ago the government was actively inhibiting the financial well being of non-white people. Call me back if in a few more generations things aren't evened out as random chance alone dominates the more malleable heritable factors (e.g. parental wealth and educational achievement).

It's blindly obvious that the third variable is 'being poor', excluding specifically known genetic predisposition in the AA population towards diabetes and hypertension -- caused no doubt by racists who invented genes and imposed them on us.

First of all, I'm not sure this audience would actually be more receptive to a class-based argument that "the underclass" is under-served.

Second, when you get to "racists who invented genes" you really do blow up your own argument and your own standing.

We are all people, and people all over the world are suffering. Who does and does not get care is a function of place in society, and place in society is based on more than income-based-class.

I doubt anyone who reads MR believes money cannot purchase goods and services. I’m fairly sure people with more money purchase more things, although consumption inequality is lower than income inequality.

And African Americans are genetically predisposed to diabetes and hypertension. That isn’t up for debate.

In 1958 there were 0.93% of Americans with diabetes. In 2015 there were 7.4%.

Who on earth would look for fixed genetic predispositions in the face of that?

https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/statistics/slides/long_term_trends.pdf

You’re not this bad at statistics.

1-800-Come-On-Now

He's bad when it comes to facts that he'd rather not believe. Statistics falls under the umbrella of facts.

https://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/53/3/830

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6429313/

I mean really you could have just googled:

African American genetic diabetes|hypertension

I don't really like getting hung up on the genetic parts I just brought that up because it's specifically relevant (as a counterpoint to what I was saying - that the third variable poverty explains pretty much everything). As to why on earth people look for that sort of thing, because it's interesting and it has explanatory power.

Yes all Americans have gotten fatter and more diabetic over time. What's the point? The question is all things being equal is one group more at risk than another group, and why?

If that answer is "yes due to endemic reasons", then pointing out one group is more at risk than another group as implicit evidence of racist bigotry is not productive.

Increasing the screening of African Americans for pre diabetes and hypertension is racist. And it's simultaneously racist if we 'under-serve' African Americans by not increasing screening given that we know they're genetically predisposed to diabetes and hypertension.

Schrodinger's idiocy

I'm not going to teach an undergrad statistics class in the MR comments section, but just FYI for any moron that reads anonymous' comments:

Large studies done by the NIH and Harvard University et al collect health and behavioral data on individuals. This data include race, income, marriage status, and dozens of other socioeconomic factors. Each variable when creating a model will have ' a Beta', or coefficient estimate.

When we want to model a probability, we typically use log regression. The takeaway from this is the dependent variable in estimation is between zero and one for any set of data, this is because someone either HAS diabetes or does NOT have diabetes. In other words, the dependent variable is a binary variable.

At the end of the study, with thousands or millions of individual data points, we can 'regress' on a model and determine an estimate for the coefficient for each individual variable. BMI has, for example, a large, positive sign, and statistically significant coefficient for probability of a diabetes diagnosis.

An idiot would say 'diabetes went up, race hasn't changed, race ain't relevant'

A non idiot would say, 'diabetes went up, our model is still accurate and the p-value for African American coefficient has not changed. We should invest in additional screening for African Americans and ensure they're diagnosed and treated properly'

If you're actually worried about the diabetes and the health risk, you will be most animated by that increase from 1% to 7%.

If you are not primarily interested in that increase, you're playing some other game.

The subject of this post is not diabetes. Therefore it would be illogical to be discussing the reason for the increase in diabetes. Anyone who raises this issue is simply playing hide-the-ball

#9. The amount of regulatory bullshit that has continued to occur in the midst of this crisis is astonishing. Just let hospitals import KN95 respirators already! Cut the crap! Markets can figure out which ones are counterfeit without the FDA looking over everyone's shoulder.

'Markets can figure out which ones are counterfeit '

No, they actually cannot, which is why Chinese equipment is now subject to strict testing in places which have bought such crap.

Yes, they can. Instead of sourcing your supplies on AliBaba.com , you buy from someone who only stocks known trusted sources.

There is no "someone." It's a pipeline with variable choices all the way through. Even if you trusted Bob who owns a mask factory you don't know if Bob has to switch from Barry to Bill for paper supplies.

You may remember crazy ideas for organic foods tracking by blockchain. Same problem. Too bad that blockchain craziness never worked out.

That’s true for literally any good that exists..... This is why brands and reputation matter.

Though to be fair most of the reputable mask sellers in China are probably banned from exporting commercially.

Those bans aren't in effect anymore. China now has a surplus of masks for export because they ramped up production.

Are either one of you going to name your favorite trusted brand of Chinese mask?

It's not my job to source medical supplies. Do you think the FDA could name it's favorite trusted brand of KN95 mask? People will figure out fast which ones are good. Buy from multiple sources, determine which ones are trustworthy, How hard is this?

If I understand correctly "KN" masks have never been tested and certified by the US, so no.

https://www.magicwhiteboard.co.uk/news/corona-virus-mask-what-is-difference-between-n95-k/

The whole point of these certifications is that you do your own, and you don't trust anybody else, and you don't have to worry about anyone else's corruption.

