Improving Economic Prospects

As measured by the February WSJ survey. Even then, mean forecast GDP — presumably conditioned on additional government spending and tax cuts — does not hit potential GDP until beginning of 2022.

Figure 1: GDP (black), GDP forecast implied by WSJ January survey mean (gold), by WSJ February survey (green), CBO February projection (red), CBO estimate of potential GDP (gray), all in bn.Ch.2012$ SAAR. Source: BEA 2020Q4 advance, CBO, WSJ, and author’s calculations.

Absent additional fiscal measures, CBO estimates output reaches potential only by the beginning of 2025.

The forecasts are not strictly comparable; the CBO projection is conditioned on current law (so no spending/tax cuts past December). In contrast, the WSJ survey forecasts are conditioned on expectations regarding additional legislation. The January survey takes place a week after the Georgia elections, but before inauguration. The February survey incorporates greater expectations of passage of a substantive fiscal package.

The average disguises an increasing divergence in forecasts. Figure 2 illustrates the dispersion around mean forecast. The highest 2021 q4/q4 growth (Hatzius) and lowest (Roman) are shown below.

Figure 2: GDP (black), GDP forecast implied by WSJ February survey (green), Jan Hatzius/Goldman Sachs forecast (gold), Belinda Roman/St. Mary’s (blue), all in bn.Ch.2012$ SAAR. Source: BEA 2020Q4 advance, WSJ, and author’s calculations.

138 thoughts on “Improving Economic Prospects

  1. ltr

    Harvard’s https://tracktherecovery.org/ records a – 22.5% employment decline for low income workers as of December 20 compared to January 2020.  Consumer spending in high income neighborhoods as of January 30, 2021 is – 6.4%.  Small business revenue in high income neighborhoods as of January 27, 2021 is – 37.2%.

  2. ltr

    February 11, 2021

    Coronavirus

    US

    Cases   ( 28,002,240)
    Deaths   ( 486,922)

    India

    Cases   ( 10,880,413)
    Deaths   ( 155,484)

    UK

    Cases   ( 3,998,655)
    Deaths   ( 115,529)

    France

    Cases   ( 3,406,685)
    Deaths   ( 80,803)

    Germany

    Cases   ( 2,321,215)
    Deaths   ( 64,513)

    Mexico

    Cases   ( 1,957,889)
    Deaths   ( 169,760)

    Canada

    Cases   ( 817,163)
    Deaths   ( 21,088)

    China

    Cases   ( 89,736)
    Deaths   ( 4,636)

  3. ltr

    February 11, 2021

    Coronavirus   (Deaths per million)

    UK   ( 1,696)
    US   ( 1,466)
    Mexico   ( 1,308)
    France   ( 1,236)

    Germany   ( 768)
    Canada   ( 556)
    India   ( 112)
    China   ( 3)

    Notice the ratios of deaths to coronavirus cases are 8.7%, 2.9% and 2.4% for Mexico, the United Kingdom and France respectively.

  4. ltr

    https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-02-12/Chinese-mainland-reports-12-new-COVID-19-cases-XOqd9biDh6/index.html

    February 12, 2021

    Chinese mainland reports 12 new COVID-19 cases

    The Chinese mainland recorded 12 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, all from overseas, data from the National Health Commission (NHC) showed on Friday.

    No new locally-transmitted cases reported on Thursday, and 71 patients were discharged from hospitals. A total of 8 new asymptomatic cases were recorded, while 487 asymptomatic patients remain under medical observation.

    The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland has reached 89,748, and the death toll stands at 4,636. No new deaths related to COVID-19 were registered on Thursday.

    Chinese mainland new locally transmitted cases

    https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-02-12/Chinese-mainland-reports-12-new-COVID-19-cases-XOqd9biDh6/img/a4b25e183ae449d281b8d78fbea4ec2e/a4b25e183ae449d281b8d78fbea4ec2e.jpeg

    Chinese mainland new imported cases

    https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-02-12/Chinese-mainland-reports-12-new-COVID-19-cases-XOqd9biDh6/img/1ec4d7eefefe4e9b90d89f4f108f7718/1ec4d7eefefe4e9b90d89f4f108f7718.jpeg

    Chinese mainland new asymptomatic cases

    https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-02-12/Chinese-mainland-reports-12-new-COVID-19-cases-XOqd9biDh6/img/1ed9175002274aaea30d4da4db7c84ea/1ed9175002274aaea30d4da4db7c84ea.jpeg

      1. ltr

        This is a post on economic prospects in the United States.

        [ I am sorry, and waited till the following day to post the data which I thought would appear down the list. My thinking however is that the terribly saddened American experience has to be directly related to economic prospects if the lives lost or made physically or psychologically troubling count at all economically. Possibly, though, I will in a while realize that this American experience was entirely ephemeral in terms of our economic prospects and showed only our systematic resilience.

        I am sorry for the apparent lack of relevance, though for now I still think there is relevance here. ]

        1. Menzie Chinn Post author

          ltr: That’s your prerogative. If you want to *explain* using the contrasting fatality/infection rates in US vs. other countries, and impact on relative economic performance, that seems to get at more clearly the issue you are trying to highlight.

          Of course, you are not the only commenter who is commenting far afield of the topic.

        2. ltr

          Correcting and adding:

          My thinking however is that the terribly [saddening] American experience has to be directly related to economic prospects…

          [ I keep thinking here about hysteresis, thinking that economic recovery should take considerable planning to avoid long lingering problems such as the unemployment after the short and shallow recession of 2001. I think the same for Britain and Chinese economic policy makers as President Xi has made clear are thinking similarly. ]

  5. Moses Herzog

    @ Menzie
    Does this WSJ expectations data and CBO estimates support the possibility of a reverse radical shaped recovery??

  6. Moses Herzog

    If a person watches Wall Street banks’ and brokerages’ estimates over a long number of years, it’s never real surprising to see optimistic numbers, that is, overly optimistic numbers. But seeing the very optimistic number coming from Goldman Sachs is eye-brow raising. Notice I didn’t say persuasive, just eye-brow raising.

      1. pgl

        Your usual pathetic attack on the motivations of actual economists. Do us a favor – tell us how we can check on your forecasting abilities. Snicker.

      2. pgl

        It seems Dylan Matthews has been running the same story since at least 2013. Of course the story is a lot more nuanced per this contribution:

        https://wallstreetpit.com/100380-feds-recent-forecast-errors/

        Of course JohnH thinks he has discovered something new. He is that clueless. And don’t bother this Village Idiot with nuance lest he get angry and start falsely accuse you of being a corporate elitist. He indeed is that pathetic.

      3. JohnH

        The perfect illustration of what I just wrote about optimistic forecast forestalling needed stimulus:
        “Our rebounding economy doesn’t need more stimulus checks”
        https://thehill.com/opinion/finance/536463-our-rebounding-economy-doesnt-need-more-stimulus-checks

        Are we witnessing an effort to block stimulus and repeat the experience of the early 2010s? It would certainly be advantageous to Republicans to sabotage Biden’s economy. Rosy forecasts can only help them.

        1. pgl

          Liz Peek? Her career is akin to that of Princeton Steve. Let me give you a clue dimwit. NO ONE pays a lick of attention to Princeton Steve. So why would anyone care what the old bat wrote? Try checking your sources before you are labeled Bruce Hall Jr.

        2. 2slugbaits

          JohnH Did it ever occur to you that someone can fully support fiscal stimulus without also supporting $1400 checks for people who are working and making a comfortable living?

        3. Menzie Chinn Post author

          JohnH: Technically speaking, GDPNow (Atlanta Fed) is a “nowcast”, not a forecast. I don’t think that we can point to bias of a bean-counting approach like that. Other agency forecasts might exhibit different biases, but not always with an intent to diminish the argument for fiscal action, as you assert re: the Fed.

          1. pgl

            Now if you contradict JohnH on this campaign of his, he might accuse you too of selling out to Wall Street. That is what he does – for years and years.

