Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Sacrificing Lives to Save Capital

by ARGeezer Sun May 10th, 2020 at 03:24:27 PM EST

The Plan Is to Save Capital and Let the People Die Common Dreams

Whether Americans know it or not, their government is not working for them. Their government is working on behalf of capital. Humans are now a mere second-order, instrumental factor to be considered based on how it affects capital.

This is particularly tragic considering that, for countries with their own fiat currency such as the USA and the UK, capital can be created at will by the treasury/central bank of that country. Granted the USA has more leeway in this regard due to the weight of its currency in the international market. But the government of such a country can always purchase any good or service that is produced in their country without inflationary effect provided such purchases do not produce shortages of resources.

Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger


In both the USA and the UK this highlights the folly of having 'off-shored' so much of their manufacturing, as that factor decreases the latitude of the available response. In both countries the financial sectors have effectively devoured much of the former productive capacity of the country as part of a scheme to funnel ever more of the nations' productivity into their hands. A move to rebalance these economies is in order, especially for basics such as health care supplies.

Of course a major motive for the shift to 'off-shore' manufacturing was to confound the ability of nation states to tax and control trans-national corporations. It was for these reasons that 'captains of industry' invested so heavily in the political processes. Through purchase or rent of the apparatus of national government they get laws favorable to their interests, regardless of how deleterious the effects of those changes are on the domestic population.

The other factor at play in this dilemma is the fact that competing capitalists keep score in terms of the national currencies. Their goals are to acquire as much wealth as the can, but that wealth is denominated in national currencies. So, while intellectually they might understand that governments can and do create money at will, emotionally, they cannot help but see government spending on anything other than benefits to them as pernicious.

These factors come into sharp focus when the conflict comes down to saving lives at the expense of perceived dilution of the value of money. Better to be king of a shitpile than an equal in a paradise.

The situation in the EU, especially the Euro-Zone is more complicated because of the shared currency of the Euro. But the same ability to create money through the ECB is still there. There just has to be agreement on how that money is created and spent in the various countries.

At present there is an impasse. Germany has considered that, as the price for it having joined the Euro-Zone and exchanging its strong currency, the Deutchmark, for the Euro, they should get the ability to always separate 'their' money from the money belonging to other countries. Not all Germans hold this belief, but the Government of Germany has acted upon and reinforced such assumptions since reunification.

It is now politically perilous for a German national politician to criticize this view. As economies have stagnated since the Global Financial Crisis this has contributed to strains in Germany leading to the rise of extremist right wing parties. Drought, war and the flood of refugees from Syria and elsewhere has only further compounded the problem.

By allowing this arrangement to continue the rest of the EuroZone has, effectively, subsumed their own economic welfare to that of Germany and Germany has had a de facto veto on monetary policy in the Euro-Zone. That arrangement has now come down again to the question of saving lives vs. maintaining the 'economic discipline' demanded by Germany. Again because the first dramatic illustration of this conflict was Greece. Then Germany was able to pass off the problem as 'lazy southerners'.

Now, with great loss of life in Italy, Spain and France coupled with great loss of economic activity due to the pandemic the conflict emerges more starkly. Unfortunately this seems to coincide with a leadership vacuum in Germany with the impending retirement of Chancellor Angela Merkel. This is critical at this point as to get through the next year or two of reduced economic activity due to the corona virus a great deal of Central Bank support will be required to prevent major long term economic damage. This could be provided in trillions of Euros by the European Central Bank, but Germany objects.

Display:

Lifting the curtain for this charade of the Republican party, may their loss in U.S. Congress be of the same proportion as how the predicted pandemic decimated the elderly and less fortunate this year. Defeat this capitalism of doom and take the wealth preaching pastors along with it to hell. After 9/11 under Bush first term,  Katrina disaster in 2005, the bank- and financial crisis of 2008-09, austerity lashing out, inequality on the increase and the techno giants of Silicon Valley with greed over people and democracy.

From my earlier diary - Easter Blasphemy Inside the Oval Office

And about sacrificing lives... yours, not mine of course! The mathematicians of the US, UK and NL supported by Imperial College [Neil Ferguson - London].

