# A Statistical Analysis of Implications of Using the “China Virus” Phrase

Trump used it. A reader wrote “A China virus is not racist, it’s placist.” My view is that since there was already a widely known term for the virus, it was unnecessary to resort to a made up moniker. Han, Riddell and Piquero (2023) examines what happened in the aftermath of the popularization of the term.

Source: Han, Riddell, Piquero (2023).

The authors estimate a regression of hate crime count on constant, time, a dummy taking on the value of one after March 16, 2020, and a time trend starting from March 16, 2020.

The coefficient on time (where each observation is weekly) is 0.075, with standard error of 0.056. The authors conclude that none of the coefficients are statistically significant, using 2-tailed tests. Note that the t-statistic of 1.32, is significant at the 10% msl for a one-tailed t-test, which is in some sense more appropriate if one believes the relevant alternative hypothesis is that crimes rose more rapidly after the use of the terms “Kung Flu” or “China virus”. Note that these are results based on data from four major cities, as described in the paper.

Aggregate national (but likely downwardly biased for AAPI group) data from the FBI for 2020 here.

Source: FBI (February 2023).

This is a 77% increase in hate crimes against Asian individuals in the US in 2020.

Here’s a time series, which shows the discrete jump in anti-Asian hate crimes in 2020.

Figure 1: Anti-Asian hate crimes (blue), and Anti-black or anti-African-American hate crimes (tan), in cumulative percentage change from 2016 (log terms). Source: FBI Crime Data Explorer, and author’s calculations.

In contrast to the Han et al. study, there is some evidence of persistence in reported anti-Asian hate crimes.

For more discussion of the FBI hate crimes data limitations, and findings from other datasets, see this Vox discussion.

Lest someone argue that population size has put upward drift into the series, here are the population adjusted counterparts to those in Figure 1.

Figure 2: Anti-Asian hate crimes as a proportion of population (blue), and Anti-black or anti-African-American hate crimes as a proportion of population (tan), in cumulative percentage change from 2016 (log terms). Source: FBI Crime Data Explorer, BEA via FRED (POPTHM), and author’s calculations.

## 98 thoughts on “A Statistical Analysis of Implications of Using the “China Virus” Phrase”

1. GREGORY BOTT

The bulk of anti-asian activity was by black men. I don’t think pro-Shanghai Donald and his brand of Zionism mattered.

1. pgl

“While news reports and social media have perpetuated the idea that anti-Asian violence is committed mostly by people of color, a new analysis shows the majority of attackers are white.”

Sad to see G. Bott is emulating Bruce Hall.

1. Bruce Hall

Just for pgl…
https://www.justice.gov/hatecrimes/hate-crime-statistics

Back from my third trip to Florida so I can begin to catch up on … getting the yard ready for spring. Mulch, crab grass suppressor, dead organic stuff to compost still ahead.

BTW, in the spirit of this post, I am no referring to the Russian invasion of Ukraine as MO-2.24.22. This was the second phase of MO-2.20.14. This clarifies who invaded what, but doesn’t create an atmosphere of hatred or intolerance.

Other major military operations:
MO-1.17.91
MO-12.16.98
MO-10.7.01
MO-3.19.03
MO-9.22.14

This clarifies using non-geographic names and avoids cultural, ethnic, political, or racial overtones.

1. pgl

Poor little Brucie. He tries to make a “point” that CoRev tried to make which our host has already taken down. Damn Brucie – you are slow even for a racist.

BTW – take the train to Manhattan early Monday morning so you can walk down to the court house with your fellow MAGA morons.

But please do not try to attack any of the Asian ladies as many can beat you up.

2. pgl

MO-2.24.22?

Gee I see you have joined JohnH in blaming Russian soldiers raping Ukrainian ladies. Good boy for putting this all in your Cracker Jack decoder ring!

3. pgl

“Now, you wish us to believe it’s not only white, but they are so angry that they commute to the liberal bastions to assault Asians?”

Brucie – CoRev is now trying to steal your game. Yea remind us of the single instance you found where a black person attacked an Asian. You and your fellow KKK members need to coordinate your lies better.

BTW thanks to my friend Moses of letting me know there are racists in NYC. I used to live on the Uppity East Side so I saw them in their MAGA hats way too often.

4. Moses Herzog

@ pgl
I’m just happy to hear you say it. That is all.

: )

I was also hoping you might share on how if New York prosecutors had done their jobs to begin with, decades ago we mightn’t not have NYC/NY State to thank for “gifting” donald trump to our national politics. Even the “tough” “street savvy” New Yorkers.

2. CoRev

Liberals, why all the hatred, Asian and others? The bulk of the increase for Asian hate crimes comes from your bastions of power: “Between 2019-2020, the largest increases in reported anti-Asian hate crimes were in New York City (3 to 28 anti-Asian crimes, an increase of 833%) and Sacramento (1 to 8 anti-Asian crimes, an increase of 700%); note that in 2020, after this spike, reported anti-Asian hate crimes accounted for 11% of all reported hate crimes in New York City and 14% of all hate crimes in Sacramento. In 2020, official law enforcement statistics show that in the 26 largest jurisdictions, reported anti-Asian hate crimes made-up 6.3% of all reported hate crimes.” From Menzie’s cite: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19llMUCDHX-hLKru-cnDCq0BirlpNgF07W3f-q0J0ko4/edit

White liberals from NYC? Who does that sound like?

Just saying.

1. Menzie Chinn Post author

CoRev: There is this thing called the internal combustion engine, which provides a means of transport (well, one could use an electric vehicle, but I think it more likely that those driving into the city to beat up Asians are not driving those). I mean, I worked at one point in Seattle. I drove in, I didn’t live in that liberal bastion….