          2. Moses Herzog

            @ Menzie
            Didn’t Alan Greenspan make more than one comment (diatribe??) which was pretty anti-fiscal stimulus?? You can argue that was a long time ago, but it seems as I recall he was a strong voice at the Fed, and that even a few “academic economists” may have worshiped at his feet at Jackson Hole at one time.

            May I propose there’s a middle ground between the “great unwashed” with conspiracy theories about the Fed, and PhD economists who think the Fed can do no wrong??

          3. JohnH

            GDPNow describes themselves as an estimate, not a forecast and it contains no subjective adjustments. And it only tries to estimate past economic activity, not the next few years. Changes in the estimate over time are prominently displayed.

            Other agencies’ forecasts may, unwittingly or not, contain biases. However, when an agency like the Fed issues overly optimistic forecasts for years, it begs the question of why the forecast is repeatedly off in the same direction. Could there be a political reason?

            My concern is a repeat of the experience of the early 2010s when bi-partisan group-think, coupled with rosy forecasts from the Fed, shut down efforts for more appropriate economic policy.

          4. JohnH

            Menzie: over at economistsview it was a common myth that Bernanke was supportive of fiscal stimulus. I challenged commenters there to provide me a quote, any quote, that showed that he supported it during the early 2010s. The closest anyone got was one in 2009 where he was “open” to it, subject to multiple conditions, as is usual in Fed-speak.

          5. JohnH

            Interesting that no one at economistsview could come up with this.

            Anything after June 2010,when the economy suffered 5 years of anemic growth while the Fed was issuing rosy forecasts?

          6. JohnH

            Menzie: one of the problems with financial reporting is that statements are often reinterpreted. Though I can’t see behind the WSJ paywall, I see nothing in the reporting on Bernanke’s statement to indicate the he was supporting stimulus. However, it was clear that he was not supporting additional austerity at that time. There is a big difference!

            I prefer to scour Bernanke’s actual statements than reports about them, because reporters tend to interpret them, often incorrectly.

    1. JohnH

      There is one thing that pgl, with his awe-inspiring intellect, seems to forget: behind every forecast is the human being and the organization that created it. We are not necessarily talking here about the rarefied purity of pgl’s ivory tower. Rather we are talking about the real world, where people may have agendas. Forecasters may well be part of organizations who use forecasts to send messages and create expectations.

      pgl seems to forget that back in the early 2010s powerful forces in both political parties, and perhaps the Fed, were firmly aligned against fiscal stimulus. As Krugman notes, “There was a time when many Democrats — including President Obama — accepted the proposition that public debt was a huge problem. They even took seriously warnings from people like Representative Paul Ryan that debt was an “existential threat.”
      https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/08/opinion/democrats-covid-stimulus.html

      Wittingly or not Fed’s string of poor forecasts played into the narrative that fiscal stimulus was not needed, because the Fed could provide all the juice that was necessary.

      Why are so many so opposed to stimulus, beyond the ideological notion that deficits are bad? I assume that many are just conservative, antigovernmental folks leery of government power and opposed to anything that might prove that government intervention could actually be useful. Others, I suspect, have intuited a version of Thomas Piketty and have realized that the rich capture most of the fruits of economic growth when the economy is growing slowly, a phenomenon that characterized the early 2010s.

      Whatever their motivation, there are still powerful forces who oppose fiscal stimulus. One of their most powerful strategies is to simply show that stimulus is unnecessary, because the economy will recover all by itself without government intervention. For the anti stimulus folks, is there any better way to convince people that the economy will recover all by itself other than to create a group-think consensus that the economy will recover without additional stimulus?

      When it comes to economic forecasts, caveat emptor. Forecasts are not necessarily technocratic documents, but may well be political ones.

      1. pgl

        “behind every forecast is the human being and the organization that created it.”

        Attacking my motivations again? You do not have a clue who I work for. Let me remind you old stupid one – it is not Wall Street. You do have serious emotional issues as well as no sense who you are citing. Liz Peek? Laughing my arse off.

      2. 2slugbaits

        JohnH “There was a time when many Democrats — including President Obama — accepted the proposition that public debt was a huge problem.”

        There was also a time when Paul Krugman was worried about the size of Bush 43’s deficits. There’s a time to worry about deficits and a time to put those concerns on the backburner.

        One of their most powerful strategies is to simply show that stimulus is unnecessary, because the economy will recover all by itself without government intervention.

        Well, eventually economies do recover. The point of monetary or fiscal stimulus is to help the economy recover faster, thereby avoiding unnecessary pain. Do you think fiscal stimulus was a good idea in the early 1980s when nominal interest rates were in double digits and Reagan was running yawning deficits? Do you think a guns and butter policy of the 1960s married to a loose monetary policy was a good idea? Would you at least agree that there is no single right policy response for every macroeconomic problem?

        As to forecasts, what’s your problem? Do you know the difference between conditional and unconditional forecasts? If the Fed makes an economic forecast in 2010 but then Tea Party nut jobs win control of Congress and ally themselves with Mitch McConnell to deliberately sabotage the economy, who are you going to blame? The point is that unconditional forecasts are almost always wrong, but that doesn’t mean conditional forecasts aren’t useful. BTW, how accurate have your forecasts been?

        1. pgl

          “As to forecasts, what’s your problem? Do you know the difference between conditional and unconditional forecasts?”

          He does not. He also could care less as his sole mission in life is asserting all of us are paid hacks working for Wall Street.

    1. Barkley Rosser

      Sure, Moses, you are “sensitive,” but “there is also a portion” of your ridiculous personality that does not care what the hosts say and just has to impose your nauseating stupid garbage on everybody here. You are shameful and despicable.

  7. pgl

    “The forecasts are not strictly comparable; the CBO projection is conditioned on current law (so no spending/tax cuts past December). In contrast, the WSJ survey forecasts are conditioned on expectations regarding additional legislation.”

    So one might take the difference between the two forecasts as a (very) crude estimate of the predicted fiscal impact from the proposed additional legislation.

    1. Moses Herzog

      Disagree, the CBO is a baseline number, it should be conservative. If you want to predict fiscal impact you should pay very close attention to legislative/Congressional negotiations. The latter has no relation to the former (CBO baseline).

      I think when you said crude you meant useless.

      1. Menzie Chinn Post author

        Moses Herzog: I think if CBO projection under no additional spending and WSJ mean forecast with additional spending held every other assumption constant, then one could think of the difference as the imputed change due to additional spending. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, although we don’t know how much all the other assumptions vary.

      2. Barkley Rosser

        Moses,

        No, “crude” much more useful here than “useless.” Lots of people making forecasrs will average forecasts from multiple sources. Better than just throwing darts at a wall (that is useless) or flipping a coin to decide to go with one or the other forecast (this is not uselees, but also crude, although probablyi more crude than taking an average).

        1. Moses Herzog

          @ Barkley Junior
          Deep…… very “contributive” as always. See if you can spin that into 30% off mark quarterly GDP forecast and get back to us.

          1. pgl

            Deeper than that BS you spewed. Look if you don’t what Barkley cleaning up your messes – don’t make so many messes.

          2. Moses Herzog

            @ pgl
            Hey, if you two view including/”averaging” what is in essence a baseline number (i.e. “so no spending/tax cuts past December”) with realistic forecasts on increases in spending, is going to give you a more accurate number than just using the forecasts that have realistic projections on spending (which it might be better if you used a subset of the WSJ forecasts, but actually either way ) —-you and Barkley can run with that to your heart’s content. Far be it from me to tell you otherwise. If you’re proud of that one, run with it. Please.

          3. Barkley Rosser

            Moses,

            Given that various “legislative intentions” usually do not pan out fully, taking an average of those with a “no legislatoin” baseline may be quite reasonable. In any case, even if you think the forecast with “legislative intentions” included is clearly so superior as not to be averageable with the baseline, it is still also “crude.”