Living in a laboratory of Dr. Frankenstein: "Herd Immunity" Is Damning @EuroTrib on March 14, 2020

New tactic suggested by science and followed by politicians in Europe and US ... herd immunity. In other words, human sacrifice of today's elderly so future generations have a better chance of survival. Before Western civilization ends, the ancient practice of human sacrifice: in terms of pure capitalism a cost/benefit analysis.

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Sun May 10th, 2020 at 04:16:29 PM EST
In contrast to the common myth in Germany that their prosperity is due to their uniquely virtuous population and their thrifty, industrious habits, a view that is not without merit, Yanis Varoufakis noted in 'Global Minotaur' that the most significant factor in Germany's economic and industrial rise after WW II was the cancellation of Germany's war debts by the USA. Of course the gold reserves of Greece were part of that debt, having been seized as an act of war. Neither Greece nor other countries had a voice in that decision. Hegemons do as they will. Lesser powers suffer what they must.

The populations of the USA and the UK could certainly benefit from a general cancellation of debt at this point in history, even where that debt is internal. There is a good argument to be made that much of this debt is odious, given that it was accrued through a control fraud operated by the financial sectors of those countries through their purchased control of the instruments of state.

The interest on that debt operates, layer by layer, to increase the cost of all economic activity much like a high value added tax would operate through the economy. And the benefits flow almost exclusively to the class that effectively owns the political apparatus. Yet we hear no complaints about onerous economic rent crushing the entrepreneurial spirit of our people. It is as though we have privatized taxation.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 10th, 2020 at 05:27:16 PM EST
Death is also ... kind of "permanent" !!  😡
🇺🇸 🇺🇸 Has His Master's Voice been to a burial or a remembrance of tens of thousands killed this Spring?



Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Sun May 10th, 2020 at 05:49:45 PM EST
Saving the economy and the people

Opening the US society and economy back up in May or June is NOT going to solve the economic problem. People will still social distance to the extent they can and, as deaths rise, there will be more blow-back. The virus doesn't care that Trump's deadline is November, 2020.

The way to save the economy is to replace the hole that the pandemic has blown in the economy. Replace the wages lost and keep the businesses afloat. Create money as required to do this. Richard Koo has shown that such action is both effective and a bargain compared to accepting the loss of GDP that lack of action entails:

"Significance of Japanese experience

Japan faced a balance sheet recession following the bursting of its bubble in 1990 as commercial real estate prices fell 87 percent nationwide. The resulting loss of national wealth in shares and real estate alone was equivalent to three years of 1989 GDP. In comparison, the U.S. lost national wealth equivalent to one year of 1929 GDP during the Great Depression. Japan's corporate sector responded by shifting from its traditional role as a large borrower of funds to a massive re-payer of debt, as shown in Exhibit 5. The net debt repayment of the corporate sector increased to more than 6 percent of GDP a year. And this was on top of household savings of over 4 percent of GDP a year, all with interest rates at zero. In other words, Japan could have lost 10 percent of GDP every year, just as the US did during the Great Depression.

Japan managed to avoid a depression, however, because the government borrowed and spent the aforementioned $100 every year, thereby keeping the economy's expenditures at $1,000 ($900 in household spending plus $100 in government spending). In spite of a massive loss of wealth and private sector deleveraging reaching over 10 percent of GDP per year, Japan managed to keep its GDP above the bubble peak throughout the post-1990 era (Exhibit 6), and the unemployment rate never climbed above 5.5 percent.This government action maintained incomes in the private sector and allowed businesses and households to pay down debt. By 2005 the private sector had completed its balance sheet repairs.Although this fiscal action increased government debt by 460 trillion yen or 92 percent of GDP during the 1990-2005 period, the amount of GDP preserved by fiscal action compared with a depression scenario was far greater. For example, if we assume, rather optimistically, that without government action Japanese GDP would have returned to the pre-bubble level of 1985, the difference between this hypothetical GDP and actual GDP would be over 2,000 trillion yen for the 15-year period. In other words, Japan spent 460 trillion yen to buy 2,000 trillion yen of GDP, making it a tremendous bargain. And because the private sector was deleveraging, the government's fiscal actions did not lead to crowding out, inflation, or skyrocketing interest rates."
http://www.paecon.net/PAEReview/issue58/Koo58.pdf