1. pgl

Even if the hate monger did live on say the Uppity East Side with racist in chief Donald Trump, a lot of them are MAGA hat wearers. You will be able to spot them all this Tuesday afternoon when their head hate monger gets indicted.

2. pgl

“those driving into the city to beat up Asians”

Maybe we alert CoRev that NYC had all sorts of trains and buses where his fellow racists can ride into Manhattan. Amtrak, Metro North, buses to the Port Authority. Getting into Manhattan is easy even if one does not want to drive in.

3. CoRev

Menzie, C’mon quit with the foolishness. Now, you wish us to believe it’s not only white, but they are so angry that they commute to the liberal bastions to assault Asians?

You must believe that we are all ignoramuses of incredible breadth, when in fact your conclusions from the article is UNSUPPORTED by the article’s source material. That only shows who is the ignoramus.

I just used your phrases/preferred descriptor to make the same point of how amazing is the liberal mind. You can do better. Try!

4. Moses Herzog

My thought is, it’s kind of like a Jew raised in the South (Ben Bernanke and outliers aside). Most Asians are smart enough not to live in places with limited opportunity, where racist attitudes are exceedingly high, and where they know “from the get go” they will be targeted with violence and verbal abuse. And it’s a little hard to commit acts of violence against a minority not residing in your locale (vacant). So where would you have a high count of acts of violence against Asians?? Anywhere you have a high concentration of Asians embedded.

As I have tried to inform pgl and some others here, racism is not exclusive to the U.S.A. south of Mason Dixon. The racism of “the South” is just a more severe brand and more prevalent racism. But if you can’t find 2 Asians inside your county line, it makes it harder to “rack up one for the good ol’ boys”. That’s the entire point of the violence, to dissuade minorities/”unwanteds” from moving in.

2. Noneconomist

More Corevarian brilliance. In California there might be more attacks on Asians in San Francisco than in Bakersfield. More attacks in Oakland than Fresno. Who knew?
What next? More attacks in Los Angeles than in Salt Lake City or Boise or Missoula?

1. pgl

I think CoRev believes that all residents of SF must be liberals as the residents kill anyone wearing a MAGA hat. Actually they don’t but it is good that CoRev fears them as the city is too nice to be inflicted with a dumb racist like CoRev.

2. CoRev

MD claims: “CoVid’s animosity is toward people who don’t vote the way he does. Bias is still bias. ” His claim is based upon my pointing the OBVIOUS anti-white bias shown in this article, and the typical liberal commenters.

Ofcourse, MD’s reading capability is again on display. “CoVid is also misrepresenting the data. The main sources of data for the article Menzie cites are large cities.”, but Menzie’s article clearly states his data is from Source: FBI (February 2023). Not only is this another ignorant statement, but implies that Asians do not live outside metropolitan areas? Really? MD has shown that he either lacks understanding, or lacks honesty.

Some examples of those RURAL attacks:” More assaults on Asian American women reported in San Francisco, Baltimore and New York” https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/06/us/asian-american-women-attacks-san-francisco-baltimore/index.html
Here’s another example of that WHITE commuter attacking an Asian woman in a rural area: “Asian Woman Brutally Attacked In Hell’s Kitchen” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SskKiRKXXws (
Remember there is no evidence that attacks are from other than WHITES?
And even another white male: “Suspect caught on video attacking Asian woman with hammer in New York City” https://abcnews.go.com/US/suspect-caught-video-attacking-asian-woman-hammer-york/story?id=77482337

The lying and denying liberal mind is an amazement. This is your chance to show me wrong!

3. CoRev

I must really be living your heads. Refute with evidence what I have said.

The liberal mind is an amazement.

3. Macroduck

Poor CoVid. He just can’t help himself. He’s doing the “Liberals” thing again. CoVid’s animosity is toward people who don’t vote the way he does. Bias is still bias. And we don’t have evidence that CoVid is free of racial animosity – haters gotta hate, and CoVid is a hater.

CoVid is also misrepresenting the data. The main sources of data for the article Menzie cites are large cities. CoVid pretends that means bias is only present in large cities. We cannot know that from the data represented in the article. We also cannot know that, in cities whose residents include both liberals and conservatives, it is the liberals who are engaging in racist behavior.

Both of those points are perfectly obvious to anyone who actually thinks about the data, or cities, or at all. Once again, CoVid has shown that he is either lacks understanding, or lacks honesty.

By the way, y’all remember when the citizens of that “liberal bastion”, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, tried back in 2010 to prevent the opening of a Mosque? And protests outside a mosque in Murfreesboro in 2015? Vandalism in 2017? Murfreesboro has voted for the Republican candidate in every presidential election for the past 20 years.

Remember the four Sikhs killed in the mass shooting in that “liberal bastion”, Indianapolis? Six Sihks killed in a mass shooting in that “liberal bastion”, Oak Creek, Wisconsin? And if you look into the politics of mass shootings of Asians in “liberal bastions” like Atlanta, you don’t find a liberal pulling the trigger. Whote supremacists, yes. Religionists, yes. Liberals, not so much.

Good old CoVid, trying so hard to tell us that black is white, thay day is night, and that people who disagree with him are the problem.

1. Macroduck

2. Geeorge

What do AA and Asians have in common? The majority vote for the party of Defund the Police (Democrats). What do you expect?

3. ltr

The bulk of anti-asian activity was by black men. I don’t think pro-Shanghai Donald and his brand of Zionism mattered.
The bulk of anti-asian activity was by black men. I don’t think pro-Shanghai Donald and his brand of Zionism mattered.
The bulk of anti-asian activity was by black men. I don’t think pro-Shanghai Donald and his brand of Zionism mattered.