          4. Moses Herzog

            @ Junior
            I’m hopeful that one day, we’re going to peak your interest in reading something broadly known as, “current events”:
            https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/02/04/senate-vote-a-rama-biden-economic-relief-stimulus/

            https://abc7.com/when-will-the-3rd-stimulus-check-come-out-1400-update-status-of-third-did-they-pass/10333417/

            If nothing else, when you’re sitting at the old folks home current events knowledge will help you get more “Jeopardy” questions. Plus Trebek always liked Canadian trivia, ok??

            Now be a good boy, read up on Reconciliation,
            https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-budget/introduction-to-budget-reconciliation

            https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2021/02/05/what-is-reconciliation-in-congress/

            https://www.politifact.com/article/2021/feb/08/what-you-need-know-about-budget-reconciliation-pro/

            …….. and if you can give me a rough definition at the end of your reading, I’ll share some Little Debbie snack cakes with you. Do you like Star Crunch Cosmic Cookies?? I’m trying to get a sponsor for my “Keeping Seniors Mentally Engaged” workshop.

          5. Barkley Rosser

            Moses,

            Sorry, not reading any of your links, but if you think you are going to “educate” me on the details and nuances of the reconciliation process of the US Congress, I shall simply very pompously but also very accurately say here that I have the top available inside information on this matter, something that I believe everybody reading this with one or two possible deluded exceptions understands is correct.

            And if this is your effort to get out of having messed up on “crude” versus “useless” in the above discussion, it fails. You did not know what you were talking about, and you still do not.

  8. Moses Herzog

    BTW, I want to clarify, that’s not a “prediction”, I’m just saying it’s easily “in the cards” for Haley, and is a very “conceivable” turn of events.

    1. noneconomist

      I don’t have too much difficulty imagining her rivals will not shy away from prominent mention of Haley’s birth name—Nimrata Nikki Randawa—as well as producing plenty of photos of father Ajit and mother Raj Kaur.
      In my neck of the woods, the bozos—Trump bases included—still confuse Sikhs with Muslims, resulting in more physical attacks than you would think possible.
      My son once told me about the Sikh owner of the liquor store where he buys lottery tickets being accosted by a customer who loudly proclaimed to him “We got Bin Laden…Whadda ya think about that?”
      Exactly. Whadda ya think about that Nikki woman? Coming to many red states in a few short years.

      1. pgl

        Her ethnic background? Sad. My problem is that she spent 4 years kissing Trump’s rear end and only now has decided backing this traitor was a mistake. No Trump sycophants should ever be allowed any where near the White House.

        1. noneconomist

          Not hard to imagine Randawa family portraits shocking banjo duelers in Northern Georgia and plenty of other Trump strongholds. Recall attacks on the McCain family and the adopted daughter displayed prominently in the South.
          David Perdue couldn’t pronounce “Kamala.” Any idea how he’ll do on “Nimrata Randawa”, especially if he supports Hawley or Cruz. Of course, those two would NEVER stoop to such underhanded tactics. Would they?

      2. Moses Herzog

        @ noneconomist
        Well, as I tried to state in another comment which I presume crossed the line of good taste~~~when a candidate is physically attractive uuuuuhh, many “sins” can be forgiven. (we can use John F Kennedy as an example if that makes anyone happier, since he’s male and all the female voters suddenly forgot he was Catholic) Many protestant voters didn’t like Catholics in the 1960s, I guess I have to add context here for the slow section. I hope I don’t get any phone calls from the Kennedys for being a “sexist” for pointing out the obvious)

        I’m not saying Haley won’t lose some Republican votes, but I don’t see it as a “factor”. I’m not downplaying what you’re saying, just saying I don’t think it will be as “severe” as it might could be.

        As an offhand example, think of Ben Carson or Herman Cain. Republicans don’t mind minorities so much, as long as they protect the wealthy and are soft and cuddly like.

        1. Menzie Chinn Post author

          Moses Herzog: As previously stated: “Per the weblog’s terms of use, as agreed to by me and Jim, use of racist, misogynistic, homophobic language is prohibited, and cause for banning.” On these comment threads, I am the judge of what constitutes misogynistic.

  9. Dr. Dysmalist

    When I first saw this, I was struck by the big jump in the WSJ mean forecast from January to February. I mean, I know that Biden’s proposals have been much more aggressive than most people expected, but that seems like a large change in expectations for things which aren’t even in the form of legislation yet (to my knowledge). Even given the indications we’ve gotten that the Democrats are going to use reconciliation in order to negate the power the GQP party-poopers (unless you’re rich) still retain in the Senate, it seems that someone is putting an awful lot of weight on policies that are far from concrete.

  10. Alan Goldhammer

    Forecasts are funny things. I run a small home office for some family-based portfolios and trust funds. I try to do some of my own forecasting to help manage risk. Last May I was estimating that unemployment would not go below 10% by the end of 2020 and was happy to see that it did even though my prediction was wrong. However, maybe I was partially redeemed as Fed Chairman Powell said that current unemployment is close to 10% because of some misclassifications. to be sure, I do not take any pleasure in this.

  11. AS

    I notice that a model forecasting the elements of GDP, such as consumption, domestic investment, exports, imports and government expenditures and gross investment, (FRED series: PCECC96, GPDIC1, EXPGSC1, IMPGSC1 and GCEC1), forecasts 2021Q1 GDP at 18,993, or about a 4.6% annualized rate.
    Using an ARIMA intervention model, with a pulse dummy for 2020Q2, I find a GDP forecast of 18,885 which is about 2.3% annualized rate. The dynamic forecasts then regress to about 2.0% annualized.
    Using forecast comparison metrics provided on EViews, the model forecasting GDP at 18,993 is preferred.
    Currently, the Atlanta Fed forecasts 2021Q1 GDP at 4.5% annualized, which the NY Fed forecasts 2021Q1 GDP at 6.7% annualized. As we know both of these forecasts will most likely change by the end of the quarter.

    https://www.frbatlanta.org/cqer/research/gdpnow
    https://www.newyorkfed.org/research/policy/nowcast

    1. ltr

      https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=rbgQ

      January 4, 2018

      Unemployment-Underemployment Rate, * 2007-2021

      * Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers; age 16 and over.

      https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=wmbZ

      January 4, 2020

      Unemployment-Underemployment rates, * 2020-2021

      * Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers; age 16 and over.

    2. Moses Herzog

      @ AS
      Interesting stuff, as per usual from you. Thanks for sharing and keep us posted on your other forecast efforts. I hope one day to grasp at your heels on your number crunching ability, but my lazy bones don’t grant much hope.

    3. Moses Herzog

      @ AS
      Have you read Krugman’s 2nd post on his new Substack blog?? MUST READING for the future master Jedi forecaster in training:
      https://paulkrugman.substack.com/p/nonstimulus-arithmetic

      Pay close attention to what Krugman says about CBO estimates in the current context, and the output gap. I may be putting words in his mouth, but I’m not getting ANY</b< vibe at all that Krugman views inflation as a threat. What could Krugman's thoughts on lack of inflation tell you about the effects of stimulus from now, to say July?? (I'm encouraging you to "turn over" this last question silently in your own mind)

  12. ltr

    This is profoundly important:

    https://twitter.com/PeterDaszak/status/1360551108565999619

    Peter Daszak @PeterDaszak

    This was NOT my experience on @WHO mission. As lead of animal/environment working group I found trust & openness w/ my China counterparts. We DID get access to critical new data throughout. We DID increase our understanding of likely spillover pathways.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/12/world/asia/china-world-health-organization-coronavirus.html

    On W.H.O. Trip, China Refused to Hand Over Important Data
    The information could be key to determining how and when the outbreak started, and to learning how to prevent future pandemics.

    6:27 AM · Feb 13, 2021

    New data included env. & animal carcass testing, names of suppliers to Huanan Market, analyses of excess mortality in Hubei, range of covid-like symptoms for months prior, sequence data linked to early cases & site visits w/ unvetted live Q&A etc. All in report coming soon!