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 10th, 2020 at 06:57:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I found this on an MMT site. It is by a retired English Civil Engineer named Tom Griffiths:

  A recent phone-in comment by LBC Radio's economics correspondent set me thinking, as it led to the usual nonsense over equating Govt. spending with 'debt'. There were phrases like "UK Govt is paying the salaries of 60% of Brits- even another month will bankrupt us" etc. I thought of a useful parallel which went on immensely longer, and yet the promised bankruptcy never arose.

    Shortly after the declaration of war in 1939, Britain ramped itself up into practically the most single-focused economy ever seen in the modern world. Within 2 years, 6 million Brits were paid directly by HMG in the armed forces alone. That is, at least 25% of the adult population. On top of which, a huge percentage of the UK economy was switched to exclusively war materials output. Domestic car, bus and truck manufacturing stopped completely. As did train manufacture. Dockyards concentrated on war vessels or freighters which often had a very short life.

    This continued until early 1946: in other words the UK Govt closed huge swathes of private industry, and more or less directly employed over half the UK population for 5 years uninterrupted. Practically nothing of the 'traditional' industries worked for anything other than Government money, apart from farms, food industry, shops and a token amount of clothing and domestic items manufacture. For 5 whole years.

    According to the 'household budget' idiots, this would have left us with a decimated economy, a crushing mountain of 'debt' equal to 5 years or more of GDP, and plunged us into a deep and savage depression.

    Instead, the only visible debts were a combination of the real ones: the $6.5bn dollars owed to Canada and the USA for provision of food, oil and war materials, and the sum total of war bond redemption costs in £Sterling. The Dollar debts began repayment in 1950, and the total apparent visible debt was only about a third of what the 'household' model would have predicted, i.e. about 2-2.5x GDP

    The whole 5-year complete takeover by Govt didn't lead to much inflation, due to rationing and price controls.

    As troops were demobilised in a planned way, because the infrastructure of the economy was still in place, although rather battered, output simply started again. Not quite as simple as turning on a tap, but not far off. The promised depression never occurred, probably helped by the stimulus of having to rebuild lots of things, and re-supply our old markets which had been turned off by the almost 100% cessation of international trade.

    So the answer to the pessimists is: we weathered a similar international hiatus which involved the Govt paying almost everyone, for a full 5 years once, and bounced back. That is (with this current lockdown scheduled to probably last 4 months) an almost exact parallel economic hit, but 15 times greater in magnitude. And with more deaths along the way (approx 400,000).

With neo-liberal economic doctrine neither the UK nor the USA could have successfully fought Germany in WW II. War mobilization would have been paralyzed by fear of debt, which is a totally bogus issue in an intelligently run nation with its own fiat currency.

Tom Griffiths

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon May 11th, 2020 at 01:31:55 PM EST
Failing the mobilization that did occur, Germany would have won WW II. Neo-liberal economics leads to fascism just as fascism is the default state of failed liberal capitalism.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon May 11th, 2020 at 01:35:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Mon May 11th, 2020 at 09:16:19 PM EST
by Cat on Mon May 11th, 2020 at 10:19:22 PM EST
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Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Mon May 11th, 2020 at 10:38:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Tue May 12th, 2020 at 02:33:35 PM EST
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Tesla's California fight heats up ["]competition for jobs["]
Since the disagreement between Tesla and Alameda County gained national attention, officials from such states as Texas, Nevada, Georgia, Utah and Oklahoma have pitched Musk about considering their state. Analysts estimate it would take Tesla 12 to 18 months to move production.
by Cat on Wed May 13th, 2020 at 02:32:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NYC deaths from ["]non-COVID causes["] rise over 5,000 above normal rate: CDC
These deaths could be directly or indirectly attributed to the pandemic and counting only the confirmed or probable COVID-19-associated deaths likely underestimates deaths attributable to the pandemic, the researchers said.
CDC | NEW! "estimates in a range" of ranges, 11 May 2020 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
by Cat on Mon May 11th, 2020 at 11:01:23 PM EST
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UK under- and over-estimated deaths: jobs saved or created
Researchers from across the United Kingdom will sequence the genetic code of people who fell critically ill with COVID-19 and compare their genomes with those who were mildly ill or not ill at all.

