Thursday, April 16, 2020

MR Admiration

24 hours of Marginal Revolution:

April 16 1:23 PM Covid-19 Fast Grants update

April 16 12:15 PM. The vital daily links, including
2. An alternating lockdown strategy.
3. Vox on the Watney Stapp Mercatus mask plan.
4. Derek Lowe on vaccine prospects.
5. Will coronavirus change the proper CPI bundle?
6. “This paper argues that daily ‘universal random testing’, as recently proposed by Paul Romer, is not likely to be an effective tool for reducing the spread of Covid-19... Link here.
7. Why is Detroit worse than Baltimore?  And is there also a Brazilian heterogeneity? (limited information, however)
8. JPMorgan reopening plan, involves building herd immunity among the young. ...
9. How well did Italy do lowering R0 through lockdown?  [Very important -- models predict much swifter end than were are seeing]
11. Ongoing chart of Covid-19 deaths in Sweden, also accounting for reporting delays.
12. Who is this helping? (NYT): “Amazon said Wednesday that it would temporarily halt its operations in France after a court ruled the company had failed to adequately protect warehouse workers against the threat of the coronavirus and that it must restrict deliveries to only food, hygiene and medical products until it addressed the issue.” 
April 16 7:28 AM When Will The Riots Begin? Protests against lockdowns have begun. Crucial.

April 16 7:26 AM PPE Shortages and the Failure to Increase Prices. Vital. Anti-price gouging rules are inhibiting supply. An interesting new mechanism: usually people won't pay for stuff until it's delivered. But if you have to ramp up production 10x, you don't have working capital to buy supplies. higher prices provide working capital. There is a rising supply curve everywhere.

April 16 2:59 AM (!) One reason why food intended for restaurants is not reallocated to supermarkets We've been puzzling about that here. Why are farmers throwing away food? At our dinner table the answer was obvious -- some regulation is getting in the way. But which one? Food labeling is an obvious one. You can't just sell, you know, food, in a food store. "I’ll say it again: America’s regulatory state is failing us."

April 16 12:22 AM Supply curves slope up round 1. Why you get more tests if you agree to pay higher prices. (As I've written a few times, ponder that we are spending a trillion dollars a month on stimulus yet worrying about "price gouging" and haggling over $40 tests and $1 face masks.)

I can't keep up! I can barely read this fast.


  1. Yesterday: Gilead shares slip as a 2nd remdesivir COVID-19 trial halted in China

    Today: Early peek at data on Gilead coronavirus drug suggests patients are responding to treatment

    Gilead up 10% today

    R0 for any news bite or faint spark of hope >= 1,000,000,000

    Actual hard data on anything: close to zero.

    There's nothing to support any kind of game plan at this point. Just a lot of mental masturbation.

  2. Well that didn't last very long. COVID-19 news has a shorter life span than a mayfly.

    Per Gilead:

    "Anecdotal reports, while encouraging, do not provide the statistical power necessary to determine the safety and efficacy profile of remdesivir as a treatment for Covid-19. We expect the data from our Phase 3 study in patients with severe Covid-19 infection to be available at the end of this month, and additional data from other studies to become available in May."


Comments are welcome. Keep it short, polite, and on topic.

Thanks to a few abusers I am now moderating comments. I welcome thoughtful disagreement. I will block comments with insulting or abusive language. I'm also blocking totally inane comments. Try to make some sense. I am much more likely to allow critical comments if you have the honesty and courage to use your real name.