Daily Notes: 2020-03-29

Daily Notes: 2020-03-28

Charles Pardee is supposed to have compared making monetary policy by the Federal Reserve Board by driving at high speed a car with its windshield painted black, peering into the rear view mirror for your only information about the road ahead. Because we have no testing, only deaths, that is our situation now. We know that three weeks ago the natural log of cases was increasing by two every week. And we hope that the curve has been powerfully bent since then...

NOTES: U.S. Coronavirus Deaths https://www.icloud.com/numbers/0PB6Y9KF-SIgrQpyCsmkjm_Ww:

  • 2227 deaths as of 2020-03-28
  • 2.001 is the log growth factor over the past week
  • 900,000 is what you get if you project that out over the next three weeks, to April 18:
    • The people who will die on or before Apr 18 will have caught the coronavirus by... now. They are baked in the cake: Unless the curve has already bent, they are toast.
  • 49,000,000 is what you get if you project that out over the next three weeks, to May 2:
    • The people who will die on or before May 2 will have caught the coronavirus by... Easter.
    • That number is too large: that tells us that the epidemic is running its course between now and Easter—unless the curve is bent, or has already been bent, substantially.
    • Our last time to act to stop spread is... now


NOTES: State-by-State Coronavirus https://www.icloud.com/numbers/0BQW1nH3Sk2kadzMnYOIFic_w:

  • Currently 5659 cases and 120 deaths in California: that's 145 reported cases per million—ranking 31st among states in the U.S...
  • If the death rate is 1%, then that means 300 true CA cases per million on Mar 6...
  • If it has been doubling every week, that means about 2400 true cases per million now, and the same number of new cases expected next week...

Things Accomplished:


  • Lizzie Burden: Trump’s Crusade to Reopen the Economy ‘May See Extra 5M Deaths’ and a Second Fiscal Bailout https://www.bradford-delong.com/2020/03/lizzie-burden-_trumps-crusade-to-reopen-the-economy-may-see-extra-5m-deaths-and-a-second-fiscal-bailout_-eco.html: 'Economists know the shutdown can’t last forever.... Economists are also unanimously deferential to the scientists.... The reality is the US shut down too late to copy China now, Brad DeLong, professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, said. “If we had imposed the Wuhan lockdown then three weeks after... the hunker down could be relaxed.” It’s no use trying to catch China by restarting prematurely.... Even if the lockdown does end at Easter, there’s a substantial risk that the decision could backfire.... “Five million additional Americans will have died,” he said. “In return we will have produced an extra $1 trillion of stuff. That’s a trade-off of $200,000 (£164,000) per life, which is not a good trade-off to aim at making.”... Politics aside, the economic picture is bleak. In DeLong’s assessment: “Right now we are f------”...

  • Nick Rowe: Relative Supply Shocks, Unobtainium, Walras' Law, and the Coronavirus https://www.bradford-delong.com/2020/03/nick-rowe-_relative-supply-shocks-unobtainium-walras-law-and-the-coronavirus_-a-temporary-100-output-cut-in-50.html: 'A temporary 100% output cut in 50% of the sectors (what the Coronavirus does) is very different from a 50% output cut in 100% of the sectors (what our intuitions might expect from supply shocks in aggregate macro models).... Half the goods we used to buy are temporarily unobtainium. But we expect to buy them in a couple of months.... High intertemporal substitution can beat low cross-section substitution.... That's why we need temporarily looser monetary and fiscal policy. (Plus, we also need fiscal policy to redistribute between people differentially affected by the Coronavirus, but that's another story.) Think that's (basically) right...

#dailynotes #noted #weblogs #2020-03-28