by Cat on Wed May 13th, 2020 at 01:58:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OCCAM: wut
by Cat on Wed May 13th, 2020 at 02:16:40 PM EST
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£84M purchase order
[business minister Alok Sharma] said that Oxford University and drug maker AstraZeneca (AZN.L) had struck a global licensing deal for a vaccine that Oxford scientists were working on
by Cat on Mon May 18th, 2020 at 02:31:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A Colorado restaurant opened sit-down brunch on Mother's Day. It got shut down.
"Gov. Jared Polis said the restaurant was 'causing an immediate health hazard,' and its business license will remain suspended until it is no longer a threat."
Rising Sun pastor among plaintiffs in lawsuit against governor
Antietam Battlefield et al vs. Hogan et al: When #COVID Battlefield Killing Becomes Murder
by Cat on Tue May 12th, 2020 at 02:40:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Presented to camera this afternoon.

What about the other 1,800 pp, speed reader?

by Cat on Wed May 13th, 2020 at 01:29:03 AM EST
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by Cat on Wed May 13th, 2020 at 01:45:26 PM EST
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$100B CDC jobs saved or created, disguised as the "TRACE" Act.
by Cat on Wed May 13th, 2020 at 01:34:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia slams U.S. assertion at U.N. that it remains party to Iran nuclear deal
The United States has raised with the European parties to the deal the possibility of restoring sanctions if it is unable to get the 15-member Security Council to stop an arms embargo on Iran from expiring in October.
by Cat on Wed May 13th, 2020 at 03:27:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Normalizing" SARS-COv-2 the virus that causes COVID-19

For the past three weeks Hogan and Cuomo (figureheads of the governors' association, of state in the absense of presidential speech) in fear of radical FY deficits, attributable to commercial "lockdown" have publicly lobbied for fiscal "states' aid" from the US Senate, tbh. Of course, both had full budget-trimming terms prior to the COVID panic--but Cuomo's reputation and constituents subsequently suffered most tragically in loss of life, while Hogan predictably exploited veto over spending passed in final hours of (D) legislature.

The morning, 11 May, Hogan signed the "National Hospital Week" proclamation, I posted a simple calculation to test central limit and found insufficient reason to draw conclusion on viral "containment": 2% of Maryland population having been tested under duress to date. 2% is a flacid comp (int'l std of epidem. rigor) but for fervid, trained attention to mortality trend line, especially elderly inmates of "congregate facilities", hospitalization rate, and other minutia. Indeed, the state doesn't graphed new case data as a curve, but quantifies ICU and acute beds occupancy. Neither has Q supply of reliable test kits a plot, though media periodically stimulate interest in new test site locations until customers report unsatisfactory services. Disaggregation by race prompted cursory examination of black decedants' comorbidity by zip code.

While deaths/day are said to be "stable," anecdotal duration of hospitalization (for a range of age cohorts) has lengthened. Again, media seize imaginations by valorizing the releases of patients who've been "fighting" the scourge ≤ 42 days term. Similarly, dramatic annotations to continuous case load dominate reportage from cooling "hot spots" and "epicenters" like NYC; Fauci falls out of his cupboard to estimate ROI in vaccine developments in '21 or '22. But dysfunctional delivery of cash benefits throughout April diverts much more attention from COVID prevention or cure to mundane household responsibilities.

In any case, May 11 turns out to be an auspicious date, because Politico's feed later promoted The Limit proposed by "health officials" (HHS, possibly OMB), White House pushes states to test 2 percent of their populations for coronavirus. Taking this cue--a demonstrable pseudo-scientific effort to "mitigate" public health hazards--governors began to rehearse repeals of orders curtailing commercial business in their states. In parallel form Congress is winding-down economic relief  and liability insurance to definition of an accident. Mathematically and perceptively, the "new normal" American lifestyle embraces an endemic disease no deadlier than seasonal influeza.  

by Cat on Thu May 14th, 2020 at 01:45:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19, 20 April 2020
To ensure continuity of operations of essential functions, CDC advises that critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community.
[...]