  13. ltr

    Profoundly important:

    https://twitter.com/TheaKFischer/status/1360590441817772034

    Thea K Fischer, Prof. i PH Virus Inf. og Epidemier @TheaKFischer

    This was NOT my experience either on the Epi-side. We DID build up a good relationship in the Chinese/Int Epi-team! Allowing for heated arguments reflects a deep level of engagement in the room. Our quotes are intendedly twisted casting shadows over important scientific work.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/12/world/asia/china-world-health-organization-coronavirus.html

    On W.H.O. Trip, China Refused to Hand Over Important Data
    The information could be key to determining how and when the outbreak started, and to learning how to prevent future pandemics.

    9:03 AM · Feb 13, 2021

  14. ltr

    February 12, 2021

    Coronavirus

    US

    Cases   ( 28,106,704)
    Deaths   ( 492,521)

    India

    Cases   ( 10,892,550)
    Deaths   ( 155,588)

    UK

    Cases   ( 4,013,799)
    Deaths   ( 116,287)

    France

    Cases   ( 3,427,386)
    Deaths   ( 81,448)

    Germany

    Cases   ( 2,330,414)
    Deaths   ( 65,036)

    Mexico

    Cases   ( 1,968,566)
    Deaths   ( 171,234)

    Canada

    Cases   ( 820,306)
    Deaths   ( 21,162)

    China

    Cases   ( 89,748)
    Deaths   ( 4,636)

  15. ltr

    February 12, 2021

    Coronavirus   (Deaths per million)

    UK   ( 1,707)
    US   ( 1,483)
    Mexico   ( 1,320)
    France   ( 1,246)

    Germany   ( 775)
    Canada   ( 558)
    India   ( 112)
    China   ( 3)

    Notice the ratios of deaths to coronavirus cases are 8.7%, 2.9% and 2.4% for Mexico, the United Kingdom and France respectively.

  16. ltr

    https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-02-13/Chinese-mainland-reports-8-new-COVID-19-cases-XQ6U9CIuRi/index.html

    February 13, 2021

    Chinese mainland reports 8 new COVID-19 cases

    The Chinese mainland recorded 8 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, all from overseas, data from the National Health Commission (NHC) showed on Saturday.

    No new locally-transmitted cases were reported on Friday and 65 patients were discharged from hospitals. Fourteen new asymptomatic cases were recorded, while 470 asymptomatic patients remain under medical observation.

    The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland has reached 89,756, and the death toll stands at 4,636. No new deaths related to COVID-19 were registered on Friday.

    Chinese mainland new locally transmitted cases

    https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-02-13/Chinese-mainland-reports-8-new-COVID-19-cases-XQ6U9CIuRi/img/222619a38cf149b09ce0981f7a1c978a/222619a38cf149b09ce0981f7a1c978a.jpeg

    Chinese mainland new imported cases

    https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-02-13/Chinese-mainland-reports-8-new-COVID-19-cases-XQ6U9CIuRi/img/744b0bc009374c6cbf8c42343313169b/744b0bc009374c6cbf8c42343313169b.jpeg

    Chinese mainland new asymptomatic cases

    https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-02-13/Chinese-mainland-reports-8-new-COVID-19-cases-XQ6U9CIuRi/img/bee509370a914590b3f73b8d58d396ba/bee509370a914590b3f73b8d58d396ba.jpeg

    1. Barkley Rosser

      ltr,

      I get that you think everybody should be up on the latest coronavirus data, but I do not get why you think that it is necessary to post all these things twice (or more). Also, I am not sure whether you thought the reports that the Chinese were providing useful data are more important than the one that says they did not do so.

    2. Dr. Dysmalist

      ltr:

      Here’s an idea: start your own blog. That way you can post these things to your heart’s content without polluting someone else’s comment thread.

      Let us know the URL of your new blog. I promise I’ll give it the same attention I give to your ‘comments’ here.

  17. ltr

    President Emmanuel Macron is even now sending a “nuclear attack submarine” to the South China Sea:

    https://twitter.com/Reuters/status/1360244771470647300

    Reuters @Reuters

    The biting cold did not deter hundreds of Parisian students from lining up outside a distribution center to receive food aid, as many have said they have trouble finding nourishment

    Students line up for food aid in Paris – News

    10:10 AM · Feb 12, 2021

    1. 2slugbaits

      ltr With respect to your blizzards of off-topic posts, Menzie has been more than patient and forgiving. He’s also too polite to offer anything more than some gentle hints that you need to quit posting repetitious off-topic stuff. But unlike Menzie, I’m not a polite gentleman, so please take the hint. Cease and desist. Your obsession with posting COVID numbers that anyone can easily find on their own is very distracting for readers and adds no value to the topic under discussion. This is not your blog and it’s disrespectful to continually threadjack it. BTW, there’s nothing that prevents you from creating your own blog where you can post whatever you like. Thank you.

      1. Barkley Rosser

        Now now now, 2slug, this comment reminds us that it is completely legitimate and legal and even good that China is claiming the South China Sea, even though the international Court of Justice ruled against China’s claim over waters near the Philippines. But, hey, we know that court is just a bunch of imperialist swine whose ruling mean nothing.

        And any nation contesting the claim had better have everything just perfect in their nation if they dare to do so in any way more than just making mumbled diplomatic complaints. So, shame on Macron for doing this. Does he not get that President Xi is the world’s leading advocate of freedom and democracy?

        1. 2slugbaits

          Barkley I suspect that “ltr” is just a paid Chinese propagandist or bot who blasts dozens of copies of the same posts all across the internet. Since “ltr” doesn’t appear to have any sense of shame and is oblivious to Menzie’s hints, I suspect the appropriate pronoun for “ltr” would be “it.” I seriously doubt “ltr” is even aware of Menzie’s obvious displeasure since it doesn’t actually engage in real discussions. Just drive-by postings and then on to the next target.

    1. Moses Herzog

      Witnesses can be a pesky thing. For example, with New York state health policy:
      https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2021/02/12/coverup-claims-engulf-cuomo-as-scandal-over-nursing-home-deaths-grows-1363353

      DeRosa does appear to be very savvy and have that New Yorker quick thinking:
      Cuomo was already facing mounting backlash for his handling of the nursing home crisis. The Wednesday call with DeRosa was designed to repair relationships with frustrated Democrats who said Cuomo was shutting them out of the state’s response.
      She told legislators the administration “froze” after the Department of Justice made an inquiry into Cuomo’s management of nursing homes. State officials refrained from releasing the data, she said, because of worry that President Donald Trump was trying to turn the tragedy “into a giant political football.”
      “We were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, and what we start saying, was going to be used against us and we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation,” DeRosa said during the meeting, according to a partial transcript.

      Melissa DeRosa, threw gasoline on a fire that by Friday had enveloped Cuomo’s legacy of effective leadership during the Covid-19 crisis — something he hoped to parlay into a fourth term next year.

      I see a strong future for DeRosa, perhaps after a few advice seeking conversations with Hillary’s aides DeRosa can learn the most destructive ways to use a hammer on Cuomo’s mobile phones and devices. I see a bright future there for DeRosa.

      1. pgl

        My – you must be either Lindsey Graham or Ted Cruz. Yes they shut down having witnesses so they can be that vote to let Trump off the hook. Their approach? Threatening to call a parade of irrelevant witnesses just to politicize the hearings.

        I’m sure you are so proud you helped Trump’s defense team pull this off. They sure are.

        1. Moses Herzog

          pgl
          The senate would have had control of that, and most likely would have “capped” the number of witnesses called by both sides (an equal max number each). Or can you read??

          You need to stop reading “TPM” and “DailyBeast” and drivel that copy/paste off of real journalism. It appears your political repartee is regressing.

          1. pgl

            Got it – I will follow your lead and only listen to Fox News. I’m sure you will be really successful helping Trump make his come back in 2024.

