Coronavirus QE

We should not underestimate the scale of the crisis. Just imagine for a moment that UK schools were required to close for two months and as a result parents had to stay at home to look after children. The economic implications are staggering, from the deep micro to macro levels. Significant parts of the economy will grind to a halt. Businesses will fail. Households will go bankrupt. The knock on effects are at present incalculable.

Unless, that is, government intervenes with emergency funding. That is, payments to those who have to quarantine.

And how will those be funded? The answer appears to be glaringly obvious. I strongly suspect that sometime soon you will hear of something I have not yet heard mentioned. That is coronavirus QE. Call it CQE for short.

Rather more likely to be that schools and businesses don’t close for 2 months over a new ‘flu variant.

Interesting – public assets may not be used by people I disagree with

Today’s one is against Glasgow Women’s Library, which declined to host a meeting of an anti-trans hate group as the library is proudly inclusive of all women. The predictable result was a flood of abusive messages that’s still ongoing. This isn’t the first time the library has been under sustained social media attack for simply being trans-inclusive; previous ones ran on for months.

Can’t let the people who pay for something use it of course now, can we? The point of taxation being to pluck all for the benefit of the elite that do GoodThink.


Theatres have to turn a profit of course but shouldn’t they aspire to do more than that?

From our ever popular series, Questions in The Times We Can Answer

In more detail, we already have a subsidised theatre sector. The point of which is to do the stuff that the seeking a profit sector doesn’t have to.

Is Oliver Kamm really this stupid?

Some degree of income inequality is healthy. The reason is not, as is sometimes argued by defenders of market outcomes, to provide incentives. It’s instead to provide a signalling device. If the rewards for one occupation rise markedly relative to another, then that provides information to workers that it would be worthwhile to acquire new skills. Equality of outcome in the wage distribution would, to that extent, make the economy less efficient.

What is that higher income signal to go get new skills other than an incentive?


Second, there is no consistent pattern in advanced industrial economies to suggest lower taxes on high earners stimulate consumption and growth. Sweden has a 70 per cent effective top tax rate yet its economy has performed pretty well since 2016. Far more important has been the country’s supply-side reforms to make it more worthwhile to work.

Supply side reforms being lower marginal income tax rates.


There’s a possible answer here

Her situation has highlighted the stresses faced by many farmers, often working alone in extremely isolated locations. For years mental health in the farming sector has been an important topic – but now it is in the spotlight.

Stop farming the isolated areas. The high moors and all that. Do the Monbiot thing and rewild. After all, those areas only survive on subsidy. That is, they produce, on net, no value. So why bother anyway?

Details and that Devil

UK to withdraw from European arrest warrant


And yet:

“The agreement should instead provide for fast-track extradition arrangements, based on the EU’s surrender agreement with Norway and Iceland which came into force in 2019, but with appropriate further safeguards for individuals beyond those in the European arrest warrant.”

As long as that includes the usual extradition rules, why not. Must be a crime here as well as a crime there, there must be sufficient evidence for there to be a case to answer.

An outbreak of good sense

But in a decision hailed by the Australian Workers Union as a victory for “workers rights in the digital era” and “Aussie larrikinism”, the full bench of the commission overturned the decision on appeal on Friday, finding the widespread use of the scene as a meme had the effect of “culturally dissociating” it from its original context.

“That the clip has been used thousands of times over a period of more than a decade for the purpose of creating, in an entirely imitative way, a satirical depiction of contemporary situations has had the result of culturally dissociating it from the import of the historical events portrayed in the film,” the commissioners found.

“After this period, any interest which remains in the clip will usually reside in the degree of inventiveness involved in successfully adapting the scene to fit some new situation. Anyone with knowledge of the meme could not seriously consider that the use of the clip was to make some point involving Hitler or Nazis.”

Akin to the equally sensible libel rule that “mere vulgar abuse” isn’t libel. You know, adults can tell the difference here…..

This is amusing

As I’ve been saying, they don’t seem to have understood quite how much it will cost to enjoy the Royal lifestyle. And that they’re unlikely to manage to earn that much:

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has confirmed it will no longer foot the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s security bill when they cease to be working royals from next month.

The force said it had an “obligation” to protect the pair because they are recognised as Internationally Protected Persons, but confirmed the protection would end “in the coming weeks” due to their “change in status”.

Erm, why?

If 50% of the world’s investments are going to ethically invested within five years there’s going to be a massive demand for accounting reform


I think there will be a market for sustainable cost accounting.

No one uses sustainable cost accounting to define what is an ethical investment. Therefore, why would more ethical investment mean more sustainable cost accounting?


First, we never censor content. Our powers to sanction broadcasters who breach our rules apply only after a programme has aired. In fact, the clear, fair and respected code that we enforce on TV and radio acts as a strong deterrent against poor behaviour.

