Tradeoff between two metre and one metre social distancing properly analysed?

Lumpy Talbot

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That was so funny, that huge leprechaunomic leap in GDP we had. I even have a good idea what happened. Someone forgot to annualise with the usual smoothing and weighting that effectively hides the fact that our GDP data is largely overinflated by pharma sector, aircraft leasing transaction booking and data warehousing on behalf of large corporates using our economic jurisdiction and free-port arrangements to fiddle their tax exposure.

We have lots of throughput in our economy which effectively isn't Irish production data at all.

This sort of triple-entry book-keeping isn't unusual. Luxembourg's data will be distorted by Amazon sales alone as Amazon books it's sales through that low tax offshore but seriously landlocked state. No doubt the Luxembourger Navy cruising offshore to protect its economic interests :)

A few years back, during the time I believe when Belgium had no government at all it suddenly appeared that Belgium of all places was the top level buyer for US sovereign debt. This was surprising, as Belgium had previously shown no great appetite for US sovereign debt. Of course it is this 'booking through' or data warehousing which has one foot in the abstract offshore world and one foot, carefully exempt from taxes, in the world most of us live in.

I've been hacking through a lot of data on the current economic crisis so we can provide some lamplight to a road ahead for my bosses in terms of navigating the challenges. Been asked some great questions, such as 'why are the markets powering ahead when there is anything but good economic data underneath in the 'hard' economy?

Sometimes questions like that can firm up your thinking because you have to suggest possible answers. Part of the answer on the markets is because they are no longer tethered to their underlying geographies. The Analyst is not now looking to Tokyo opening to see what south east Asian markets make of some data or event, the city Analyst now awaits Tokyo opening bell to see what the opening global market is making of a global macro event rather than anything happening in Tokyo, Singapore, Jakarta, Taipei and Hong Kong. A subtle difference but a big change in the last 25 years.

I could explain that the market's job is to price in tomorrow, not endlessly analyse today. The only reason the city is a data junkie on past economic and business metrics is purely because they are trying to get a handle on pricing the market tomorrow, not today. The more accurately they can do that the better positioned their client's money will be.

So I can say that the likely 'V' shaped recovery will be a spoor or paw-print of what is likely to happen overall with underlying economies. The short sharp 'V' shape in the charts where the markets headed south and recovered rapidly is a point on average to what is likely to be in the chart shapes for most economic sectors, at varying speeds and wildly divergent in behaviour underneath.

Markets can divide anything measurable in chunks up and sell it. Profit, debt, mortgage debt, and quite often does so really really badly. The reason hedge-funds exist is solely because of mis-pricing of value by analysts. The city can handle, chunk, wrap, package anything you like but it gets really jittery when there is uncertainty They've even tried to value uncertainty with the volatility market out of Chicago and refined into an Index of it's own with the Vix Index :)

The market's V shaped insta-recovery is just a snapshot of high speed re-pricing for tomorrow. The markets are irrationally happy because as far as the market is concerned the real crisis is over- the sudden need to lower prices in a day.

It has been very hard at times to remember to use the term 'irrationality of market sentiment' rather than my preferred 'a whole load of bullsh1tters bull-sh1tting their way to an uneasy consensus', which is what it all is in the end.

You can't subtract, add, multiply or divide percentages or you shouldn't, for lots of good sound mathematical reasons. But I might as well and call myself an economist while I'm at it, because I'm not doing anything other than what most orthodox economists are doing. So the contraction in the UK economy in April data was called at 20.4%. Which almost matches exactly the year-on-year contraction in the footfall-related industries.

The contraction data for the UK year-on-year for May is 11%. So here we go, here's our first big mahoosive green shoot of recovery. We've recovered by nine percentage points between April and end of May. There will surely be jam still, for tea.

But to clear up any confusion for Pat who needs 1 metre distancing at the greasy till to save the economy rather than the barren 2 metre rule currently, I believe if you divide the Irish GDP by twelve to get a monthly figure, subtract aircraft leasing data, multiply by .73 to bring in reality, and multiply by Michael O'Leary's hopes divided by nine then you should be able to come to a figure which is an ideal measure of the 2 metre versus 1 metre knotty economic question for the Irish economy.

