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2020-02-18

Bond traders are famously skittish like deer, alert to danger: stock investors are more like grazing cows

unruffled and easily led to slaughter.  

Few analysts have begun to ‘price’ the implication of a full-blown COVID-19 pandemic across the world. 

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph 12 February 2020

Argentina faces prospect of another default

Argentina’s government has said it needs to restructure $100 billion in debt, including $44 billion to the IMF.

CNBC 18 February 2020

Argentina defaulted on $100bn of debt in 2001-02, at the time the largest sovereign default in history.


FT July 31, 2014


2020-02-16

Flygande vingen

Var fjärde svensk kommun har växt av invandringen

Det har varit fördelar men också nackdelar och det känner vi av nu när det har gått en tid, säger Patric Åberg(M), kommunstyrelsens ordförande i Östra Göinge i Skåne.

SvT 16 februari 2020



2020-02-14

Basically, he says he makes far out-of-the-money bets that cost little but deliver huge when it all comes crashing down.

A pandemic is no longer a scientific tail-risk. It is fast becoming the central risk.

Leading virologists warn that it may already be too late to contain the virus in China. We should have a clear idea whether or not the spread is unstoppable within three weeks. 

What is striking about the global epidemiology is the implausible absence of cases in Indonesia, Pakistan, Cambodia, or the whole of Africa, despite constant to and fro to China. 

It is clear that there is no systematic testing or tracking in many countries. The virus may be circulating below radar in large areas. 

This will make it nigh impossible for western states to control the spread unless global travel is shut down, but to do that would derail the globalised international economy overnight.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph 12 February 2020


"The containment phase is really to give us more time. This virus will become a community virus at some point in time, this year or next year,"

2020-02-13

Some have questioned the military value of Dresden.

Even British Prime Minister Winston Churchill expressed doubts immediately after the attack.

"It seems to me that the moment has come when the question of bombing of German cities simply for the sake of increasing the terror, though under other pretexts, should be reviewed," he wrote in a memo.

BBC 13 February 2020




China must be nearing the point

where the social and economic costs of trying to stamp out the coronavirus by totalitarian methods are greater than the trauma of letting it run.

A normal country would eventually conclude that the more rational course is to accept that the disease can no longer be contained (given the three lost weeks of the Wuhan cover-up), treat it as a form of turbo-charged winter flu, and direct all efforts instead at managing care more coherently.

The focus would then shift to a different objective: trying to lower the death rate from apparent 1918 Spanish flu levels of 2pc to plausible levels below 1pc – still 10 times influenza flu – 

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph 12 February 2020



Changi airport in Singapore is one of the most interconnected hubs in the world.

In fact, there's a flight taking off and arriving every 80 seconds here, making it more connected than JFK and San Francisco in the US and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

BBC 13 February 2020


När jag gick i realskolan hade vi en dag filmförevisning. Svart-vitt. Där sades att smitta snabbt kunde spridas över världen genom att folk flög så mycket /50-tal/. Denna film gjorde ett starkt intryck på en ung man och jag har tänkt på de bilderna av och till sedan dess.

2020-02-12

Dow jumps more than 200 points to a record despite coronavirus worries

CNBC 12 February 2020


Coronavirus: China and the virus that threatens everything

BBC 11 February 2020



- There is no such thing as rational expectations.

There is wishful thinking, or panic.

Rolf Englund, many years ago
(probably in 1997)

Wolf: Trump’s re-election would be dangerous for the world

Even if the great republic survived the trial largely unscathed (which is optimistic) the re-election of this man — a demagogue, a nationalist, an incontinent liar and an admirer of tyrants — would have worldwide significance.

Martin Wolf FT 11 February 2020

Good charts


2020-02-11

We must fight pandemics as if we were preparing for war

Owing to modern science and technology, and our capacity for collective action, we already have the tools to prevent, manage, and contain global pandemics. 

Rather than thrashing around every time a new pathogen surprises us, we should simply deploy the same resources, organization, and ingenuity that we apply to building and managing our military assets.

MarketWatch 11 February 2020


Ray Dalio thinks the coronavirus’ hit to global markets is probably exaggerated

“Because of the temporary nature of that, I would expect more of a rebound. It most likely will be something that in another year or two will be well beyond what everyone will be talking about.”

CNBC 11 February 2020


2020-02-07

Has the ‘Great Moderation’ returned — and is that a good thing?

The “Great Moderation” is the name often given to the period from the mid-1980s to 2007, when the Federal Reserve kept inflation and economic growth relatively stable… until it all collapsed in spectacular fashion in the global financial crisis of 2008.

MarketWatch Feb 6, 2020 



2020-02-02

The World Bank has just warned us that a fourth debt wave could dwarf the first three.

Emerging economies, which have amassed a record debt-to-GDP ratio of 170%, are particularly vulnerable. 

As in the previous cases, the debt wave has been facilitated by low interest rates. There is reason for alarm once interest rates begin to rise and premia inevitably spike.

Kaushik Basu Project Syndicate 31 January 2020


Kaushik Basu, former Chief Economist of the World Bank and former Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India, is Professor of Economics at Cornell University and Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.