      2. Moses Herzog

        You know after all the criticisms of Bernie on this blog, most non-legit, a very few legit criticisms (Gerald Friedman), I never remember stories about Bernie related to destruction of phones, destruction of devices, and missing/destroyed internet servers. I wonder why that is??? I also never remember these stories connected to Tulsi Gabbard, before, during, or after she became a DNC pariah and DNC public enemy #1. Strange the things a sense of personal morality does to some people, isn’t it?? Bernie and Tulsi have totally missed out on the trendy fashions of the “cool kids” in the DNC. Maybe they can also be stuffed away in some ice freezer with Walter Mondale somewhere for having the unmitigated call to tell Americans something they can never handle—the truth. “Oh dear lord, help the Hillary apologists when this day arrives, It was her ‘strength’ and ‘feminist values’ that made Hillary keep a personal internet server, against the advice of every government official and security expert on planet Earth. PLease lord, help them to understand why we didn’t need witnesses on February 13, 2021, because…… the DNC is ‘strong’ “.

        Do you think if Cuomo is investigated there will be questions about things said on mobile phones, personal emails etc?? People better hope Andrew Cuomo is a little more intelligent than Hillary on that score, or things may get interesting for all of our “sophisticated” “tough” people in the New York state area.

        1. Moses Herzog

          *unmitigated gall, excuse the error.

          But while I’m cleaning up my badly typed comment I might ask another open-ended question. Do you think if there is an investigation of Andrew Cuomo’s health policy decisions, and the hiding of death count numbers and other decisions that Republicans and/or lawyers investigating Cuomo will say “No, let’s skip witnesses. Let’s just skip witnesses altogether, let’s just get a phone call Cuomo made ‘on the record’, and then we don’t need to call all those witnesses.” Wow, Schumer and the DNC crew need another holiday, so let’s all go home now. But Bernie’s giving overly optimistic economic projections so— F— him. It all makes sense.

          1. Barkley Rosser

            Moses,

            I do not know what others think about this, but you are making all kinds of accusations about many people some of which are just bogus.

            So, maybe pgl is loyal to Cuomo as a New Yorker, and maybe he knows more, but from all I see Cuomo seriously messed up on the nursing homes for reasons that remain unclear to me. But as of now I think he deserves the criticism now coming down on him and wait to see what further investigations will show. I was never that big a fan of his, including back when he and Trump had dueling daily commentaries last spring on the pandemic. He was better than Trump, but that was a very low bar, and when I saw people swooning all over him and saying he should be the Dem prez candidate, I was not inclined to that view at all.

            As for your weird jumble of other people and things, left over from the past that you have not figured out in current times, Bernie is fine and I always liked him and many of his positions, even if I did not favor him as candidate last year. I did vote for him over Hillary in VA in 2016, and I am close friends with a lot of his top advisers, as has been stated here. He is fine, although you should not lecture him about voting on Tanden, where you look sickly out of it. But then you throw the awful Tulsi Gabbard in with him, I guess you like her because she supported him in 2016 (or maybe you think she is hot, which we know is Very Important for you). Sorry, we thought you had figured her out, but apparently not. Please, do not make some of us vomit all over our computers with you singing her praises any further.

            As for Gerald Friedman and his model, that is a complicated matter probably best to leave alone at this point. Time to move on.

          2. pgl

            “Barkley Rosser
            February 14, 2021 at 5:05 pm
            Moses,

            I do not know what others think about this, but you are making all kinds of accusations about many people some of which are just bogus.

            So, maybe pgl is loyal to Cuomo as a New Yorker”

            Funny thing – I am not a Cuomo fan as he strikes me as a DINO. To the degree he did indeed mess up, he needs to be held accountable. But I do resent the political attacks from Trump wannabees who have misrepresented just about everything on this issue.

          3. Barkley Rosser

            Fair enough, pgl. I really do not know what is going on there with Cuomo. Why does NY seem to have so many lousy Dem politicos? I mean Cuomo and de Blasio really dislike each other, and it looks to me like they are both right. Sure liked Cuomo’s dad a lot more than him.

            Schumer and AOC have their off moments (basically too much of a love of the TV camera), but both of them look a lot better than Cuomo and de Blasio.

  18. ltr

    February 13, 2021

    Coronavirus

    New York

    Cases   ( 1,568,969)
    Deaths   ( 45,947)

    Deaths per million   ( 2,362)

  19. ltr

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/12/nyregion/new-york-nursing-homes-cuomo.html

    February 12, 2021

    New Allegations of Cover-Up by Cuomo Over Nursing Home Virus Toll
    In a leaked conversation, the governor’s top aide admitted that data was withheld on nursing homes, where more than 10,000 New Yorkers have died during the pandemic.
    By Jesse McKinley and Luis Ferré-Sadurní

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/01/nyregion/cuomo-health-department-officials-quit.html

    February 1, 2021

    9 Top N.Y. Health Officials Have Quit as Cuomo Scorns Expertise
    “When I say ‘experts’ in air quotes, it sounds like I’m saying I don’t really trust the experts,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said of pandemic policies. “Because I don’t.”
    By J. David Goodman, Joseph Goldstein and Jesse McKinley

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/28/nyregion/nursing-home-deaths-cuomo.html

    January 28, 2021

    N.Y. Severely Undercounted Virus Deaths in Nursing Homes, Report Says
    The state attorney general, Letitia James, said the Cuomo administration likely omitted thousands of Covid-19 deaths of nursing home residents.
    By Jesse McKinley

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/05/opinion/sunday/coronavirus-nursing-homes-deaths.html

    September 5, 2020

    How Many of These 68,000 Deaths Could Have Been Avoided?
    Nursing home residents and staff members account for around 40 percent of coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. There’s no justifiable reason for that.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/23/nyregion/nursing-homes-deaths-cuomo.html

    July 23, 2020

    Blame Spreads for Nursing Home Deaths Even as N.Y. Contains Virus
    With more than 6,000 nursing home residents dying of the coronavirus, a fight over whether relatives should be allowed to sue has erupted in Albany.
    By Jesse McKinley and Luis Ferré-Sadurní

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/08/nyregion/nursing-homes-deaths-coronavirus.html

    July 8, 2020

    Does Cuomo Share Blame for 6,200 Virus Deaths in N.Y. Nursing Homes?
    A state directive sent thousands of Covid-19 patients into nursing homes, but the Cuomo administration has given other reasons for the virus’s spread.
    By Luis Ferré-Sadurní and Amy Julia Harris

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/21/business/nursing-homes-evictions-discharges-coronavirus.html

    June 21, 2020

    ‘They Just Dumped Him Like Trash’: Nursing Homes Evict Vulnerable Residents
    Nursing homes across the country are kicking out old and disabled residents and sending them to homeless shelters and rundown motels.
    By Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Amy Julia Harris

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/13/nyregion/nursing-homes-coronavirus-new-york.html

    May 13, 2020

    Buried in N.Y. Budget: Legal Shield for Nursing Homes Rife With Virus
    In New York, 5,300 nursing home residents have died of Covid-19. The nursing home lobby pressed for a provision that makes it hard for their families to sue.
    By Amy Julia Harris, Kim Barker and Jesse McKinley

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/06/opinion/coronavirus-health-care-market.html

    May 6, 2020

    We Knew the Coronavirus Was Coming, Yet We Failed
    The vulnerabilities that Covid-19 has revealed were a predictable outgrowth of our market-based health care system.
    By Elisabeth Rosenthal

  20. ltr

    Though I know little of history and am slow of learning any, I find it important that the French have sent a “nuclear attack submarine” * to the South China Sea. After all, this is the France that invaded China with the British to support trading in opium, the France that helped the British burn the Summer Palace in Beijing, the France that colonized the Indochina Peninsula….