    Guidance for Meat Packing Industry
    First responders and law enforcement
    Businesses and employers

Consider conducting daily in-person or virtual health checks (e.g., symptom and/or temperature screening) of employees before they enter the facility, in accordance with state and local public health authorities and, if available, your occupational health services:

    If implementing in-person health checks, conduct them safely and respectfully. Employers may use social distancing, barrier or partition controls, or personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect the screener. However, reliance on PPE alone is a less effective control and is more difficult to implement, given PPE shortages and training requirements.
        See the "Should we be screening employees for COVID-19 symptoms?" section of General Business Frequently Asked Questions as a guide.
    Complete the health checks in a way that helps maintain social distancing guidelines, such as providing multiple screening entries into the building.
    Follow guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [!] [external icon] regarding confidentiality of medical records from health checks.
    To prevent stigma [!] and discrimination in the workplace, make employee health screenings as private as possible. Do not make determinations of risk based on race or country of origin and be sure to maintain confidentiality of each individual's medical status and history.
Identify where and how workers might be exposed to COVID-19 at work. Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace [external icon]. Conduct a thorough hazard assessment [external icon] of the workplace ....

   Correctional and detention facilities

Kudlow: Businesses shouldn't be held liable for employees and customers getting coronavirus, 22 April 2020
by Cat on Thu May 14th, 2020 at 01:22:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maryland Gov. ["Mag-lev"] Hogan lifts stay-at-home order, allows limited retail to resume
Maryland's stay-at-home order will be lifted at 5 p.m. Friday [15 May], Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday, citing a slight two-week decline in hospitalizations statewide due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Republican governor is replacing the order with a "Safer at Home" advisory that will not be enforced by the rule of law. It allows manufacturing, retail, haircuts and worship services to resume with limitations.
[...]
Even so, citing a decline in hospitalizations, Hogan said he believes there is sufficient data to support gradual resumption of some activities that have been banned or curtailed for weeks.

On April 30, 1,711 Marylanders were hospitalized due to COVID-19. As of Wednesday, that number had dipped to 1,550.
[...]
Hogan made the announcement standing alone at a lectern in the State House. He was not joined by any of his medical advisers who often appear at his news conferences, such as Deputy Secretary Fran Phillips of the state health department, Dr. Tom Inglesby from Johns Hopkins University or Dr. David Marcozzi of the University of Maryland Medical System -- who all variously have been featured at earlier announcements.

Hogan's order gives local governments the option to retain stricter measures.

Updated daily since on or about 10 March
Maryland baby CSSE Dashboard
Baltimore City baby CSSE Dashboard
by Cat on Thu May 14th, 2020 at 01:40:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"so many have died and not been counted or were infected and recovered" and traveled
by Cat on Thu May 14th, 2020 at 01:55:37 PM EST
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by Cat on Sun May 17th, 2020 at 09:50:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Two Coasts. One Virus. How New York Suffered Nearly 10 Times the Number of Deaths as California.
California's governor and San Francisco's mayor worked together to act early in confronting the COVID threat.
(except for the homeless-can't-stay-home or hotels thingie)
For Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio, it was a different story, and 27,000 New Yorkers have died so far.
APsplainin Battle for LA (4M) v NYC (8M): "more than half the state's deaths"
The official noted that California's first case surfaced on Jan. 26, its first death occurred March 4 and its statewide shutdown went into effect March 19, a span of almost two months.

But a range of health officials and scientists interviewed by ProPublica say creating such timelines misses the central issue: No later than Feb. 28, federal officials warned the country that a deadly pandemic was inevitable. It is from that point forward, they say, that any individual state's actions should be judged.

waitwut
For New York and California, the clock for quick and prudent action in the fight against COVID-19 began ticking no later than Jan. 17 [?!], when the federal government announced it would begin screening passengers arriving in both states from China. The virus had been found outside China and would soon be discovered [!] in DOZENS of countries.
Situation report - 1 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), 21 Jan 2020: JP, ROK, TH
The state's performance once New York fell UNDER SIEGE from the disease has also been challenged. State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker -- one of a half-dozen advisers who made up Cuomo's BRAIN TRUST during the crisis -- has been pilloried by the local press for his decision to allow nursing home residents who tested positive for the disease to be returned to those homes. The administration reversed its position this week.
"community spreade," "raft of issues," "a Monte Carlo simulation"
"The good thing is greater than 99 percent will recover without harm. Once people recover they will have immunity. The immunity will protect the herd."