[ Definitively racist and anti-Semitic. Frighteningly horrid. ]

1. pgl

Yes – let’s keep noting how GREGORY BOTT is one pathetic racist clown. But is CoRev and Bruce Hall any better?

2. Moses Herzog

What I find interesting, and, given, the town I live in does not have a high number of Asians, aside from the local University and our Chinatown, which I wanna say is 20 minutes car drive from my home, which I don’t frequent much (not because I am afraid or “look down” on the area, I just don’t have need (unless I need special ingredients for a recipe or something). But we do have Asians in our town that I see. Yes, mostly when getting something to eat (Korean owned managed donuts shop, and 2-3 Chinese restaurants. I see maybe 3–5 Asians per week, shopping, whatever. And one of the ironies I find about this poor use of labeling (which in the tones donald trump uses are very obviously derogatory, another way that Kopits and his ilk intentionally play dumb, pretending they don’t notice trump’s contemptuous voice tones when he says “China virus”) is that every single Asian person I see wears their mask (or did during the peak of the respiratory virus), while I saw hundreds (thousands??) of internet videos and local TV news videos of white “Karens” and white “Billy Joe Bobs” acting completely irrationally (sometimes violent) in public settings and on business’s privately owned property, when they are politely asked multiple times. to please put on a mask.

And what do white Americans do?? ABUSE the freedoms they have, while mainland Chinese cannot even leave their apartment home, to get food to subsist on, because China’s PSB goons. White Americans are so functionally illiterate and backwards now, they cannot look at those videos of Chinese people detained in their own homes who are half-starving and ask themselves “How lucky am I, that I am only asked to put on a mask, and wash my hands??”

1. pgl

My town (Brooklyn) is home for a lot of Asian Americans. Some of my best friends. And yea – they have to endure more than I can ever imagine.

1. CoRev

And your home is a leader in Asian hate crimes. What a shocker, white liberal areas are where its most prevalent? You represent well.

1. pgl

Yea – my town makes it easy for your fellow KKK members to travel here. Come on CoRev – fess up. You’re jealous that the last time you tried to beat up on an Asian lady she beat you up.

2. Macroduck

There CoVid goes again, repeating his lie about the data. Large cities are where data was collected. We don’t know from the data in question where anti-Asian bias is strongest. Pretending that we do is dishonest. It’s CoVid making the claim, so I guess “dishonest” goes without saying.

1. CoRev

MD, quit with the ignorance. Menzie, in his article clearly show his data was from the FBI. They collect crime data from EVERY police department in the US, not just the cities. just because that data show that most of the hate crimes occur in the cities does not mean that is primarily/only where the was collected.

The racist, lying and denying liberal mind is an amazement. (Gotta watch those WHITE commuting males?) Oh, wait. Those examples I provided above clearly show, maybe not true.

2. Macroduck

“Using data from four U.S. cities that have large Asian American populations (New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C.), this study finds…”

Four cities. With large Asian populations. That’s the source of data. So, as I said, this is no tevidence that large, “liberal” cities are anti-Asian. CoVid’s claim about the FBI collecting data from every city in the U.S. is irrelevant to the study in question. A red herring.

With CoVid, every accusation is an admission. In this case CoVid not only lied, but then he lied about lying.

3. CoRev

MD, reading and comprehension are fundamental yo making a point: My claim was: ” Menzie, in his article clearly show his data was from the FBI. ” Here is just one of his source references: “Source: FBI (February 2023).”, and the link to his chart: “https://www.justice.gov/crs/highlights/2020-hate-crimes-statistics” Yup! The same chart, proving the truth of his reference and your failure to comprehend.

Showing even more stupidity, you confirmed what I claimed that the data showed the greatest number of Asian hate crimes occurred in liberal cities: “Large cities are where data was collected.” That’s Asian hate crime data for the deniers here.

Reading comprehension, lying, denial of data ,lack of logic and angry hatred make the liberal mind an amazement.

3. Noneconomist

In Los Angeles County, other than the 1.145 million people who voted for Trump, any anti Asian crime must be the result of white liberal hate.

3. Macroduck

Before Johnny and Econned toss out their canned “bad economists” nonsense, note that Han, Riddell and Piquero are criminologists.

1. Econned

@Macroduck,
I’m much more weary of bad “other academics” not suited for serious statistical work than a “bad economists” boogeyman you’ve created. In any case, the research here is an unnecessary waste of time – I think the evidence is quite clear regarding attacks on Asians in these cities. Any reasonable person would conclude “Kung-Flu” and “China-Virus” and “Chinese Coronavirus.” exacerbated unnecessary resentment.

@Menzie Chinn – should we imply causation here? Or just correlation? Authors mention “causality remains uncertain”. I would also say your view “that since there was already a widely known term for the virus, it was unnecessary to resort to a made up moniker” is a disgustingly low bar you’ve publicly set.

1. Menzie Chinn Post author

Econned: I’d agree causality is difficult to impute, because Fox News and other right-wing outlets had made the connection to China, and so resentment against Chinese-Americans might have risen in any case. Research by Carr et al. (2022) suggests there was a spike in England and Wales as well, and there was no Trump there (although the term was well publicized there). Interestingly, the surge in anti-East Asian incidents decreased after November 2020.

I am sorry that I do not understand why my statement set a low bar. If you could explicate, I would be grateful.