    * https://www.france24.com/en/france/20210212-france-wades-into-the-south-china-sea-with-a-nuclear-attack-submarine

    1. Moses Herzog

      @ ltr
      Yes, because when ANY foreign nation occupies what is <b internationally recognized as international waters, the “dirty Laowai” must be “infringing” on China once again. Boy, mainland China is so into victimization culture, you make what American culture labels snowflakes look like the Kunming based Flying Tigers that bailed your asses out when you had no Air Force and you were using draw hoes to farm for vegetables.

      Quit acting like all of the European nations “owe” you, you’re not entitled to act like whiny babies for all of eternity because you lost to a much smaller and technologically superior nation during WW2. I’m sorry about Nanjing et cetera, ad infinitum. I’m also sorry about what America did to Hiroshima to regular citizens. But guess what?? Japan moved on. Life moves on, deal with it and quit acting like the international version of the 6 year old wanting a candy bar in the grocery checkout line. That grocery check out line is for everyone’s use, not just for you because you’re standing there crying that Mommy is being “mean to you again”..

  21. Moses Herzog

    A gift of love to all those Econbrowser regulars now stuck inside the house because of snow or extreme cold. Maybe you’re not sports fans, you don’t know what to do?? May I suggest the following 2 hours of fun. The first few minutes have a decent amount of bloviating, feel free to use your abilities with the scroller (the gray or blue line at the base/bottom of the video) to scroll ahead when you felt the discussion was a little dry:
    https://www.c-span.org/video/?508651-1/senate-confirmation-hearing-neera-tanden-wh-budget-director-nominee

    Personally, I think it will be a failure of Bernie’s agenda, and a personal failure of Bernie’s if he votes to nominate Miss Tanden. But you have to be realistic about the current political winds. I am strongly against her nomination.

  22. ltr

    Though I struggle so in understanding, when an important newspaper repeatedly attacks China, especially so on access by a team of World Health Organization scientists to China, and access to China from abroad means Covid-19 testing and quarantine for all and when 2 WHO scientists even test positive, my understanding is China is necessarily and successfully protecting 1.4 billion. Then, when the newspaper attacks China on access to information on the coronavirus however WHO scientists directly contradict the newspaper report and tell of no access problems, my understanding is an intolerable newspaper prejudice.

    1. Moses Herzog

      You’re being INCREDIBLY disingenuous. i.e. LYING Everyone knows that WHO sits around rubbing Beijing’s “G-spot” all day long, because that’s the ONLY way WHO investigators are getting into China, privately WHO complains about China’s backwards and illiterate method of controlling and inhibiting public information. They insult their own citizens, insisting that the less Chinese citizens know, the better off they are.

      I am against Menzie disallowing comments, however if he had a rule against blatant propaganda, you would have long since crossed that line. I think even Menzie’s paternal Grandma (God rest her soul wherever she is) must roll her eyes into the back for her head reading the lies you type.

    2. Barkley Rosser

      Sorry, ltr, but there is to the best of my knowledge not a single nation or international organization not just totally under the control of the PRC that supports its claim to the South China Sea. The aggressor there is the PRC, and its building of bases is in complete violation of international law, as have been its recent border incursions in several locations against India. There is much to defend as you have been doing about Chinese policy, but, please do not make yourself look totally foolish with defending imperialist expansionism over its neighbors by the PRC, because that is exactly what it is and nothing else.

      1. Barkley Rosser

        And the matters you invoke about France are nearly two centuries old, with arguably the last major European aggressive action in China being during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900, now well over a century ago. It is in the last few years that the PRC has been making claims over territories properly belongint to six or seven neighboring nations, depending on how one counts it, that it has never either claimed much less actually ruled ever, not ever. This is outrageous and imperialist aggression not remotely justified by making references to the now almost two centuries past Opium Wars.

  23. pgl

    JohnHFebruary 13, 2021 at 7:13 pm
    Menzie: over at economistsview it was a common myth that Bernanke was supportive of fiscal stimulus. I challenged commenters there to provide me a quote, any quote, that showed that he supported it during the early 2010s. The closest anyone got was one in 2009 where he was “open” to it, subject to multiple conditions, as is usual in Fed-speak.
    1. Menzie ChinnPost authorFebruary 14, 2021 at 12:07 am
    JohnH: THere is this thing called “google”. 10 seconds will get you…
    https://www.mprnews.org/story/2009/01/13/bernanke-obama-stimulus-would-lift-economy
    https://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2010/06/09/bernanke-defends-stimulus-amid-deficit-warning/
    https://money.cnn.com/2008/01/17/news/economy/fed_bernanke/index.htm
    2. JohnHFebruary 14, 2021 at 7:30 am
    Interesting that no one at economistsview could come up with this.

    JohnH lied here. We did so all the time. I warned everyone about this troll and his incessant need to say economists are somehow evil or deficient when that is just BS. And when someone points out what that economists actually said – he just lies his way out of his BS. Get used to it folks as he has done this for years.

  24. Moses Herzog

    WOW, reading a free copy of the Economist I got my hands on (the only way I would read it). Found an F-bomb in the text. WOW, talk about making me feel like an old man.

  25. Ulenspiegel

    “Though I struggle so in understanding, when an important newspaper repeatedly attacks China, especially so on access by a team of World Health Organization scientists to China”

    The effort of the Chinese government to provide useful data on the origin of the virus has been less than impressive, to be polite. One gets the impression that the Chinese government lacks the backbone to admit unpleasant facts.

    1. Moses Herzog

      @ Ulenspiegel
      In my very first few days In China, I had a neighbor direct across the hall from me in the teachers’ dorms. I was still trying to take a lot in, and I’m sure mostly he just wanted a way to practice his English. We sat on a short sofa in the hallway of the dorms and I was discussing certain things about the way mainland Chinese people interacted that struck me as odd. I think he was genuinely trying to give me a “small starter kit” on how to get a grip on things. He basically said “Chinese have an old saying, it is ‘The person who speak out about the crime is disliked more than the person who committed the crime’ “, He also went on to say that Chinese culture has had a trust problem for decades, that is, trust amongst each other in the society, he never spoke it out, but I felt he was skirting around and hinting at the Revolution of 1966, Red August, and how for years even family members and neighbors would turn on each other and turn in names to the government. I may have been “reading too much into it”, but it just seemed like there was some hinting around that that at least played a significant portion in the lack of trust in the culture~~that is, a kind of “bad residue” or residual “bad aura” from those prior years.

      I can’t speak to the “reality on the ground” past the time I was in China, but I can tell you trust was a major problem in China, and I think this gets back to something Menzie and his colleague at Portland State have talked about in some of their papers related to institutional infrastructure and a legal system. I believe the vast majority if Chinese at rock bottom know “what is wrong vs what is right” and have a strong sense of fairness. However, (I’m speaking in a very general way here, as in to ALL countries) if people don’t have some kind of sense of morality, those laws being written won’t adjudicate matters in a “satisfying” way or “situation resolving” kind of a way.

  26. ltr

    I do find the repeated pornographic imagery used to intimidate me truly frightening, but I will continue determinedly as I realize the necessity.

      1. Moses Herzog

        The man who I assume is based out of a country with 2+ “bath houses” every street block is worried about obscenity now. I’d ask ltr to get his local PSB to give their stamp of approval on my choice of language, if I didn’t know that 98% of mainland Chinese aren’t afraid to phone the police. The other 2% their father works there.

        1. Barkley Rosser

          Moses,

          I am agreeing with you mostly on the substantial criticism of many of ltr’s remarks about China. But I would note first that ltr is almost certainly “anne” of Economists View and Angry Bear, and thus almost certainly female. I would also say that ltr may be overdoing saying you have been “repeatedly” engaging in “pornographic statements,” but I can see at least one, involving the use of a letter, as being highly questionable and not adding usefully to the discussion, and that it would be taken as offensive when addressed to a woman. as I am reasonably sure ltr is.

          As it is, I do not think ltr lives in PRC and I doubt she is paid. I have always found her tendency to post huge amounts of raw data to be overdone, especially when she posts these things twice, as she often does.