Goldstein did not dispute the report, saying that de Blasio relied on a variety of advice, including his Health Department's.
[...]
"Nobody was saying, 'Beware of people coming from Europe.' We weren't testing people coming from Europe," Cuomo said. "We weren't telling anyone at the time if you have a European visitor or European guest, make sure they get tested. They walked right through the airport."
[...]
"The way I sleep at night is I believe that we didn't lose anyone that we could have saved, and that is the only solace when I look at these numbers and I look at this pain that has been created that has to be true."

etc etc
by Cat on Mon May 18th, 2020 at 05:35:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Meanwhile in related Magical Number News ...


Governor "Mag-lev"  Announces Critical Milestone in COVID-19 Testing Strategy as State Broadens Criteria for Testing, Dramatically Expands Testing Availability Statewide

by Cat on Tue May 19th, 2020 at 05:49:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Tue May 26th, 2020 at 11:00:59 PM EST
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by Cat on Thu May 21st, 2020 at 12:04:39 PM EST
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Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu May 21st, 2020 at 12:50:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, Donald, You Can't Grab an Economy by the Pussy - Umair Haque
What jobs will people have left? Ultimately, technofeudal ones -- delivering Instacart groceries for tips today, Amazon packages tomorrow, driving an Uber by night. People will turn to scattershot techno-labour to make ends meet. But of course this glorified Victorian style piecework barely pays enough to make ends meet.

...Bang! Now twin tragedies have been caused. On the one hand, because the economy's been commanded to reopen too soon, the virus has accelerated, which has spiked the death toll into the figures of historic tragedy -- maybe half a million are now projected to be needlessly dead. But because the virus has accelerated again, consumption and investment have cratered. That, in turn, has caused a wave of bankruptcies and unemployment. The Coronavirus Depression has now been made very real. It lasts a decade or so -- at least it's scars do. And all for a very simple reason.

You can coerce some people to go back to work, but you can't force people to spend money or make investments. Here the strike of the confidence fairy is real. Permanent unemployment beckons to the withering middle class.

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Tue May 12th, 2020 at 09:47:42 PM EST
"Permanent unemployment beckons to the withering middle class."  Worse for the working class, few of whom can work from home. And this will be the case unless there is an adequate fiscal response from the government. Below find a worked example of such an appropriate response:

Richard Koo showed that Japan prevented a depression in the '90s by replacing the money that was lost to debt retirement after the property crash of '89, when real estate prices fell by 87%, until the economy recovered. Growth flatlined for six years, but GDP did not drop.

"Significance of Japanese experience

Japan faced a balance sheet recession following the bursting of its bubble in 1990 as commercial real estate prices fell 87 percent nationwide. The resulting loss of national wealth in shares and real estate alone was equivalent to three years of 1989 GDP. In comparison, the U.S. lost national wealth equivalent to one year of 1929 GDP during the Great Depression. Japan's corporate sector responded by shifting from its traditional role as a large borrower of funds to a massive re-payer of debt, as shown in Exhibit 5. The net debt repayment of the corporate sector increased to more than 6 percent of GDP a year. And this was on top of household savings of over 4 percent of GDP a year, all with interest rates at zero. In other words, Japan could have lost 10 percent of GDP every year, just as the US did during the Great Depression.

Japan managed to avoid a depression, however, because the government borrowed and spent the aforementioned $100 every year, thereby keeping the economy's expenditures at $1,000 ($900 in household spending plus $100 in government spending). In spite of a massive loss of wealth and private sector deleveraging reaching over 10 percent of GDP per year, Japan managed to keep its GDP above the bubble peak throughout the post-1990 era (Exhibit 6), and the unemployment rate never climbed above 5.5 percent.