Are you going to certify it to us there is no corruption?

I don't think we should be doing government testing and certification at ALL. I think hospitals should be allowed to buy and use whatever masks they want.

A. He thinks "markets" means "government technocrats".

B. He thinks all the customers with lots of money to buy stuff are individuals who use the PPEs, etc, not government and insurance funded buyers who are supposed to meet the needs of workers while wisely spending US citizen money with payers having zero say.

C. He borrows and spends other people's money and never repays the money and expects government and health systems to do the same.

#16

1/3 of mortgage holders defaulting after 2 missed paychecks or one missed rent payment for landlords.

It must be time for Mr. Kevin Erdman to say we need more wide access to mortgages!

16. In other words, after the GOP under reaganomics destroyed bank mortgage lending in the 80s, then "bailed out the banks" circa 1990 to get rid of bank mortgage lending, further drove out bank mortgage lending in the 00s, then bailed out the uninsured mortgage lending system in the 10s while attacking both the bailouts while fighting efforts to go back to what worked for 40 years (1935-1975), we end up with no way to make mortgage loans.

Back to 1930.

The solution is a total government takeover of mortgage lending: FHA lending money printed by Mariner Eccles plus bank savings insured by Eccles. In other words, making mortgage lending like in China, ie, 50% cash down.

16. I was waiting for dear readers to comment on 16. What's happening is a repeat of 2008-09: the Fed is pumping liquidity into financial markets to rescue stock/bond prices, but not home prices. And home prices are collapsing even though we don't know it yet. And with the collapse of home prices, a deep recession or worse. This is dumb beyond belief. And the political consequences will be severe, as the populist right moves farther right and gains strength. We are on the path to depression and dictatorship. How many blog posts here about rescuing home prices?

Public sector pension bailouts drive the pump. The Fed is deathly afraid of bailing out Illinois, New York, New Jersey and California.

Exactly. The pensions were way underwater going into this pandemic. They are stuffed to the gills with high risk investments and the Fed knows this. If they go down it’s literally trash in the streets and lawlessness. Of course, benefits could be cut to avert all of this, but that ain’t gonna happen.

My neighbors, both retired city attorneys and graduates of 4th tier law schools, are in their early 60s. They are pulling in a combined 475K per year in Calpers pensions. Other then wearing face masks they are untouched by this pandemic. Their main concern is which of their four homes would be safest if things get out of control- Mammoth Lakes, Montana, the Beach, or Palm Springs?

Check out gold prices.
In this crisis we are investing in gold mines. But we started investing in gold mines when the Fed started the latest repo QE, months before the virus. It is a fairly smooth trend up to today, with a couple of jitters.

So, I have tow questions.
1) The Fed triggered the gold rise, what does the Fed want with gold in the middle of a pandemic?
2) Gold is not betting the virus, gold is betting the regularly scheduled bailout which it expected soon after the repo QE.

Most of everyone else is piling on with their priors. Shadow banking solves this problem, it allows investors to utilize another banking system that is not suffering the 'Regularly scheduled' default problem. Shadow bankers know about your priors, they know when your priors will be peaking and they hedge your priors. Drop the priors is good advice.

How long til Tyler backtracks to the "Trump intentionally overstated the number of potential deaths from Wuhan Virus just to make himself look good" position?

I think he did. And now Fauci comes out with the lower estimate as leverage over Trump to keep everything shut down. Now if Trump opens everything in May and we we get 120k deaths it's "Trump's fault.". A lot of political baseball being played.

#12

So is this why you keep linking to covid coverage on WaPo that still has a paywall?

reusable masks - check Etsy. I got a pack of 5 in 3 days. Our local Mennonites are churning them out, too. Free enterprise!

From #1: (banks that "helped" by acquiring failing competitors were later punished via huge fines for the behavior of acquired co.)

This was a chicken I had forgotten I was waiting to come home to roost.

#6 Serious question, Tyler—what’s a latino?

#3. Less likely to be tested is a guarantee of a higher percent positive. Statistically, firemen are more likely to show up at a burning building then one that is not burning. This must be something that he had one of his research assistants do one afternoon from home

#7 The article could have used some modeling or at least extrapolation to examine it's thesis. MY back of the envelope extrapolation of data on US and Swedish deaths (and the journalist ought to have access to something better) shows Sweden with a higher but earlier peak in deaths/million and a lower total deaths/million compared to the US.

#16 The threat is real, but the suggested measure (Fed loans specifically to mortgage-holding financial institutions) is doubtful. Borrowers not able to meet their mortgage payments because they are not working and the impact on mortgage holders is not different in principle from people not making any other kind of purchase because of loss of income. PRESUMABLY (???) mortgage holders learned during the financial crisis that foreclosing and trying to resell housing is very expensive. They would be much better off riding out the downturn but that requires then to have an additional source of finance (hence the suggestion).

A better alternative is for the Fed to be buying assets, including but not only mortgage backed securities, as part of a general policy of keeping up aggregate demand. [The low expectations of inflation shown by the TIPS break-even rate -- less than 1% pa over the next 5 years -- indicate that the Fed is so far failing at this task.]

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