          I do think she takes a pro-PRC position that it is too strong to be defensible, and indeed I have been taking her to task fairly strongly on some of the same issues you have, Moses, such as Chinese conduct in and claims regarding the South China Sea. I remember that on EV she always took a pretty strongly pro-China position and took me to task more than once when she thought I was being unreasonably critical of China. But it does seem that she has become more insistent about spouting Chinese propaganda and simply almost never makes any critical remarks of it. I am not sure if her position has actually changed, or if it simply looks more hard to defend as the behavior of China itself has become much less defensible in recent years.

          I will note, as I have here more than once, that she does respect data and facts, and will respond reasonably to factually based arguments, at least some of them, although she seems not to respond on certain matters. She also takes offense fairly easily, and has always expressed that in a similar way, dating back to the days of Economists View.

          She may be excessively and repetitiously posting a lot of low quality Chinese propaganda. But I do not think she is a paid bot, and she does make some reasonable points some of the time in the midst of the overdone spouting.

          Heck, Moses, even you make some reasonable points some of the time, and you are her co-conspirator as the dynamic duo of off-topic thread-jacking on this blog, :-).

          1. Steven Kopits

            I think that’s mostly right, Barkley.

            But I do think ltr is paid. If you know how communist bureaucracies work, well, it’s how she’s posting. Pay by the hour, by the post, a lot of low quality, easy to replicate and update stuff to show supervisors who think this is all low level garbage work, which it kind of is. The consistency of posting, the number of posts, and the checklist quality of these posts all suggest ltr is paid. And that’s not necessarily such a terrible thing. She could be working on Madison Avenue hawking even more dubious claims!

            Ltr also has a background in western lit, which is how she got her job. What’s an English major worth in China? Well, now we know. It may be worth more than one in the US!

            In any event, I personally don’t think ltr is a bad person, just a young woman (we believe) trying to get by. In many ways. ltr’s future is the future of China. But that’s a much, much longer post.

          2. Barkley Rosser

            Steven,

            Assuming ltr is the anne of Economists View, I have been interacting with her for a very long time. I do not know if she is paid or not by PRC, but based on things I have seen by and from her over a long time, it is my impression that she not only lives in the US but was born here, although I think she has spent some time in PRC. I could be wrong about that impression, but it is based on remarks she has made over time that suggest that her knowledge of China itself initially came from education, not personal experience.

            But heck, I could be wrong about lots of this. I have been wrong here on quite a few things, as has been pointed out repeatedly at times.

          3. Steven Kopits

            I cannot speak to other websites, but her pattern of posting here is characteristic of a paid troll. Or someone with a serious mental disorder.

            I think the former is more likely. And an American troll can be paid by China, too. But that might make her a foreign agent, I would think. And she might need to be registered to do that.

  27. pgl

    Mitch McConnell v. Lindsey Graham strikes me as the natural vault line for the disaster known as the Republican Party.

    In many ways Senator Turtle strikes me as Lord Palpatine aka the Evil Emperor in Star Wars. But even he can admit that Trump led the 1/6 attack on our government, which was treason full stop.

    But now little Lindsey is all mad at Senator Turtle for committing the crime of just telling the truth. Little Lindsey fears it might cost him a few votes as little Lindsey wants to return to the slave holding plantation days of old Dixie. Of course he calls it MAGA Plus. I guess little Lindsey wants our nation’s law and order agencies to be staffed with members of the Proud Boys.

  28. ltr

    When the President of France sends a “nuclear attack submarine” to the South China Sea, I would suggest that we are witnessing an act of madness. Nuclear ploys or threats are after all considered a madness by many, many people. Little matter beyond the symbolic though, China will use and develop the South China Sea as though she were, say, America using and developing the Gulf of Mexico, and all about the South China Sea will gain.

    1. 2slugbaits

      ltr “nuclear attack submarine” to the South China Sea, I would suggest that we are witnessing an act of madness. Nuclear ploys or threats are after all considered a madness by many

      Do you know what a “nuclear attack submarine” is? Hint: it’s not what you seem to think it is. You’re confusing nuclear attack submarines, which are common as hen’s teeth, with nuclear ballistic submarines, which in fact quite threatening and quite rare.

    2. Dr. Dysmalist

      ltr:

      In the description “nuclear attack submarine,” “nuclear” refers to its propulsion system, not its weaponry. “Attack” refers to its role, to damage and sink other ships, both surface and submarine, often (usually?) in support of the mission of its task force and/or fleet. This differentiates it from a “missile” submarine, aka “boomer”, whose role is to remain undetected before, while, and after it launches its (guess what?) missiles. That is its sole mission. Attack submarines are always tactical weapons systems; missile submarines are usually strategic weapons systems, though they can be used tactically if they have been equipped with the appropriate weapons. A nuclear (powered, remember) submarine may or may not be equipped with nuclear weapons. As far as I know, the only ones that always do are the ones that are part of a country’s strategic deterrent, such as the US and others maintain.

      All of these terms have been in use, with these commonly understood definitions, for (I believe) at least 50 years, since I think I was a preteen when I learned them. I recognize that most people have not had my early, and somewhat frequent, exposure to these terms; that is where the modern miracle of web searches comes into play. In a few very short minutes, you could have learned enough to avoid using the hyperbolic propagandistic phrase “nuclear ploy” to describe a nuclear powered submarine in open seas. I strongly doubt that the French boat was carrying nuclear weapons, though it had every right to do so since it is owned and deployed by a sovereign nation and it was traversing international waters.

  29. ltr

    On December 30-21, 2019, I learned of the finding of a unusual pneumonia in China, and have followed reports in 2 languages and collected records every single day since. I simply set down records, with seldom a word more. To me at least, the records are reliable and important; for instance, a ready explanation of why sending “thousands of Covid-19 patients into nursing homes” in an American state might have been highly unfortunate.

  30. pgl

    Gee Ted Cruz quoted Macbeth during the impeachment hearings. Lest remember he read the Senate Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss as he filibustered on Obamacare:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lSCuYit5QU

    Of course this Princeton educated clown got the entire message of what Dr. Seuss was saying as he was too stupid to read this classic tale til the end. Yes Bruce Hall level stupidity!

  31. ltr

    “I do find the repeated pornographic imagery used to intimidate me truly frightening, but I will continue determinedly as I realize the necessity.”

    I understand that the phonographic imagery will continue; the racist refrain will continue. The need is to intimidate me, and the imagery and refrain have frightened and will indeed frighten me, but I will not be intimidated.

  32. ltr

    This of course is madness, but I remember Tolstoy vividly describing a division of the Grande Armee advancing to Russia in 1812, and the madness of Napoleon, and I find this a little amusing as well as revealing:

    https://www.france24.com/en/france/20210212-france-wades-into-the-south-china-sea-with-a-nuclear-attack-submarine

    February 12, 2021

    France wades into the South China Sea with a nuclear attack submarine

    The French nuclear attack submarine SNA Emeraude recently conducted a patrol in the South China Sea, Defence Minister Florence Parly announced this week, sparking questions over the timing and tensions in Asia’s hotly contested waters.

    1. Barkley Rosser

      Oh gag, ltr, this is now becoming truly disgusting, and i actually have some sympathy with you regarding a comment made in very poor taste. But this is astoundingly ridiculous.

      Napoleon invaded the universally accepted territory of Russia. This nuclear powered French submarine is not in any territory of China. It is in territory that China is now claiming in complete violation of international laws, against the views of every single nation on the planet. It is engaging in unacceptable imperialist aggression. Your poating on this topic is getting zero support from anybody here. Rather, in case you have not noticed, it is bringing to a boil a long-building annoyance with your constant posting of Chinese propaganda in excessive quantities.

      Note, I do think some of this has been useful and even correct, some. I also agree someobody here has govne over a line of inappropriate remarks, although it is up to Menzie to decide what gets deleted and what does not. I do find it ironic that the person who has made the remarks you find the most offensive is the person you have been coupled with as someone who most frequently posts here on topics not connected to the topics the hosts have posted about.