All markets rise for a quick option on Amhrann na Bhfian.
 
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Lumpy Talbot

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Remind me when we're bored and its raining some evening next winter to invent the Confidence Index. Should occupy an hour or so in coming up with a plausible model :)
 

recedite

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It looks very workable to me, why wouldn't it be? It will be fine for the first while anyway.
The main thing is to get things open again. The time limit will probably only be applied at the beginning, and only at busy times.
Once we are on the slippery slope back to normality, we can gradually drop the silly rules, without making it too obvious that the govt. never had any long term alternative plan in the first place.
It a bit trickier with the schools. Either they are open or they are closed. You can't tell the kids to leave after 90 minutes to make way for the next batch.
 

Betson

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It looks very workable to me, why wouldn't it be? It will be fine for the first while anyway.
The main thing is to get things open again. The time limit will probably only be applied at the beginning, and only at busy times.
Once we are on the slippery slope back to normality, we can gradually drop the silly rules, without making it too obvious that the govt. never had any long term alternative plan in the first place.
It a bit trickier with the schools. Either they are open or they are closed. You can't tell the kids to leave after 90 minutes to make way for the next batch.

A better choice of words from me would have been unenforceable , which it is.

I think they should go to the 1 Meter rule and open all the pubs be they serving food or not.

Other countries are doing it , it is time we started to open them all up again , the longer the lock down goes on the more business's that will go out of business.
 

Watcher2

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......... the risk of death from C-19 for people under the age of fifty five is small, maybe no worse than seasonal flus,so a one metre limit wouldn't pose a grave risk to them...........
This is what has been trotted out by those railing against the lockdowns (and some flat earther types linking Corona Virus to 5G rollout...or vice versa). Further, this corona virus is not "the flu". It has been compared to pneumonia more so than flu by people who know more about it than you or I.

Anyway, its not really about the death rates. It was always about "flattening the curve" which is much more about pressure on the health services. Everyone always knew that the death rates were low for those under a certain age, but, what is starting to become a little more clear are the long term implications of catching this virus. Obviously there is still a way to go because this thing is less than a year old but it is becoming evident that this is not the flu.

You really have to question a persons agenda when they start posting death rates and likening this thing to the flu.
 

Watcher2

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The government are a bunch of weaklings. They are already crumbling. Second wave, here we come.
 

petaljam

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A better choice of words from me would have been unenforceable , which it is.

I think they should go to the 1 Meter rule and open all the pubs be they serving food or not.

Other countries are doing it , it is time we started to open them all up again , the longer the lock down goes on the more business's that will go out of business.
It may not be enough simply to open the pubs though - people have to feel safe going to them, or many just won't. If the numbers infected start going up again, I expect many people will just stop going out - again. Especially if they feel unnecessary risks are being taken by some establishments.

(Although TBF the limit here is one metre)
 

recedite

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A better choice of words from me would have been unenforceable , which it is.

I think they should go to the 1 Meter rule and open all the pubs be they serving food or not.

Other countries are doing it , it is time we started to open them all up again , the longer the lock down goes on the more business's that will go out of business.
Fair enough, but this is compromise that allows the govt. to save face while climbing down from a very strict lockdown of the pubs.
The 90 minute thing was probably requested by the pubs themselves, as it will make it easier to clear the tables and get more paying customers in the door.

Who hasn't sat there hogging a table in a busy pub or restaurant, while the staff keep dropping hints by clearing away all the empty plates and glasses :D
Well now they can say "sorry folks, time to move on. Rules is rules"
 

petaljam

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Fair enough, but this is compromise that allows the govt. to save face while climbing down from a very strict lockdown of the pubs.
The 90 minute thing was probably requested by the pubs themselves, as it will make it easier to clear the tables and get more paying customers in the door.
I think that's very likely, though I don't see why you call it a climb down - IMO it's about inventing ways to ensure some sort of viability for the hospitality trade under these conditions. If they can't pack people in the way we're used to, having a higher throughput is another way of making a profit. And there's nothing wrong with that.
 

recedite

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Its a climbdown because we were originally told the pubs would not open at all until end of July, and would not fully re-open in Ireland until a vaccine or effective treatment for coronavirus is found .
And we were told keeping a 2 metre distance was always vital, even outdoors.