1. Econned

Menzie Chinn,
Your assertion “that since there was already a widely known term for the virus, it was unnecessary to resort to a made up moniker” is a disgustingly low bar you’ve publicly set. Terms such as “Kung Flu” or “China Virus” are unnecessarily derogatory statements that shouldn’t be used regardless of an official name being established or not. It’s quite sad, and telling, that’s the bar you’ve set to deem if such monikers are unnecessary.

1. Menzie Chinn Post author

Econned: Well, I’ve taken action, despite my very low bar. The author of the comment that used the offending term was banned from this blog. For that, I got heck from at least one other commenter, arguing I was a stooge (unwitting, he averred) for the CCP.

2. Econned

Menzie Chinn,
I’m glad you’re admitting it’s a very low bar. Banning that guest is an interesting move considering your (over)reliance on and infatuation with that commentator’s words. Were you previously planning to markedly lower your “content”?

2. Ivan

There are no double blind placebo controlled studies for these types of questions. However, you can learn a lot from case studies (and there are plenty of obvious cases), and carefully modeled correlations.

The insecure little Orange moron in the white house was terrified that he would be blamed for SARS-CoV-2, so he immediately tried to do a “look over there” by pointing at the origin of the virus (which is irrelevant as soon as it has entered and begin spreading in US). He also began putting blame on China by talking about them having to “pay” for this. That some of Trumps dumb-as-a-door fans would convert this “blame-China-for-this-bad-thing” into a generalized hostility towards China is not a surprise – and should be for anybody with a functional brain. No statistics needed.

1. Econned

Ivan,
“into a generalized hostility towards China is not a surprise – and should be for anybody with a functional brain. No statistics needed.”

is just another way to state my original comment:
“In any case, the research here is an unnecessary waste of time – I think the evidence is quite clear regarding attacks on Asians in these cities. Any reasonable person would conclude “Kung-Flu” and “China-Virus” and “Chinese Coronavirus.” exacerbated unnecessary resentment.”

Cheers

2. baffling

“Any reasonable person would conclude “Kung-Flu” and “China-Virus” and “Chinese Coronavirus.” exacerbated unnecessary resentment.”
and yet, we STILL have people on this blog who think those comments were benign and should not have been criticized. you can’t fix stoooopid. so you either point out their mistakes, or you stay quiet and tolerate (and thus encourage) similar future behavior. prof. chinn has chosen to do the former. i have not seen you post any of those criticisms, econned. at least not until forced to do so. you tend to say silent on the issue.

3. Econned

baffling,
When and where have i even remotely been “forced to do so”… whatever “doing so” is in your mind. Unlike many commenters here, I do not use the econbrowser comment section as a personal journal. As such, you haven’t a clue of my thoughts, feelings, opinions, etc on many of these topics. Nor should you. I’m able (contra many in this forum) to separate feelings and emotions when discussing topics. Give it a try one day.

2. pgl

“the research here is an unnecessary waste of time”

Anti-Asian hate does not concern you? Go figure!

3. Macroduck

I’ve created? Liar. You rarely write anything but “bad economist” comments. How many times have you attacked our host?

As to “waste of time”, you’re wrong for a very obvious, egotistical reasons. Scientific enquiry relies on facts,not your opinion. And that’s not just because you’re a misinformed troll. Look at Bott’s racially tinged comment and the link in Menzie’s response. People’s opinions are an unreliable basis for analysis of anything but people’s opinions.

It’s mind-boggling that people show up at an academic blog and behave as if any old thought they have is an adequate substitute for facts.

1. pgl

Facts? Econned need no facts. After all, he is BFF with Princeton Steve, JohnH, CoRev, and Bruce Hall.

2. Econned

Macroduck,
Yes, you’ve created. Note how you conveniently moved the net from “bad economists” to now “bad economist”. It’s also telling that you’re unable (unwilling?) to separate my attacking specific comments from Menzie with Menzie as an academic “bad economist”. Or an entire discipline of academics “bad economists”. You’re sloppy and/or lazy.

1. pgl

Do you get off at being the most worthless troll ever? I can’t think of any other reason for your pointless and stupid comments. But please close the curtains – ewww.

4. baffling

“I’m much more weary of bad “other academics” not suited for serious statistical work”
and the professional jealousy surfaces yet again. just can’t keep it inside, can you, econned? and yet you deny the behavior.

1. Econned

baffling,
I’ll clarify, I was referencing academics (particularly social scientists) who aren’t well-versed in stats. There are ton and pointing that out as a fact isn’t jealousy. In any case, I’m not jealous of those ignorant of stats – quite the opposite. You’re clueless and your act is silly.
Because you’re regularly wrong in regurgitating this tired act, I’m now under the assumption that you’re simply projecting – that anytime you criticize, or point out, or even discuss another, it’s because of your jealousy. Going forward, that shall be my baseline of you whenever (if ever) I find the time to care about your comments.

1. baffling

your professional jealousy probably stems from your lack of originality, econned. if you had some creativity, you could have had some success. instead you simply copy the work of others.

2. Econned

baffling,
Your jealously is showing. It’s a nasty look when your only response to someone is to project your jealously. Instead of these comments, which amount to a continual display that you’re too lazy/incompetent to actually discuss the content of another’s comments, you could practice a silent wallowing of your jealously. Give it a go!

3. baffling

econned, another example of your lack of originality. jealousy and boring, all wrapped up in one. got any original thoughts for yourself?

4. baffling

econned, your mimicry is flattering. keep it up, and you just might become a better person as a result.

4. Macroduck

Just to clear things up about corporate investment decisions. Johnny has been pretending to know more than pgl, and ever so much more than me, about how such decisions are made. Here’s how it got started:

JohnH
March 31, 2023 at 5:15 am

There is no reason to worry about rising interest rates affecting corporate finances. They’re flush with profits.