  33. ltr

    1865 – 1869

    War and Peace
    By Leo Tolstoy

    1812

    On the twenty-ninth of May Napoleon left Dresden, where he had spent three weeks surrounded by a court that included princes, dukes, kings, and even an emperor. Before leaving, Napoleon showed favor to the emperor, kings, and princes who had deserved it, reprimanded the kings and princes with whom he was dissatisfied, presented pearls and diamonds of his own— that is, which he had taken from other kings— to the Empress of Austria…

    [ A stunning and completely relevant passage, that ends with “Quos vult perdere dementat.” ]

    1. Barkley Rosser

      Not remotely relevant, ltr. This makes you look what I do not think you are. seriously stupid. Indeed, your claims on this are seriously offensive. You are defending imperialist aggression, really. This is not acceptable, not at all. It is increasingly disgusting with your increasingly sillier efforts to prove your worthless point.

  34. AS

    Professor Chinn,
    Why not request cooperation again from readers to post only to the topic? The goal being to weed-out “bots” human and otherwise. I think cooperative readers may well restrain their comments to the topic to accomplish the goal. Those who post replies materially different from the original topic could be blocked, based upon your judgment. The assumption related to blocked contributors as mentioned is that they are bots of some type. As 2slugs mentioned, bots will be oblivious to the posting request.

    1. Barkley Rosser

      Nice try, AS. He and Jim already have, and now Menzie has been doing so repeatedlly. But hey, you can join the crowd. I also note that one of the two worst violators on this matter is somebody you once told to “thunder on.” So, frankly, AS, you do not have much credibility on this matter.

      1. AS

        Hi Barkley,
        I remember saying “thunder on” but did not recall encouraging and don’t encourage off topic comments. Apologies if I did encourage off topic comments. If so, my error.

        1. Moses Herzog

          @ AS
          Your grand sin was humoring me with an undeserved compliment after I gave you a link related to jobs/hiring data I thought would help you tweak your forecasting numbers for employment/unemployment (which is super tough to do in the current context). The post was related to interest rate spreads, which I think is pretty closely related to market expectations.
          https://econbrowser.com/archives/2021/01/interpreting-spreads#comment-247607

          “AS”, After this crime you have unleashed on society, you’ll never be able to look your children straight in the eyes ever again. If you’re Catholic I recommend you go to confessional sometime no later than midnight this evening.

  35. ltr

    The magnificent WEB Du Bois opens Souls of Black Folk asking, “How does it feel to be a problem?” Du Bois would never answer, but thought considerably about the question and Souls was a result. I will consider then what it is for the Chinese to be or feel like a problem, and that should be useful. As for the wild bullying I am bothered, but gaining that the bully gains nothing and makes self-understanding impossible. I will go right on.

    [ Notice that I am polite, never mention any person, and have only responded here to text and as ever with politeness. ]

    [ Words such as “disgusting” and “worthless” have no meaning to me, for I was raised without such words. The Tolstoy remembrance however was perfect. “Vivat.” ]

    1. Barkley Rosser

      OK, ltr, maybe “disgusting” is overdoing it, but do please note that I am just about the only person here standing up for anything you have been saying.

      In any case, reposting about “War and Peace” may not be “disgusting,” but it is super inappropriate. Indeed, to the extent it is appropriate, it is in reverse. the Napoleon figure is not French leader Macron, it is the person who clearly views himself as a new emperor, perhaps even a revival of the last Chinese emperor to be really powerful, the Qianlong ((“Chi’en-lung” in Wade-Giles transliteration), who ruled for over 60 years in the 1700s and more established what are roughly China’s current borders, and who was able in 1793 to tell a visiting British dignitary offering British goods, “Our celestial empire possesses all things in prolific abundance and lacks no product within its own borders. There is therefore no need to import the manufactures of outside barbarians.” Which led to the Brits deciding in the 1830s that maybe China might need to import opium.

      Anyway, it is Xi Jinping who is the modern Napoleon, not Emmanual Macron. It is Xi Jinping who is aggressively seizing control of territory owned by other nations and attacking neighboring territories. Macron is doing no such thing. This line of argument from you is completely indefensible, ltr. That more acceptable to you?

      BTW, I have known since I first started studying Chinese culture and history at my mother’s knee when quite young that the Qianlong emperor is indeed very respected in China, something that I have seen confirmed during visits to China, with this especially clear if one visits the Lama Temple in Beijing, where one can see some of his personal belongings. While he may have been responsible for conquering both Xinjiang and Tibet, he was at least a deep follower of Tibetan Lamaist Buddhism. He was also deeply knowledgeable and supportive regarding cultural and intellectual matters in a way I do not think Xi will be able to match.

      1. Barkley Rosser

        ltr,

        On doing some double checking I must grant that Xi Jinping may be following the Qianlong emperor more than I was aware. In conquering both Xinjiang and Tibet in the 1740s, he did carry out seriously violent policies against certain groups that resisted the Qing conquest, with many people in those groups being killed. Also, while he admired and essentially practiced Tibetan Buddhism, after 1760 he adopted anti-Muslim policies that were quite suppressive and led to several uprisings.

        OTOH, he was a poet, authoring over 40,000 poems and a deep student of painting, jade sculptures, and ceramic and bronze arts, being the main developer and expander of the Imperial art collection, with many of these arts reaching a peak during his reign. He also was a philosopher and scholar, organizing groups of scholars to gather and publish the main works of Chinese philosophy and literature, many thousands of volumes of these. I do not see Xi Jinping remotely matching the Qianlong emperor as a poet, scholar, philosopher, and advocate and patron of the arts.

        1. Barkley Rosser

          A bit more on Xi and Qianlong, I see more reasons to think there are similarities between the two, and I strongly suspect Xi wishes to emulate the emperor, who really is a widely admired figure in China.

          So the Qianlong Emperor emphasized focusing on the neighboring vassals, the “tributary states.” The expansion of claims by Xi over neighbors is consistent with this. I must note that the emperor was really seriously harsh on groups in areas he conquered, with some even using the term “genocide” especially regarding the Dzungar people who ruled part of Xinjiang when he conquereed it.

          I also note that the emperor was the first ruler ever to make a claim that the Chinese empire was a multt-ethnic nation, not just one of the Han peoples, he being ethinically a Manchurian. He apparently spoke six languages: Manchu, Chinese, Mongolian, Tibetan, Uighur, and Tagatai. The British diplomat who met him in 1793 described him as being “amiable” in person, if assertive about Chinese power and authority.

          There is no way Xi will ever approach the emperor in intellectual achievements or level, but I do note that Xi is trying to publicize Chinese cultural achievements, even if he is not personally contributing to them. BTW, the majority of that fabulous imperial art collection Qianlong played such a role in expanding is now located in a museum in Tapiei in you-know-where, and it really is a world-fabulous collection.

  36. dilbert dogbert

    Re: South China Sea and Submarines
    “A large southern area of the South China Sea is rather shallow – under 100m (328 feet) in depth. However, roughly contiguous to China’s “nine-dash line” territorial claim in the South China Sea, the continental shelf drops to a deep basin of around 4,000m, offering better cover for submarines.”
    You don’t send “Boomers” into shallow waters.
    Sorry for “muddying” the waters.

    1. Ulenspiegel

      “A large southern area of the South China Sea is rather shallow – under 100m (328 feet) in depth. However, roughly contiguous to China’s “nine-dash line” territorial claim in the South China Sea, the continental shelf drops to a deep basin of around 4,000m, offering better cover for submarines.”
      You don’t send “Boomers” into shallow waters.”

      That does not really make sense IMHO.

      1) Boomers as carriers of nuclaer weapons would not be in own coastal waters.

      2) Smaller diesel electric subs or more modern versions can be nicely hidden in not to shallow waters (100 meters are fine), actually better than in deeper waters. These subs are the real thread for enemy surface forces.

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