This government action maintained incomes in the private sector and allowed businesses and households to pay down debt. By 2005 the private sector had completed its balance sheet repairs.Although this fiscal action increased government debt by 460 trillion yen or 92 percent of GDP during the 1990-2005 period, the amount of GDP preserved by fiscal action compared with a depression scenario was far greater. For example, if we assume, rather optimistically, that without government action Japanese GDP would have returned to the pre-bubble level of 1985, the difference between this hypothetical GDP and actual GDP would be over 2,000 trillion yen for the 15-year period. In other words, Japan spent 460 trillion yen to buy 2,000 trillion yen of GDP, making it a tremendous bargain. And because the private sector was deleveraging, the government's fiscal actions did not lead to crowding out, inflation, or skyrocketing interest rates."

 

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu May 14th, 2020 at 02:43:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Mon May 18th, 2020 at 02:35:11 AM EST
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by Cat on Thu May 14th, 2020 at 02:37:46 PM EST
Trump names team to develop coronavirus vaccine at 'Warp Speed'
Moncef Slaoui, who left GlaxoSmithKline in 2017, will be chief scientist of what the administration has deemed Operation Warp Speed. "That means big and it means fast," Trump said, comparing the operation to the Manhattan Project, a program to develop an atomic bomb that employed more than 100,000 people. Army Gen. Gustave Perna will be the chief operating officer for the project.

Trump said Operation Warp Speed is evaluating 14 vaccine candidates. "We're looking to get it by the end of the year, maybe before," he added. But Trump said that a lack of a vaccine would not prevent the United States from reopening.
[...]
Slaoui said that he had recently seen encouraging unpublished data from a clinical trial of an unnamed vaccine candidate. "These data made me feel even more confident that we will be able to deliver a few hundred million doses of vaccine by the end of 2020," he said.

Here's how the US Army is racing to help get a coronavirus vaccine
Dr. John Dye, chief of viral immunology for the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases [USAMRIID], has led teams here in the U.S. and throughout the world in the fight against deadly viruses, including Ebola.
archived Fauci, bag man, Fri Mar 27th, 2020
by Cat on Fri May 15th, 2020 at 08:36:48 PM EST
Unsanitized: Progressives Split on Heroes Act Response
Because it's 1800 pages, there are good things and bad things in it. A trillion dollars for cities and states and maybe an additional $1,200 stimulus check will be the main things that survive if Republicans come back to the table, so I'm not going to spend much time on the rest. You want to read about the bad stuff, this rundown has you covered. The K Street bailout I mentioned yesterday is in there, as well as weird stuff like Federal Reserve backstops for landlords and debt collectors.
2 days ago: What about the other 1,800 pp, speed reader?
Jayapal was told there was no legislative language for her bill, but that was by design--the office of lawyers who translate member desires into legislative text faces a backlog amid the D.C. shutdown. So they're only writing up bills from the leadership. This is a total freeze-out that's been going on for months. And Jayapal and her co-chair of the Progressive Caucus Mark Pocan finally called Pelosi on it. They asked for a delay in the bill, scheduled for a vote Friday, to allow for discussion and amendments.

But at the same time, a dozen progressive D.C. groups that previously stood with Jayapal, including on payroll support, jumped in to back Pelosi's bill. This eliminated whatever support Jayapal might have had for her efforts; her ideological backers weren't even on board. Pelosi found it easy to dismiss the request for delay.

twitter $$ pr0n
by Cat on Fri May 15th, 2020 at 09:11:52 PM EST
by Bernard on Sun May 17th, 2020 at 03:14:03 PM EST
Don't ya know Homo Economicus is immune to COVID-19?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 17th, 2020 at 05:32:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
May 11: VOA | US Plans to Accuse China of Hacking COVID-19 Vaccine Research
Given China's decades-long history of intellectual property theft, the notion that Beijing might be trying to steal research related to coronavirus vaccines and treatments is not far-fetched, Demers said.
May 15: Remarks by President Trump on Vaccine Development