If you don’t believe it, Just look at the 4Q profit margin…just off their record high of 16.9%. This is about 25% above the margins of the last decade, double the margins of the 2000s, and 8x the margins of the 1950s-1970s.
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/A466RD3Q052SBEA

Well let’s have a look at the Fed paper Johnny claims to have read. First thing to note is that he says “finances” but the paper he links to is about investment. So we’ll go with investment, because that’s what matters to we mere mortals :

“In addition, we find that firms expect to be somewhat more sensitive to an increase in interest rates. Still, only 16% of firms indicated they would reduce investment in response to a 100 basis point increase, and another 15% would respond to an increase of 100 to 200 basis points.”

According to the article which Johnny seems to think means rising rates won’t matter to corporate behavior, at least 31% of firms will have reduced investment plans in response to rate increases since the beginning of 2022. In December of 2021, the average BAA corporate bond rate was 3.3%. In February of this year, it was 5.6% and has been as high as 6.3%. That’s a bunch more basis points than 200, so probably more than 31% of firms reducing investment plans.

The other problem with Johnny’s insistence that interest rates don’t matter to investment, as I believe Menzie has mentioned, is that investment is sensitive to demand, and demand is sensitive to interest rates. So there’s this other channel through which interest rates do affect investment very directly which Johnny missed.

I have noted in the past Johnny’s tendency to pretend to knowledge when he has really just found a factoid or quote which (he thinks) supports his own positions. Johnny doesn’t really go beyond confirmin his own bias. And what do you know, here’s the latest from the National Federation of Independent Business on investment plans:

“Twenty-one percent plan capital outlays in the next few months, unchanged from January and historically very weak.”

“Very weak” investment plans. Not what Johnny has been saying.

Johnny, who has taken to pretending he knows Oh! So much! about corporate decision making really knows only hat there’s a Fed paper about hurdle rates. He doesn’t seem to know what’s actually in the paper he linked to, and doesn’t seem to know much beyond the fact that hurdle rates are part of the investment decision process. Same old Johnny, posing and pretending.

1. Macroduck

Oh, and Johnny? You claimed to know that I work for financial firms, and I asked you to prove it by naming firms I’ve worked for. You tried to weasel ou of it. Johnny, you either know my work history or you were lying. So tell us what you know. C’mon Johnny. Prove your not all pants on fire.

1. pgl

I never worked for a financial firm. I do live in Brooklyn but Jonny needs to get a map as that is not the same as Wall Street. Now I have asked Jonny boy which Fortune 200 firm he worked for and what he did there. He will not answer. I guess he does not want us to know that his company went bankrupt.

2. JohnH

There Ducky goes again…cherry picking the data without understanding either the corporate investment process or the significance of interest rates in it.

From the abstract: “Among the more than 500 responses to the special questions, we find that most firms claim to be
quite insensitive to decreases in interest rates, and only mildly more responsive to interest rate increases. ”

From the body of the report: “The vast majority of CFOs indicate that their investment plans are quite insensitive to potential decreases in their borrowing costs. Only 8% of firms would increase investment if borrowing costs declined 100 basis points, and an additional 8% would respond to a decrease of 100 to 200 basis points. Strikingly, 68% did not expect any decline in interest rates would induce more investment. In addition, we find that firms expect to be somewhat more sensitive to an increase in interest rates.”

One of the major reasons companies don’t change investment plans is that they are amply self funded, a situation that has undoubtedly risen with the dramatic risen in corporate margins since the paper was written. Also, “firms with higher
growth expectations were found to be less sensitive to changes in interest rates.” As I have explained repeatedly, such plans are time sensitive. Corporations must meet the window of opportunity and cannot simply delay plans and put projects and new products on the shelf, waiting for a more favorable interest rate.

Ducky makes a big deal about high interest rates impacting investment. But that ignores the fact that corporate margins have increased dramatically despite inflation, showing that corporations have been able to more than pass along higher costs to their customers. As such, high interest rates are just one more cost to pass along. And with the decline in supply chain issues, higher interest rates can simply offset lower supply costs without significantly impacting profit margins, cash flow, or investment.

Finally Ducky fails to note that interest rates on corporate bonds are not all that different from the period when the paper was written, perhaps 50 basis points higher. That is much lower than the 100-200 basis points used in the survey. Additionally, actual, real interest rates are even lower.

Apparently none of this sinks in for Ducky, the self proclaimed expert on corporate financial decision making, and of the now dubious traditional theory of monetary policy transmission that claims that investment expenditures by businesses are significantly affected by interest rates.

1. pgl

cherry picking the data.

Your specialty! Oh wait – you have graduate to cherry picking something Stiglitz wrote 7 years ago.

2. pgl

Let’s see. All this babble comes down to there are other factors that influence investment decisions. MY GOD – no one else ever realized that. BTW “genius” you keep talking about reducing interest rates during a depressed economy.

I thought we have a booming economy with rising interest rates. I would say BIG DIFFERENCE but then what do I, financial economists, or macroeconomists know? After all – Jonny boy has declared himself to be the all wise troll so hey.

3. Macroduck

Johnny is dodging the point I made, and changing the subject. Suddenly, investment decisions aren’t the issue – profits are. Except that the Fed study Johnny linked to as evidence for his position was about investment decisions and my point was about investment decisions.

I provide actual numbers. Johnny responds by quoting broad generalizations. Yes, in the mid 20-teens, most respondents were insensitive to changes in interest rates. But over 30% were sensitive to the change in rates we have experienced.

