An economist speaks

And gets it wrong of course:

In April, UK GDP was 25% below its level in February. While such a rapid fall in output is unprecedented, so are the reasons for it. Unfortunately many Conservative MPs seem to think the collapse in output is due to the lockdown, whereas in reality it is due to the pandemic. If there had been no lockdown, and the epidemic had run its course unhindered, we would have seen a fall in output of similar size.

No, there are two effects going on. One is the simple and individual reaction to a pandemic, the other is the effect of the lockdown. The effect of the lockdown possibly being additional to that individual change in behaviour and at least in theory it could be a negative, reducing that effect.

To claim that lockdown had no additional effect at all is to insist that Sweden will have exactly the same GDP fall as Norway and Denmark – two broadly similar economies with different lockdown policies. That is, we can test this proposition – anyone feeling confident enough to join Simon Wren-Lewis in his claim?

9 thoughts on “An economist speaks”

  1. That’s quite a terrible take right there – that the economic effects of the same or greater number of mostly ancient non-working people getting ill would have been the same as preventing millions of people from going to work?

    Much wow…

  2. What an absolute fucking moron. Of all the stupid takes on the pandemic and lockdown, that is by far the stupidest.

    The Guardian: wrong about everything, all of the time.

  3. Simon Wrong-Lewis is such a fool. The “pandemic” that has caused very few deaths in the working population is obviously less costly in terms of GDP than this lockdown. Only someone with a risible beard and a book to sell on how to model the economic effects of pandemics would write such obvious drivel

  4. If you read his blog, it is really no more grounded in reality than Capt Potato’s. He recycles the Lefty fuckwit tropes such as the EU ventilator initiative that barely seems to have got off the ground but was nevertheless a disaster for the UK. As long as you are a fuckwit at a fuckwit institution. He quotes the views of the discredited Leftwaffe such as Chris Giles, the guy who created those truly moronic graphs of the “pandemic” in various countries. When did the FT stop being a serious paper and just a front for employing Dr Goebbels and Lord Haw-Haw. Christ, in the world of Wrong-Lewis, Ian Dunt is an authority figure. Just bring in Polly and you have a full house of certifiable cretins. I hope the Blavatniks think they have got their money’s worth

  5. https://tracktherecovery.org/
    Data from “Opportunity Insights”, shows US “social spending,”/time away from home/ travel, dropped fast after the emergency declaration, but before lock down. 5 U.S. states did not give lock down orders, but saw near-identical economic trends
    https://citymapper.com/cmi/stockholm
    Transport mobility in Stockholm fell 70 percent by the start of March. Travel to the holiday island of Gotland was down 96 percent compared with Easter last year-
    ’OpenTable’ data shows that UK restaurant bookings fell 82 percent by March 17th against last year, before Boris Johnson closed restaurants
    Nothing is ever entirely pure and simple but the evidence incontrovertibly suggests that the lock down is a minor part of the picture

    Imagine, my little fans, what fun it is to KNOW THINGS!

  6. The only fan you have ever had Facepaint is the one waiting for your shite–ie YOU–to hit it.

    Lying globo-elite bullshitters (too “elite” a group for you FuckFece–you are just a small time EUowned shit-spreader) try to frighten the entire human race with their CCPvirus cockrot–and most are given some small pause until sense rapidly returns to them. So fucking what. Even in non-lockdown countries a solid % of the pop will be cowardly bedwetting shite just like you Fece.

  7. Yes Newmy, people took precautions about doing social things such as eating out and going to pubs before the lockdown took place. But without the lockdown, I would suggest that the reduced activity levels would have continued. And, more importantly, more people would have kept on going to work as they did even in the weeks leading up to lockdown. Keep your craven cowardice for yourself. Don’t assume that everyone is as risk-innumerate as someone who works in “insurance” – that home for useless, antisocial thieves

  8. The total deaths all causes so far this year is the same as 1999/200 (HK flu I think). Yet we don’t remember that pandemic let alone lockdown, panic and fear. The GDP Growth then was c2.5%. Clearly GDP performance is not related to a few premature deaths amongst the old and retired.

  9. I’m not sure the 1999/2000 flu season (the last one with deaths comparable to Covid) got a ‘tag’, but HK flu was in 1968, when excess deaths for the year were ~80,000. Scaling up for 50 years of population growth, that would be well in excess of 100,000 in today’s money. I was 16 at the time and recall none of it – we certainly didn’t trash our economy in a vain attempt to prevent it.

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