Anyway, I'm not complaining.
The way things were handled was always going to be unsustainable.
It was silly going straight from zero quarantine and checks at the airport, to locking down the entire domestic population.
Even when the virus was established here, instead of lockdown for everyone, we should have had lockdown only for vulnerable persons.
Instead of feverishly transferring staff and patients between various hospitals and nursing homes, we should have had one or two dedicated coronavirus hospitals, with staff housed on the premises for a couple of weeks while they worked, and where all the infected persons would be sent. And no transfer of those staff or patients to other hospitals or nursing homes.

Then the rest of us could have carried on much as normal, but with a few basic precautions ie giving up the handshakes and the somewhat ridiculous continental style cheek kissing greetings.
 

Betson

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Fair enough, but this is compromise that allows the govt. to save face while climbing down from a very strict lockdown of the pubs.
The 90 minute thing was probably requested by the pubs themselves, as it will make it easier to clear the tables and get more paying customers in the door.

Who hasn't sat there hogging a table in a busy pub or restaurant, while the staff keep dropping hints by clearing away all the empty plates and glasses :D
Well now they can say "sorry folks, time to move on. Rules is rules"
I can see the that in Restaurants alright , but in Pubs they typically try to keep you there as long as they can , a time limit would just discourage their customers from going in at all.

Many pubs who do not really serve food are planning opening on the 29th as a full pub experience , I suspect the time limit and minimum suggested €9 meal price is a way to discourage these pubs from opening until late July. There will probably be earlier closing times as well.


As an aside met my local publican the other day , I would now him very well from well before his pub days. He started a mobile pints service out the back of a van selling draft beer from a built in system in the van.

He can't believe how busy it is and hopes the pubs never open such as what he is turning over in the van , he had the price of the van , the outfitting and 3 grand insurance paid for after the first week and a half , He was saying the amount of house parties going on every weekend is unreal , and now with the premiership back he expects to be even busier(putting more vans on the road) , already booked out for the next few weekends with football fans having parties.
 

recedite

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The vans are great alright. Guinness just isn't the same out of a can.
I wonder if the vans are here to stay? Surprisingly the drinks are only very marginally more expensive even though it includes delivery.
Minimum quantity order applies around my area of 4 pints, but that is very fair.
Its a great novelty at a BBQ or a house party.
 

Betson

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The vans are great alright. Guinness just isn't the same out of a can.
I wonder if the vans are here to stay? Surprisingly the drinks are only very marginally more expensive even though it includes delivery.
Minimum quantity order applies around my area of 4 pints, but that is very fair.
Its a great novelty at a BBQ or a house party.

I think they are here y to stay , many will not return to the pubs.

The lad I know doing it can now do a minimum 10 pts a stop on a Saturday as he has so much demand he can prioritise the bigger orders , he is putting another van on the road as he can't keep up with the business on the weekends. The only real restriction is that he is supposed to stop at 10PM each night as it is off licence times . But he says is often well after midnight by the time he is finished and he still would not have got to a lot of the calls that would have came in.
 

wombat

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TBH, I can wait until the regular pubs open, not bothered by the 90 minute rule, forces me to leave. :)
 

culmore

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pubs and all shops should be fully open, let people sanitise their hands on way in and out, wash hands if going to toilet before and after, keep distance as much as possible, even take temperature on way in, same for schools, open them fully and use common sense . Let people take responsibility for their own wellbeing.
 

stopdoingstuff

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That 2 metre rule makes it much harder to slip roofies in posh girls' drinks. I am glad it is being dropped.
 

recedite

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TBH, I can wait until the regular pubs open, not bothered by the 90 minute rule, forces me to leave. :)
Just go out one door, and back in another.
If you are quick, you'll find your table is still unoccupied!
 


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