Johnny also wants the issue to be about monetary policy rates, when the original point was about market rates. Now, it happens that I do believe policy rates have an effect, but I cited corporate borrowing rates, not policy rates.

Johnny , if you believe that a reduction in planned investment by over 31% of firms doesn’t matter, say so. Quit weaseling and address the actual point I made.

Johnny keeps trying to make this about my credentials rather than the facts. I understand why; facts matter less to Johnny than allegiances and claims of knowledge, and projects that onto others.

Johnny, show us where I proclaimed myself to be an expert. I have offered facts and analysis. And by the way, you also claimed I am employed in the financial industry. Name…my…employer. Is this about me, Johnny, or about facts?

3. JohnH

So should I reveal who I worked for when Ducky refuses to?

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, or in this case the hen and the Drakey.

1. pgl

“So should I reveal who I worked for when Ducky refuses to?”

Damn – even a two year old brat has more class than little Jonny boy. You are indeed the most worthless little baby God ever created.

2. Macroduck

Johnny, I’ve never claimed to know who employs you, though I strongly suspect you are a paid political hack. You have claimed to know that I work in the financial sector. You stated that as a fact. If you don’t actually know who I work for, then you were lying.

So don’t tell us who you work for. I don’t care. But I do care whether you’re lying. C’mon, Johnny. Prove to the good people you aren’t a liar.

2. pgl

Jonny actually thinks that FED paper means the cost of capital (hurdle rate) is 15% for all time and for all companies. Yea – decades of research on the cost of capital do not matter because Jonny boy saw the average of some dumb survey.

1. Macroduck

One of the points made in the paper is that interest rates were low at the time, which causedlow sensitivity to changes in interest rates. Interest rates are higher now. The authors did not argue that investment decisions are never sensitive to rates, only for the period under analysis. Johnny also ignored (or didn’t read) that rate sensitivity was asymmetrical, even at the time of the study. Firms were more sensitive to higher than to lower rates. It’s as if Johnny read the title, but never got around to reading the text.

It’s remarkable how willing Johnny is to pretend knowledge when he misunderstands (or hasn’t read) his sources.

3. pgl

BTW we challenged Jonny boy to show us how he would calculate the cost of capital for any sector or any company (such as his darling TSMC). He once again ducked arguing everyone knows hurdle rates are always 15%. I would like to offer an interesting and thorough research paper on the cost of capital for a rather risky sector – life sciences:

https://repository.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1146&context=hcmg_papers
Cost of Capital for Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, and Medical Device Firms by Scott E. Harrington

Now I get actual financial economics is something WAY OVER Jonny boy’s little brain so permit me to off a Cliff Notes summary where the author notes the cost of capital may be as long as 9% and maybe as high as 13%.

But Jonny knows it must be 15% because Jonny said so.

4. JohnH

There pgly goes again, embarrassing himself by putting total lack of understand of corporate investment hurdle rates on full display:

“Finally, as part of our effort to expand upon the interpretation of our findings, we also provide survey-based evidence on how firm’s self-reported hurdle rates for new investment have evolved during the past 30-years’ slide in market interest rates. The corroborating evidence on firm’s hurdle rates is gathered from the Duke/CFO Magazine survey in selected recent quarters, as well as several one-time surveys by academics, in which U.S. companies have been reported their hurdle rates,. The data indicate that hurdle rates remain surprisingly high of late and, in the aggregate, apparently quite insensitive to interest rates over time…

Using all 328 completed responses from that survey, we find that the average respondent reported a hurdle rate of 14.1%, while the median value was 13.4%. On the face of it, this seems quite high relative to the average BBB-rated corporate bond yield at
that time, which was close to 4%. To compare Global Business Outlook survey results with previous survey studies, we calculate and plot the results for the subsample of 150 respondents that are nonfinancial corporations with sales in excess of \$100 million. In
this subsample, both the mean and median hurdle rates are even a bit higher, at 15%.”
[ibid]

My Fortune 200 company’s hurdle rate was 15% and never changed during the many years I worked there, despite considerable fluctuations in interest rates. In that regard, it was pretty representative of corporate America.

1. pgl

Rehashing your dumb survey is not going to get you a degree in finance.

CAPM. Modigliani and Miller. HELLO? Oh wait – you think I’m just speaking Italian. Yes – Jonny boy is the most clueless troll ever.

2. pgl

“My Fortune 200 company’s hurdle rate was 15% and never changed during the many years I worked there, despite considerable fluctuations in interest rates.”

In other words, the company who refuse to name hired the dumbest person ever as its CFO. Wait – where you the CFO? No wonder it went bankrupt.

3. pgl

“On the face of it, this seems quite high relative to the average BBB-rated corporate bond yield at
that time, which was close to 4%.”

The cost of debt is your new measure of the cost of capital? You really do not get Modigliani-Miller at all. Yea – JohnH dropped out of Finance 101 on the first day of class.

5. James

Everything I read in science-based literature indicates that Covid is of animal origin – Science: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abh0117 and SciAm: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/new-evidence-supports-animal-origin-of-covid-virus-through-raccoon-dogs/ but it has become in the mainstream media a political story and “Republicans keep saying it is a lab leak – based on mistranslated lab newsletters – so is that true -” over and over again – https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/19/us/politics/covid-origins-lab-leak-politics.html
For the Republicans – it gins up their racist base and provides cover for their corrupt and disastrous response to environmental issues (i.e. real world challenges) https://www.statesman.com/story/news/2021/09/23/opinion-gop-responses-climate-change-and-covid-19-disastrous/5794531001/
It is my constant hope that we deal with global challenges in a way that is based on science but voters are not going to get that with the current GOP/Know Nothing Party https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Know_Nothing

1. Moses Herzog

@ James
Where were you, when I was “having it out” with Barkley Rosser on his fantasy creations about evil men in lab coats in Wuhan?? You were~~~???