archived
Jan 5-7: sars-cov-2 genome isolated, CN; Cell, Nature
Jan. 12: China adds sequence to US GenBank®
Jan 13-17: Diagnostic detection of 2019-nCoV by real-time RT-PCR, DE
Jan 30: characterisation and epidemiology, CN; Lancet
Feb 6: Experts scramble, Moderna
Mar 2: Coronavirus funding, Moderna
Mar 9: H.R.6074, purchase order
Mar 11:
O'Brien, 2 mo. missing "Made in China"
NIAID-Moderna, 14 mo trial begins
Mar 7-14: CureVac, China vaccines, Apr trials
"Moderna shipped its vaccine last month"
Mar 20: NIAID-Moderna-Kaiser vaccine, mRNA-1273
May 15: Trump names team to develop coronavirus vaccine
by Cat on Mon May 18th, 2020 at 05:31:11 AM EST
Fauci reads notes on Phase I [?!] trial. Moderna stock up 25% in early trading.
by Cat on Mon May 18th, 2020 at 08:46:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Early data on Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine insufficient: Stat News
The news publication's report pulled down shares of the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech and erased modest gains on the benchmark S&P 500 index. ...Moderna later announced a stock sale that could raise about $1.5 billion, sending shares lower early on Tuesday.
by Cat on Wed May 20th, 2020 at 01:37:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Wed May 27th, 2020 at 10:01:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Inovio says COVID-19 vaccine produces antibodies in mice, guinea pigs
The company's shares, which have more than quadrupled this year on hopes of its vaccine working, SURGED another 18% to $15.77 early trading.
[...]
Inovio began human testing of its vaccine in April. ... Inovio said preliminary results from its human trial are expected in June. The 40 healthy participants in the Phase 1 trial are given two shots, four weeks apart, of the vaccine, called INO-4800, and then followed for two weeks.
archived Fri Feb 7th, 2020

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu May 21st, 2020 at 11:04:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
dispensing with clinical pretext

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu May 21st, 2020 at 03:21:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]

U.S. secures 300 million doses of potential AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, "previously known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and now as AZD1222"
The U.S. deal allows a late-stage - Phase III - clinical trial of the vaccine with 30,000 people in the United States.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu May 21st, 2020 at 03:28:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gilead to end coronavirus drug trials, adding to access worry: researchers, 15 May
Gilead's studies - one in patients with severe COVID-19 and the other in moderate disease - have enrolled around 8,000 [!] subjects, according to FDA statistics. The trials are "open label" meaning they do not compare the treatment to a placebo and participants know they are getting the drug.
wut: ClinicalTrial.gov | Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT), PHASE III 572(e)-800, 21 Feb 2020-Apr 2023
wut: ClinicalTrial.gov | A Trial of Remdesivir in Adults With Severe COVID-19, PHASE III 237, 6 Feb-15 Apr 2020 terminated
The NIH is now studying remdesivir alone compared to remdesivir in combination [?] with Olumiant, an anti-inflammatory [!] drug approved for rheumatoid arthritis and sold by Eli Lilly and Co.
[...]
Gilead told Tufts it is transitioning to product distribution under the emergency use authorization.

Researchers at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have also heard that the two Gilead studies would stop enrolling patients by the end of the month.
[...]
After doctors had questioned the transparency of the allocation process, the federal agency [HHS] said state health departments would distribute the drug.

by Cat on Mon May 18th, 2020 at 09:18:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Mon May 18th, 2020 at 11:02:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Woman [!] who designed Florida's COVID-19 dashboard has been REMOVED from her position
Rebekah Jones said in an email to CBS12 News that her removal was "not voluntary" and that she was removed from her position because she was ordered to censor some data, but refused to "MANually change data to drum up support for the plan to reopen."

Jones made the announcement May 5 in a farewell email to researchers and other members of the public who had signed up to receive updates on the data portal, according to Florida Today. She said that for "reasons beyond my division's control," her office is no longer managing the dashboard, involved in its publication, fixing errors or answering any questions.

unprecedented. egregious. inconceivable. unexpectedly.
by Cat on Tue May 19th, 2020 at 01:58:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Fri May 22nd, 2020 at 12:50:29 AM EST


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