So your rules do censor what people say then?

This is odd

Rose McGowan has described Harvey Weinstein’s rape conviction as a watershed moment and claimed that he “could be one of the biggest serial rapists in history”.

Y’know, given that he wasn’t found guilty of rape rape in the first place.

Ah, yes, but we had equality! And free health care!

Most Albanians view Hoxha’s 40-year rule, when the country was cut off from the world much as North Korea is now and a pervasive secret police clamped down violently on dissent, as a dark period in its history that caused widespread misery and triggered a massive exodus after communism collapsed.

But Nexhmije Hoxha, who was jailed for nine years for embezzlement soon after Albania became the last country to topple communism in 1990, stayed loyal to his memory.

“When the standard of living was compared to the west, it can be considered modest, but there was an egalitarian spirit,” she said in a 2008 interview.

Few would – or do – defend Albania’s lost years on the basis of that headline.

It’s disgusting how many defend Cuba’s on that same basis.

Oh ho

Britain’s sickest corporate patient has taken another turn for the worse. In a series of quick-fire announcements after the markets closed, NMC Health sacked its boss, suspended a member of its treasury team and granted “extended leave” to its finance chief after uncovering a series of financial discrepancies.

The FTSE 100 Middle East hospital operator entered the sick bay in December after its value halved in one day following a short-selling attack by Wall Street raider Muddy Waters.

Short sellers would appear to have some value then. Flushing out – to the profit of the short sellers – the admission that there’s dodginess going on.

Even if you’re not prepared to admit that a 2 months heads up on it is useful, no?

The Sun knew about French soap dodgers

Decades back The Sun found out that France uses less soap per person of population than other places in Europe. Thus the jokes about soap dodgers.

The response was that they used shower gel, liquid soap, more than hard soap and that was the explanation.

Oh yeah?

A third of French people don’t wash their hands after going to the toilet and less than half before eating, while a fifth of Frenchmen change their underwear twice a week at best.

These are some of the unsavoury findings of a new study into personal hygiene in France, which researchers and Gallic doctors say leaves a lot to be desired. The findings stand to reinforce stereotypes that the French take a laissez-faire approach to cleanliness.

The survey by pollster Ifop found the French continued to display “ignorance of basic sanitary rules, despite public health messages and the current [coronavirus] context.”

No wonder the poor parts of London are to the east. Imagine the stench when the wind blows from the Continent……

Oooooh, Goodoh!

No wonder many remain concerned that we are heading for being Singapore-on-Thames. The rhetoric used suggests that the fear is justified.

Someone’s going to have to remind me what’s so terrible about Singapore on Thames though.

A distinctly richer place, with a better health care system, a government that can actually produce the housing the population needs, with a bit more inequality.

The problem being?

The Gini coefficient – which measures income inequality from 0 to 1, with 0 being most equal – fell to 0.452 last year, lower than 0.458 in 2018 and the lowest since 2001, according to the Department of Statistics’ Key Household Income Trends report released on Thursday (Feb 20).

Government transfers and taxes reduced the Gini coefficient further to 0.398.

About the same level of market inequality of incomes as here, the outcome being a little more post- tax and benefit inequality.

Shrug. That a deal you’d accept for a 50% pay rise?

American academic writing again

This week marks what would have been George Harrison’s 77th birthday. Back in February 1988, the Quiet Beatle marked the occasion with a bona fide hit record, “Got My Mind Set on You,” which was soaring among the American radio airwaves at the time.

That’s pretty cool. George celebrated his 77 th birthday 32 years early. Nowt’s beyond a Beatle of course.

The source of this is our old friend:

Kenneth Womack is the author of a two-volume biography of the life and work of Beatles producer George Martin. He is Dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Monmouth University.

Well, I suppose so

In “Life in Synchro,” this hyperfeminist sport empowers women to work together

Synchro is women skating in skimpy uniforms. To music.

I guess it’s hyperfeminist in the same sense the Rockettes are.

OK, fair enough, they’re both difficult, require coordination, have skimpy outfits and are done to music. Just as long as we know what the definition of feminist is these days of course.

Hmm, right

San Francisco declares state of emergency over coronavirus

An emergency over something that isn’t happening:

San Francisco Mayor London Breed (D) declared a state of emergency for the city on Tuesday amid concerns over the international coronavirus outbreak.

While no coronavirus cases have been confirmed in San Francisco, “the global picture is changing rapidly, and we need to step-up preparedness,” Breed said in a statement.

And tens of thousands shitting in the streets is something they don’t declare an emergency over.

Ho hum, the art of government being to find the alarums that allow you to spend the crap out of everything then, eh?