A. On a tour of sub-Saharan Africa

B. Partying at Mar-a-Lago

C. Hanging out with Harry Potter in Malfoy Manor

D. Like Dick Cheney during different American war drafts, you had “better things to do”??

6. JohnH

What I find fascinating is how the lab origin theory of COVID was outside the Overton Window from February, 2020 until a few weeks ago. Jeff Sachs, who headed a Lancet study of COVID, was ridiculed for saying that a lab leak was probable.

Then an investigation by a US energy agency claimed (with low confidence) that the virus originated in Wuhan (in a lab that was partly funded by the U.S.)

A theory that had outside the Overton Window for two years—verboten—became an overnight sensation. Are we really to believe that the mainstream media had an epiphany, completely convinced by a low confidence report, when it had totally ignored Jeff Sachs report six months earlier?

Personally I smell a rat. There is some agenda behind the media’s about face…perhaps having to do with Biden’s ever increasing vilification of China.

In any case, we can be sure that Asian Americans will suffer from this vilification, just as my Swiss American ancestors were threatened and harassed during WWI, even though Switzerland was not at all involved…but they did speak German…

1. Menzie Chinn Post author

JohnH: I think you are conflating issues. I speak as someone agnostic on the issue. There is the lab leak theory, and then there is a lab leak from a weapons-oriented program, and the zoonotic source theory. Much of the criticism of the non-zoonotic view was aimed at the lab leak from weapons-oriented program thesis. Which, as far as I can tell from declassified reports is not a major contender any more. (I understand why this thesis had support, given the fevered imagination of some folks, and having watched the 1970’s BBC series “Survivors”, and “The Omega Man” which placed blame on China and China/USSR biological warfare.)
So, your narrative doesn’t make sense to me.

1. JohnH

Do you propose any good way to disentangle the two issues? From what I understand, the labs were doing gain of function research…which could be defensive or offensive. That’s where the issues get entangled and conflated.

Transparency is lacking, so intent and motivation are unknown but covered by the public relations folks…and left in the the eyes and to the imagination of the beholder.

The major, overlooked issue is that humans clearly have the capability to engineer these organisms for good and for evil. Where is this being discussed? Can the genie be put back into the bottle? Probably not.

IMO the Chinese were wise to quarantine people in preparation for the worst. After all, they have been afflicted by a mysteriously large incidence of bird and swine flus lately. Better safe than sorry, a stance doomed by popular impatience, for better or worse.

1. Menzie Chinn Post author

JohnH: Since the Wuhan lab that is the focus of speculation is partly USG funded, I suspect weaponizing research was not undertaken there. I think if they were doing such research, they’d be doing it at a super-secure military operated lab. I don’t have any evidence to that effect — that’s pure speculation on the basis of my impressions of the Chinese government/CCP.

1. pgl

Doesn’t Jonny boy sound a lot like Rand Paul on this issue? Oh wait – Jonny boy follows the Rand Paul gold bug approach to monetary policy. And Rand Paul also wants to cut Ukraine off from any means of defense against Putin.

Oh gee – Jonny has a real job. Chief advisor to the junior Senator from Kentucky.

2. Moses Herzog

I don’t blame you for not communicating this sentiment when Rosser was still alive.

I found out the royal pain in the A\$\$ was more trouble than it was worth. Avoiding proffering a differing view to an absurdist inference made by a PhD who could never ever backpedal (after all if he backpedaled it brings in the infinitesimal possibility a “perfect man” could be wrong, “oh god!!! oh god!!! oh god no!!!!” I hear Barkley from the grave)~~~once again showing you’re smarter than me.

3. JohnH

I agree with your suspicion. But nonetheless it illustrates the fine line between offensive and defensive gain of function research, which is this case proved to be highly lethal, even if it was defensive.

4. baffling

“But nonetheless it illustrates the fine line between offensive and defensive gain of function research, which is this case proved to be highly lethal, even if it was defensive.”
there is no evidence that a gain of function research produced the coronavirus that caused the pandemic. this statement is false. there is evidence that wild animals in the wet market had dna mixed with the coronavirus dna. that was not proof that we found the animal source. but it is more evidence than your statement, john.

5. CoRev

Menzie, I think you are ignoring reality and naive with this: ” I think if they were doing such research, they’d be doing it at a super-secure military operated lab. I don’t have any evidence to that effect — that’s pure speculation…” Typically a super-secure facility/research is achieved around and within public and/or less secure facilities. It is unlikely you or the general public would have access to facilities and project information. Y’ano like in a lab doing general research, but also being funded for other than GENERAL research. I don’t have any evidence to that effect — that’s pure speculation, but with the CCP intrusiveness in every day operations, I suspect anything possible.

Are there any limited access facilities there at UW? I ask since UW has many grants and programs with typically classified DoD Services and Agencies. //www.arlis.umd.edu/sites/default/files/2021-05/2021ARLIS_ProgramReview_readahead.pdf

It would not be strange that you would not know of a sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF-like) facility if security was indeed successful at UW. I am just using ARLIS as its information is readily available,but UW has many other DoD grants and programs.

2. Ivan

The lab leak joke became an overnight sensation only to clueless morons. There has been no evidence presented to support the idea, which is why scientists continue to “puh-puh” it.

The fact is that the SARS-CoV-2 viral sequences are not compatible with laboratory manipulation. So, the only way it could have originated from the lab is if one of the collected natural virus strains studied in the Wuhan lab, were released by accident. Real scientists will evaluate the likelihood of a virus infecting a person in a SP2-SP4 lab setting and not being detected before the worker spreads it outside the lab. Real scientists will then compare that probability to the likelihood that a person get infected in a meat market where live animals are being handled with no gloves, masks, gowns, face shields or sterilization protocols. That is the reason real scientists have rightfully been laughing at the lab leak hypothesis. Until someone presents evidence in favor of the lab leak joke, it will remain a joke (amongst people who know s…tuff)

Even more idiotic is the idea that someone would try to create a bioweapon from a Coronavirus because: 1. They are very fragile and unable to survive outside the body for any length of time, 2. They are extremely difficult to develop vaccines and drugs against (so your own troops/population would be just as vulnerable), 3. You can literally protect your troops against them with a simple paper mask, 4. They are not deadly enough, fast enough, to make a difference on the battlefield. 5. Because they are RNA viruses they mutate very quickly and would be unstable and unpredictable (each batch would have to be tested on who?). So, nobody has ever tried to weaponize a Coronavirus, because they are not idiots.

The idea of this virus being created by gain-of-function work is also stupid. Just look at the sequences and you will know that this is not a derivative of such an experiment. Gain of function experiments are not done to create bioweapons (that would be a cumbersome and stupid way to try and make bioweapons). So, the big difference between “offensive” and “defensive” gain of function experiemtns is that nobody has ever done the first. Gain of function experiments are done to find out what natural mutations may make a virus more dangerous. Then we can follow development of mutations in natural strains looking for similar dangerous mutations out in nature (that could allow a virus to jump to humans and cause a pandemic). Gain of function experiments are/were done on common strains with targeted mutations in specific “dangerous” parts of the viral genome. Nobody would ever do gain-of-function on some esoteric wild strain so rare that you could not even recognize where it came from – that would serve no purpose.

The small subcontract that a partially NIH funded private company gave to the Wuhan lab was for surveillance of natural virus strains in bats in China. It was critically important for trying to find out what may be thrown at us from bat caves in Asia – and was stopped by moron politicians who refused to give up a political stick for the benefit of the victims of the next pandemic.

You may find all of this discussed in the scientific literature if you care to look. On Fox news? not so much and for good reasons (they are scared of losing audience if they puncture xenophobic narratives).

1. Moses Herzog

@ Ivan
Thanks for expressing during the many months I informed Barkley Rosser there were no evil men in lab coats in Wuhan and Barkley was trying to bitch slap me with a boiled noodle.

1. pgl

“the fine line between offensive and defensive gain of function research”

Jonny boy thinks he is an expert in biopharma now? The same dude who never learned how to tie his own shoe laces. Dude – Dr. Fauci you are not – even if you work for an unlicensed eye doctor.

1. Ivan

Agree. A classic example of the clueless regurgitating something from other clueless, regurgitating something from other clueless …… having read something they were unable/unwilling to fully understand.

Gain of function studies are only done for “defensive” purposes. It involve the careful introduction of targeted mutation, one by one, into “risky” genetic elements of common virus strains. The goal is to understand how a limited number of mutations could make a virus more dangerous – so we can monitor natural occurring strains for increase in risk levels.

Development of bioweapons (offensive) is not done by gain of function experiments. Unfortunately, we have much more effective ways to make microbes dangerous than to introduce mutations one at a time and see what happens.

2. Moses Herzog

I was hoping we could get JohnH to do a “book on tape” of Alice in Wonderland?? William Burroughs’ “Cities of the Red Night”?? You call it friend.

I actually like those two books, I was just looking for something witha “nonlinear narrative”. I’m sure I can come up with others……

7. ltr

January 1, 2021

That would seem accurate.

A China virus is not racist, it’s placist. Other places with epidemics (arguably all racist): Spanish flu, German measles, Lassa fever, West Nile virus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme Disease (Connecticut), Ebola Fever, MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), Zika fever, Japanese encephalitis, Marburg Virus, and Norovirus (Norwalk, Ohio). And let’s not forget Legionnaire’s disease, discriminatory against veterans!

I think a Chinese-American professor censoring criticism of Xi’s China is a really bad idea. A really, really bad idea.

— Steven Kopits

[ Definitive racism; calculated to be racially threatening. ]

1. pgl

Actually Steven Kopits calculations seem to be designed to get him on Fox and Friends where he can spew even more racism as the blonde in the middle of the sofa smiles at him.

1. Moses Herzog

What about an interview with the brunette cocaine snorter?? I heard she has no need for a PA system when she gives auditorium speeches. I mean if Kopits is willing to share close quarters with the syphilitic Bannon how much worse can druggies be??

8. pgl

I have to admit I had to look up “placist”. I want to speak directly to the moronic jerk named Princeton Steve. A lot of my friends are Asian America. Almost all of them were born in the US not China. Which means Stevie boy – your are dumber than a rock and a racist too. Do us a favor Stevie – never come to New York City as we already have enough racist morons here.

9. CoRev

From Menzie’s reference: “Hate crime is a distinct form of violence and aggression targeting a certain group of individuals on the basis of their religion, race/ethnicity, or gender identity (Chakraborti & Garland, 2012; Hall, 2013; Perry, 2001). This emotional, hostility-oriented aggression likely heightens or hardens the common expression of hate while sustaining social hurdles between individuals having different identities (Chakraborti, 2018). ”

I know there are several here that I would not trust with a gun or even a vehicle, because they vehemently hate.

The HATING liberal mind does amaze